An urgent cause for philanthropy

Boston Globe
by Ralph Kaplan & Harvey Silverglate


American philanthropy, in the news lately due to huge donations to wealthy foundations devoted to worthy causes, is nonetheless missing a critical opportunity to turn the private sector's attention to the most urgent threat to human life. As the pace of scientific and technological developments continues to accelerate, the potential for enormous benefits is coupled with the potential for far more severe -- indeed, lethal -- costs. While eradicating disease, creating humanlike robots, and harnessing the uses of nanotechnology could all lessen human suffering, their development could also lead to our demise, something that the leaders of American philanthropy seem not to fully appreciate. The focus of American philanthropy should shift to reflect the severity of this threat...


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp

Report power line concerns, cancer society urges B.C. residents

CBC News - Health & Science

Last Updated Tue, 11 Jul 2006 14:54:27 EDT

CBC News

The Canadian Cancer Society says it’s concerned about plans to upgrade high-voltage power lines through a residential neighbourhood in Tsawwassen, B.C.

A group in the Vancouver suburb is counting on the society’s advisory to bolster its case against a planned upgrade that could bring overhead high-voltage power lines through the community. The lines would form part of a link providing power to Vancouver Island from the Lower Mainland.

Last week, the B.C. Transmission Corporation received approval to upgrade lines running through backyards and across a sports field in Tsawwassen, saying the line is needed to meet expected demands for power on the Island.

The Canadian Cancer Society says the link between electromagnetic fields and cancer has neither been established nor ruled out, but it urges people to keep their distance from power lines.

Parents should not let children play underneath power lines, the group advised.

If people are concerned, they should call the Canadian Cancer Society, said Dr. Patricia O’Hagan, the group’s manager of health promotion for B.C.

“Certainly, because if it’s actually in backyards, if it’s close proximity where children are playing, it’s something that we would be concerned in,” said O’Hagan. “That’s why we are asking the parties to call in.”

The society can then raise the concerns with the B.C. Transmission Corporation, O’Hagan said.

The society’s stand is significant, said Maureen Broadfoot, who heads a Tsawwassen group that opposes the new power lines and has lobbied for an alternative route.

“It is in keeping with what other international health authorities are all starting to say.”

Studies suggest a link between childhood leukemia and high levels of exposure to electromagnetic fields, Broadfoot noted.

The province’s energy minister, Richard Neufeld, said the electromagnetic fields would be well within World Heath Organization guidelines, which is also the stance of the utilities commission.



Comparison of 864 MHz and 935 MHz microwave radiation effects on cell culture

Arh Hig Rada Toksikol. 2006 Jun;57(2):149-54.

* Pavicic I,
* Trosic I,
* Sarolic A.

Institute for Medical Research and Occupational Health, Zagreb, Croatia. ipavicic_at_imi.hr

The objective of this study was to compare the effects of 864 MHz and 935 MHz radiofrequency/microwave radiation on the ability of V79 cells to proliferate, form colonies and on their viability. For one, two and three hours, the cells were exposed to the 864 MHz field in a transversal electromagnetic mode cell (TEM) connected with amplifier and to the 935 MHz field in a gigahertz transversal electromagnetic mode cell (GTEM) equipped with a signal generator. The average specific absorption rate (SAR) was 0.08 W kg(-1) for the 864 MHz field and 0.12 W kg(-1) for the 935 MHz field. In comparison to the control cell samples, the growth curve of the 864 MHz irradiated cells showed a significant decrease after two-hour and three-hour exposure on the Day 3 after exposure. Likewise, cells exposed to 935 MHz microwaves for three hours showed a significant growth on Day 3 after exposure. The colony-forming ability and viability of cells exposed to 864 MHz and 935 MHz microwaves did not significantly differ from the matched controls. The applied RF/MW fields showed a similar effect on cell culture growth, colony-forming ability and viability of V79 cells.

PMID: 16832969 [PubMed - in process]


Mobile phone effects on children's event-related oscillatory EEG during an auditory memory task

1: Int J Radiat Biol. 2006 Jun;82(6):443-50.

* Krause CM,
* Bjornberg CH,
* Pesonen M,
* Hulten A,
* Liesivuori T,
* Koivisto M,
* Revonsuo A,
* Laine M,
* Hamalainen H.

Cognitive Science Unit, Department of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki.

Purpose: To assess the effects of electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by mobile phones (MP) on the 1 - 20 Hz event-related brain oscillatory EEG (electroencephalogram) responses in children performing an auditory memory task (encoding and recognition).

Materials and methods: EEG data were gathered while 15 subjects (age 10 - 14 years) performed an auditory memory task both with and without exposure to a digital 902 MHz MP in counterbalanced order.

Results: During memory encoding, the active MP modulated the event-related desynchronization/synchronization (ERD/ERS) responses in the approximately 4 - 8 Hz EEG frequencies. During recognition, the active MP transformed these brain oscillatory responses in the approximately 4 - 8 Hz and approximately 15 Hz frequencies.

Conclusions: The current findings suggest that EMF emitted by mobile phones has effects on brain oscillatory responses during cognitive processing in children.

PMID: 16846979 [PubMed - in process]


Uranium Munitions = Depleted Uranium


New questions over the death of Dr David Kelly



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