Thursday, February 11, 2010

Notes for Today

  • Cellular aging. This is pretty neat: If you can't get rid of your waste, you're going to have to pass it on to your offspring (during cellular division). Or are you? Maybe you only pass it on to one daughter cell? Pretty interesting discussion of a neat process whereby waste products are accrued in particular cell lines.
  • Ok, the effects of mobile phones on the brain (or on health). I'm not really sure what to take out of this article. Am I really supposed to believe cell phones have a health benefit? I'm not convinced by the evidence that there is any reason to be concerned about their normal use, but I don't exactly think of them as a healthy activity.
  • Speaking of radiation and its effects on health: I've been increasingly troubled by the over-use of medical imaging devices (this might deserve its own post at some point). X-rays, CT scans, and a variety of other medical diagnostic procedures all involve ionizing radiation (it is generally easy to detect ionizing radiation). I know a lot of medical doctors, and they almost never consider the cumulative doses of the diagnostic procedures they require. Here is a page showing the doses from various procedures relative to the doses we tend to receive from background effects all the time. I have refused diagnostic procedures because I didn't think it sounded likely that they were really needed, and nurses and doctors look at me like I'm completely insane. Well, now the FDA is going to try to address this issue. My feeling: Good luck.

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