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Why does Bakersfield have such awful air quality? How do Vitamin D levels affect your risk for diabetes? Answers and more in our Daily Briefing.

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Here’s what we’re checking out today:

Quote of the Day: “To ghostwrite an entire textbook is a new level of chutzpah,” former FDA Commissioner David Kessler tells the New York Times’ Duff Wilson in a story about a drug-maker’s heavy influence on a medical textbook.

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What are the causes of cancer? What makes us older? If lifestyle choices like smoking cigarettes or drinking cola increase our risk of cancer, what can we do to try reverse or change these decisions? Is it even possible to reverse the damage? How proven are these theories?

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I was a bit torn when trying to figure out how to approach this piece. A reader emailed me about an article in the Huffington Post, and there is so much wrong with it that I felt overwhelmed. My solution is to focus on a few of the problems that can help illuminate broader points.

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We all know it's important to put on UV protection before heading outdoors, but the chemicals in your sun block could be doing your skin more harm than good.

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The nation’s overdose epidemic has entered a devastating new phase. Drugs laced with fentanyl and even more poisonous synthetics have flooded the streets, as the crisis spreads well beyond the rural, largely white communities that initially drew attention. The death rate is escalating twice as fast among Black people than among white people. This webinar will give journalists deep insights, fresh story ideas and practical tips for covering an epidemic that killed more than 107,000 people in the U.S. last year. Sign-up here!

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