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Submission + - Aussie Research Shows Windfarm Sickness Spreads by Word of Mouth (

eldavojohn writes: Just like the many stories surrounding alleged "wifi sickness" research is now showing that windfarm sickness spreads by word of mouth instead of applying universally to windfarms. Areas that had never had any noise or health complaints were suddenly experiencing them after 2009 when anti-wind groups targeted populations surrounding windfarms. From the article, 'Eighteen reviews of the research literature on wind turbines and health published since 2003 had all reached the broad conclusion that there was very little evidence they were directly harmful to health.' While there's unfortunately no way to prove that someone is lying about how they feel, it's likely a mixture of confirmation bias, psychosomatic response, hypochondria, greed and hatred of seeing windmills on the horizon that drives this phenomenon.

Submission + - Growing Public Unrest Leads China to Admit to "Cancer Villages" ( 1


Submission + - Monsanto Faces Class-Action Lawsuit in Agent Orang (

eldavojohn writes: Agricultural biotechnology company Monsanto is now at the receiving end of a lawsuit from representatives of anyone who lived in the small town of Nitro, WV from 1949 on. This suit alleges that Monsanto spread chemical toxins all over town — most notably the carcinogenic dioxins. The plant in question produced herbicide 2,4,5-T which was used in Vietnam as an ingredient for "Agent Orange." From the article, 'Originally the suit called for Monsanto to both monitor people's health and clean up polluted property. The court rejected the property claims last year, leaving just the medical monitoring.' Strange that the suit is only allowed to address the symptom and not the root cause.

Submission + - Standford's Open Source Human Motion Software (

eldavojohn writes: Standford's OpenSim software is a human motion modeling package that is currently making the rounds at museums where 'visitors walk across a pressure-sensitive floor and are presented at the other side with color-coded print outs of their weight distribution, identifying even slight imbalances that might be putting undue stress on their limbs and joints.' This project can also help with planning surgery. The work of Scott L. Delp, Frank C. Anderson, Allison S. Arnold, Peter Loan, Ayman Habib, Chand T. John, Eran Guendelman, and Darryl G. Thelen has been published in IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (note that this is a different effort from the virtual world of the same name). Although Standford's press release says it is now open source, I cannot find what license they are using nor can I access their SVN browser after registering.

Submission + - New Study Links Video Games and Mental Problems ( 1

eldavojohn writes: A new study published today in Pediatrics Journal conducted in Singapore on three thousand children in grades third, fourth, seventh and eighth claims that one in ten are video game addicts and almost all of those suffer mental health problems. This comes conveniently after the suspect in the Tucson shooting has widely been reported as an online gamer. Among the accusations from the study are that playing video games leads to lower school performance and fewer social skills while exacerbating existing depression, anxiety and social phobias. Gamasutra reports that the Entertainment Software Alliance is already criticizing this study saying 'Its definition of 'pathological gaming' is neither scientifically nor medically accepted and the type of measure used has been criticized by other scholars. Other outcomes are also measured using dubious instruments when well-validated tools are readily available. In addition, because the effect sizes of the outcomes are mainly trivial, it leaves open the possibility the author is simply interpreting things as negatively as possible.' It seems that the doctors are still disagreeing on whether or not gaming causes problems.

Submission + - NASA Data Reveals China's Industrial Air Pollution (

eldavojohn writes: China's skyrocketing industrialism comes at a price to the environment according to Canadian scientists who used NASA data to publish a report on worldwide air pollution (PDF) in the journal of Environmental Health Perspectives. The biggest problem appears to be a bright red mass in Northeastern China around the Yangtze River Delta — a rapidly developing piece of China's explosive economy. There doesn't seem to be a lot of acknowledgment from the state media but blogs are picking it up as one of the few sources of data on air pollution for the area. The sad fact is that particulate matter in the air that is less than 2.5 micrometers is not classified as pollution by the Chinese government so they have no official measurements to provide. If you're in Shanghai and looking for a breath of fresh air, you've got quite the journey ahead of you.

Submission + - FDA Begins Home Genetic Testing Device Assessment (

eldavojohn writes: In its bid to protect you and your health, the FDA is beginning the long bureaucratic process of evaluating take home genetic testing devices. Currently you can get sequenced (by several companies) or even checked for diseases with a take home kit. The FDA appears to be bringing down the 1976 Medical Device Amendments on companies like 23andme (PDF) citing premarket regulation that is not occurring with currently available 'medical devices' (the take home kits). It seems everyone's kits are on hold for the time being. Before you become concerned that the FDA is permanently putting the kibosh on privatized genome analysis Daniel Vorhaus, an attorney (not a doctor), explains the surprisingly valid concerns: "The primary concern was once just analytic validity; does it accurately measure what it says it does? That's still very important, but now there are other issues as well. How are people using the information? Is the interpretation of information accurate? What do I do with the information?" I'd imagine doctors tired of dealing with Google-itis would have a whole new wave of patients demanding treatment and medication based on a take home kit.

Submission + - China Censors HIV/AIDS Awareness Documentary (

eldavojohn writes: Amnesty International is reporting an unusual case of censorship in which Chinese police questioned HIV/AIDS workers in China and instructed them to cancel an airing of a documentary made by Aizhixing Institute of Health Education on the disease. The director of that NGO recently left China after constant police harassment. The canceled documentary was about Tian Xi, a patient who contracted HIV by blood transfusion at age 9.

Submission + - 3D TVs Set for Distribution Despite Health Concern (

eldavojohn writes: Maybe you caught Avatar in theaters in 3D and wished you could get that sort of experience in your home. Well, you will. Three dimensional display technology is turning into a $64 billion industry with companies shipping models already despite absolutely no health risk investigations by the manufacturers. University researchers claim that there could be issues with prolonged exposure re-wiring how your brain senses three dimensional objects as well as becoming exacerbated with age. Do not mistake this with fear mongering, the researchers just question why there has been zero health research around such a lucrative device saying, 'I don't think there's any compelling argument that if you look at this sort of content as a kid something terrible will happen, so I wouldn't be to alarmist about it--but the point is we don't know. There is, however, some small indication that if you have a diet of blurry images it can accentuate myopia, for example.' The past two years have been spent sorting out standards, intellectual property and technology issues but where has consumer health been addressed?

I have a theory that it's impossible to prove anything, but I can't prove it.