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.
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.
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.
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.
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?