Archive for the ‘Health and Medicine’ Category

By Justine van der Leun

Source: AOL Health

You’ve heard it all before: Smoking leads to lung cancer, heart disease, stroke. But did you know it can increase your risk of going blind? That smokers are more likely to break their hips? That smoking can even put a damper on your sex life? In fact, there are many surprising ways in which smoking is harmful. Read on to learn some of the little-known effects cigarettes can have on your health.

Macular Degeneration
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of irreversible loss of vision in the developed world — and smokers are three times more likely to suffer from it.

“Inside your eyes, your lenses are wearing away,” says Iyaad Hasan, director of the Tobacco Treatment Center at the Cleveland Clinic. “The theory is that smoking is a vasoconstrictor, which closes the vessels so you don’t get enough oxygen to your eyes over the years.” The resulting damage to the retina can cause a loss of vision in the center of the eye. And while beta carotene may help ward off macular degeneration, smokers cannot take the vitamin since it increases their risk of lung cancer. The upshot? Just one year after quitting, evidence shows that the chance of developing macular degeneration is reduced by nearly 7 percent. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE


Sara Novak
February 8, 2011

In the past few months it has seemed, maybe if only a little bit, that the USDA had begun to see the danger in GMO seeds. Though in the end GMO alfalfa was approved, Tom Vilsack had this to say about it:

“We have an obligation to carefully consider…the potential of cross-fertilization to non-GE alfalfa from GE alfalfa—a significant concern for farmers who produce for non-GE markets at home and abroad.”

And then in December, a federal judge ordered that 258 very important acres of genetically modified sugar beets be destroyed. Judge Jeffrey White ruled that the crops be destroyed because the risk of gene contamination in Oregon’s Willamette Valley was so great. This was a step in the right direction no matter how small the step.

According to Reuters, the USDA has said it would take at least two years to develop new regulations in response to the overall ban issued last month by U.S. District Court Judge White.

But it seems there was little victory to enjoy because according to Minnesota Public Radio, the USDA most recently announced that farmers will be allowed to grow genetically modified sugar beets this season, “while it finishes work on a full environmental impact statement on the beets’ effect on other crops and the environment.” What? If you even think there may be a problem, why would you continue to make it worst?


Study: cancer cells use high fructose corn syrup to multiply


Your telling me in all the years of firework displays all around the world, all of a sudden the fireworks are causing mass bird deaths? I don’t know about you but I smell something fishy. That said don’t forget about all the dead fish washing onto shore, making things even fishier. – InfoMuncher



If you believe the government, you have little to worry about from the radiation beam flitting over the front and back of your body in airport watchdogs’ search for explosives and other hidden implements of terror this holiday season.

The Transportation Security Administration says that when working properly, the back scatter Advance Imaging Technology X-ray scanners emit an infinitesimal, virtually harmless amount of radiation.

The problem is that the TSA offers no proof that anyone is checking to see if the machines are “working properly.”

The TSA ticks off a litany of groups that it says are involved with determining and ensuring the safety of the controversial devices, including:

  • The Food and Drug Administration
  • The U.S. Army Public Health Command
  • Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory
  • The Health Physics Society

However, AOL News has found that those organizations say they have no responsibility for the continuing safety of the alternative to TSA’s grope. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

Source: AOL News

Two respected scientists say they have discovered a flaw in airport full body scanners that could potentially allow terrorists to outsmart the machines.

In research published in the Journal of Transportation Security, physicists Leon Kaufman and Joseph W. Carlson of the University of California San Francisco say body scanner machines can easily be duped. 

While the purpose of the scanners is to find contraband hidden on the body, some weapons and explosives would not be visible to the devices say the researchers, who are known for their work in creating magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines used in hospitals.

That’s because the human body and benign objects add “structured noise that interferes with signal averaging,” the scientists say.

A “pancake” of explosives with beveled edges, taped to the abdomen, for instance, “would be invisible to this technology, ironically, because of its large volume, since it is easily confused with normal anatomy,” the scientists report.

“It is also easy to see that an object such as a wire or a boxcutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible,” Kaufman and Carlson write. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE