Your cellphone does not in itself cause cancer. But in the daily sea of radiation we all travel, there may be subtler dangers at work, and science is only just beginning to understand how they can come to affect people like Per Segerbäck so intensely
By James GearyPosted 03.04.2010 at 10:39 am 84 Comments
Per Segerbäck lives in a modest cottage in a nature reserve some 75 miles northeast of Stockholm. Wolves, moose and brown bears roam freely past his front door. He keeps limited human company, because human technology makes him physically ill. How ill? On a walk last summer, he ran into one of his few neighbors, a man who lives in a cottage about 100 yards away. During their chat, the man's cellphone rang, and Segerbäck, 54, was overcome by nausea. Within seconds, he was unconscious.
The effects of alcohol are generally pleasant until they're not anymore, at which point they become blindingly painful and, in some cases, quite dangerous. Whether or not a hard-partying type is struck by a crippling hangover or a sudden desire to text his or her ex is generally dependent on how that individual metabolizes and eliminates alcohol in his or her body.
Beloved by Bay Area natives and loathed by the rest of the country, the term "hella" has entered the general American lexicon thanks to the combined efforts of No Doubt and South Park. And now, if University of California, Davis, physics student Austin Sendek gets enough signatures, it might enter the scientific dictionary as the prefix for numbers with 10^27 zeroes.
Those of us who can plug directly into the grid likely don’t think much about where our power comes from, but for people living in remote regions of the world or militaries operating far from the nearest three-prong outlet, being able to pack power with you is a priority. With that in mind, California-based Bourne Energy has devised a hydroelectric generator that breaks down to backpack size, making green energy as portable as any standard rucksack.
Sure, the maze gets boring every so often. And yeah, there's not much variety in the food. But compared to the kill or be killed world of the wild, being a lab rat is a pretty good life. So good, in fact, that researchers at the National Institute on Aging (NIA) believe many lab rats are so overfed they distort research results from experiments intended to help cure everything from cancer to Alzheimer's to, you guessed it, obesity.
The mismanagement of human waste is a serious health problem for the 2.6 billion people who don't have regular access to toilets. In fact, in the slums of Kenya, waste management is so haphazard that residents dispose of feces-filled plastic bags by simply flinging the bags away without concern about where they land. And it was discovering those flying sacks of waste that inspired Anders Wilhelmson to invent the PeePoo, a chemically treated toilet bag that sterilizes human waste and converts it to fertilizer, all for only two or three cents.
Blindness, brain cancer, vegetative states: These are among the most hopeless conditions without cures—yet. Now doctors are turning to unorthodox methods to solve some of medicine's most intractable challenges. The early results are in, and they look promising.
The 8.8 magnitude seismic shock that rocked Chile over the weekend likely also rocked the Earth's axis, shifting the planet's mass enough to shave 1.26 microseconds (millionths of a second) from all Earthly days going forward, a NASA scientist says. But that's nothing; the magnitude 9.1 Sumatran quake that spawned the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 subtracted a whopping 6.8 microseconds.