Effect Measure

Archives for February, 2008

How bats fly out of hell

Flying like a bat out of hell is supposed to mean sudden, fast and wild.But how do bats fly? It turns out they have some unique tricks:

All I can say is that it’s a good thing Canadian Press’s Helen Branswell isn’t a blogger or she’d put all the rest of us flu bloggers out of business. She is the professional flu reporter’s professional (one of the best of the flu reporters once described a story of hers to me as “annoyingly…

Comcast is CrapComtastic

There are so many hot button issues today it’s not possible to pick “the” biggest one. But certainly in the top five (unfrtunately there are 100 things in the top 5) must be “net neutrality.” Essentially it is whether commercial internet service providers (like Comcast or RCN) should be allowed to give preference to certain…

No bigger bird flu problem in China?

When WHO tells us that there is no bigger bird flu problem in China I guess it’s all relative. Like the old joke where one old man asks the other how he feels, the answer is “compared to what”?

FDA speaks up a little more often

I’m away from home and I did something really, really bad to my back. I could hardly tie my boots this morning (boots needed; it is snowing like stink up here). One of my fellow scientists took one look at me and said, “I guess you need some Vioxx.” Then he laughed. Since I hardly…

Chromium is OK when it’s on your car bumper but not so OK when it’s in your workplace air or your drinking water. That’s because chromium, in some of its forms, causes cancer. In fact it is a remarkably good carcinogen. A few years, ago both epidemiological studies and risk estimates done by the US…

Give your eye a dose today

Since I’m up in Canada doing some science (presenting a paper at a meeting) I thought I’d give a little plug for one of my favorite sites, Daily Dose of Imagery. If you like photography, this guy from Toronto is worth taking a look at. There’s a new pic every day (hence the name) and…

Life’s a (contaminated) beach

As I write this I am at 30,000 feet winging my way to Montreal, Canada, where the temperature is below freezing. So what more appropriate topic than microbial hazards of bathing beaches? Maybe it was my foray into the wonderful world of fecal accidents that prompted me to look further into the subject but I…

That pesky cell phone issue again

I hate writing posts like this almost as much as people hate reading them. But write them I must. It’s the cell phone issue again. Health risks from cell phones aren’t supposed to happen because the radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation involved is not energetic enough to ionize molecules. The damage done by ionizing radiation is related…

Flu and the vaccine mismatch

The simultaneous news of widespread flu and the mismatch of two components of this year’s seasonal vaccine (see here and here) seem to have synergized. That’s not so good in the view of many flu experts, who believe (correctly) that it leads to a misunderstanding of how the vaccine works (or doesn’t):