Daily archives for December 27th, 2011

Oil jumps over 2% as Iran threatens supplies

“NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Oil prices jumped over 2% Tuesday, crossing the $100-barrel-mark after Iran threatened to choke off the flow of oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz.
The Iranian threat came in response to a recent tightening of Western sanctions against Iran that attempt to limit the amount of oil that country can export.
“If Iran oil is banned, not a single drop of oil will pass through Hormuz Strait,” Iran’s 1st Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi said Tuesday, according to the Iran State News Agency.
Iran is also currently conducting Naval exercises in and around the Strait.”

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Harrison’s Hangout is taking a breather…

By Frances Lee, The Smart Show staffwriter

I am so sad to announce that our beloved Harrison’s Hangout is not taking place this week….

Our team decided that we need to take this week off and work on a few things and catch up on things and polish our well-oiled machine. Thus, next week we will be ready and eager to communicate with our most loved fans and supporters like you deserve!

So for now, spread the word that Harrison’s Hangout will resume NEXT WEEK 6pm PST.

See you next week!

Frances L.

Half of Congress Millionaires vs Collapsing Voting Public

Agence France Presse reports the wealth gap between members of Congress and ordinary Americans is growing larger, with nearly half of all lawmakers now worth more than one million dollars, according to US media reports Tuesday.

Congress and Senate are increasingly likely to be multimillionaires and are on average nine times richer than the other Americans, according to data made available to the New York Times and Washington Post.

The papers reported figures from the Center for Responsive Politics that showed the median net worth of a member of Congress stood at $913,000 and is climbing, compared to $100,000 and falling for the rest of the population.

Brain Tumors from Mobile Phones Implicated

December 24, 2011, Berkeley, CA, USA & Stockholm, Sweden. An important new analysis, The Potential Impact of Mobile Phone Use on Trends in Brain and CNS Tumors, was published today in the journal Neurology & Neurophysiology. It can be downloaded without cost at http://www.omicsonline.org/2155-9562/2155-9562-S5-003.pdf. The paper is in a Special Issue of the journal titled “Brain Tumor.”

The study raises very serious concerns about the potential for a large increase in brain cancer incidence, resulting from widespread mobile phone use. The steep increase in brain cancer will begin in approximately 15 years according to the projections.

The paper, by researchers Örjan Hallberg in Sweden and L. Lloyd Morgan in the U.S., first reviews biological effects from mobile phone use reported in peer-reviewed studies, such as increased permeability of the blood-brain barrier, deleterious effects on sperm, double strand breaks in DNA, stress gene activation (indicating an exposure to a toxin), and increased risk of an acoustic nerve tumor (acoustic neuroma) and brain cancer after 10 or more years of mobile phone use. It then considered two established mechanisms for the development of brain cancer—that mobile phone use decreases the efficiency of the repair of mutated DNA and that mobile phone use increases the rate of DNA mutations.

In developing the model from brain cancer registry data, mathematical model parameters are selected which provide a best fit to the age adjusted registry data. The model can be considered reasonably accurate if it approximates both the age-specific brain cancer incidence (e.g., 30-34 year age cohort) and the age-adjusted brain cancer incidence from the cancer registry data. It can then be used by the researchers to predict future brain cancer incidence.

Based on a 30-year time between first mobile phone use and diagnoses of brain cancer (latency time), the model predicts that there will be a 100% increased incidence of brain cancer (2-fold) if DNA repair efficiency is decreased by mobile phone use, and a 2,400% increase in brain tumors (25-fold) if mobile phone use mutates DNA. The figure below, from the paper illustrates these predictions.

Figure 3. Norwegian brain tumor age-adjusted rates per 100,000 person-years by calendar year for reported data with 3 results from mobile phone use 1) Increased DNA damage 2) no DNA repair and 3) has no effect.

The public health risk modeling process used in this analysis was developed by Örjan Hallberg and has been successfully applied in other illnesses, including Alzheimer’s disease and melanoma.

Hallberg says, “Such modeling, or risk projection, is important, whether for the climate or for diseases, in that it allows public health contingency planning, should the model be reasonable accurate. For example, will there be sufficient neurosurgeons should brain tumors increase as the model predicts?”

Morgan says, “What this analysis shows is that, unless mobile phone usage behavior patterns change significantly, we can reasonably expect a pandemic of brain tumors, for which we are ill-prepared, beginning approximately 15 years from now. Governments, as well as parents, physicians, schools and all citizens, would be well advised to educate all persons under their care or influence about the need to curtail the use of mobile phones and other radiation-emitting consumer devices.”

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