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Submission + - Scientists: Concerns with TSA body scan safety (npr.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Leading scientists express urgent concerns over the safety of TSA body scanners. Past safety evaluations have been fundamentally flawed. Read the beginning of the letter:

We are writing to call your attention to serious concerns about the potential health risks of the recently adopted whole body backscatter X-ray airport security scanners. This is an urgent situation as these X-ray scanners are rapidly being implemented as a primary screening step for all air travel passengers.

Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed.

An important consideration is that a large fraction of the population will be subject to the new X-ray scanners and be at potential risk, as discussed below. This raises a number of ‘red flags’. Can we have an urgent second independent evaluation?


Submission + - Earth's water didn't come from outer space (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Where did Earth's oceans come from? Astronomers have long contended that icy comets and asteroids delivered the water for them during an epoch of heavy bombardment that ended about 3.9 billion years ago. But a new study suggests that Earth supplied its own water, leaching it from the rocks that formed the planet. The finding may help explain why life on Earth appeared so early, and it may indicate that other rocky worlds are also awash in vast seas.

Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!