Cellphone-Cancer Link Found in Government Study – By RYAN KNUTSON May 27, 2016 12:42 a.m. ET


Multiyear, peer-reviewed study found ‘low incidences’ of two types of tumors in male rats exposed to type of radio frequencies commonly emitted by cellphones

A major U.S. government study on rats has found a link between cellphones and cancer.

A major U.S. government study on rats has found a link between cellphones and cancer. — Photo: iStock

A major U.S. government study on rats has found a link between cellphones and cancer, an explosive finding in the long-running debate about whether mobile phones cause health effects.

The multiyear, peer-reviewed study, by the National Toxicology Program, found “low incidences” of two types of tumors in male rats that were exposed to the type of radio frequencies that are commonly emitted by cellphones. The tumors were gliomas, which are in the glial cells of the brain, and schwannomas of the heart.

“Given the widespread global usage of mobile communications among users of all ages, even a very small increase in the incidence of disease resulting from exposure to [radio-frequency radiation] could have broad implications for public health,” according to a report of partial findings from the study, which was released late Thursday.

A spokesperson for the National Institutes of Health, which helped oversee the study, wasn’t immediately available for comment. Earlier in the week, the NIH said, “It is important to note that previous human, observational data collected in earlier, large-scale population-based studies have found limited evidence of an increased risk for developing cancer from cellphone use.”

While not all biological effects observed in animals necessarily apply to humans, the National Toxicology Program’s $25 million study is one of the biggest and most comprehensive experiment into health effects from cellphones.

“Where people were saying there’s no risk, I think this ends that kind of statement,” said Ron Melnick, who ran the NTP project until retiring in 2009 and recently reviewed the study’s results.

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In Silicon Valley, young white males are stealing the future from everyone else | Richard Watson Friday 27 May 2016 00.39 EDT


With great power comes great responsibility, so large technology companies need to be regulated, just like any corporation … or petulant adolescent

Silicon Valley road sign

You can’t predict the future, but in Silicon Valley you can invent it. This is the mantra of a handful of companies that continue to serve up a series of digital delights, which are about to get far sweeter and more satisfying due to Big Data, the Internet of Things, robotics and ultimately, perhaps, true artificial intelligence.

But underneath the rhetoric of modernity, openness and progress there’s a problem that technology can’t fix. Relatively young white males overwhelmingly run Silicon Valley firms and they are stealing the future from everyone else.

The recent Facebook furor over its “trending topics” is a case in point. It was alleged that the supposedly impartial algorithms used to curate its list of trending news stories were being softly manipulated by people with a left-leaning libertarian agenda.

“So what?” you might say, but Facebook is more than a social hub. It has become an important centralising authority for news. More than 40% of Americans adults now rely on the social network to stay on top of the news according to PEW research. With great power comes great responsibility, so Facebook, and other large technology companies like Google, Amazon and Netflix need to be watched, critiqued and regulated if necessary, just like any other corporation or petulant adolescent.

Another example of Silicon Valley bias is the almost complete absence of the female perspective. The same might be said of other genders, geographies, races, income brackets, or ages.

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What My Japanese Grandfather and American Father Taught Me About Peace – Hannah Beech / Shanghai 2:59 AM ET


Hiroshima Prepares For U.S. President Obama's Historic Visit

Jean Chung—Getty Images — Schoolchildren look at an old photograph of the Atomic Bomb Dome before the bombing on May 26, 2016, in Hiroshima

My grandfather was a kamikaze — a successful one. My Japanese mother never met her father so it was hard for her to miss him. Instead, some of her earliest memories were of American G.I.s handing out candy. They were big, blond and blue-eyed, strapping specimens of the U.S. occupation of Japan after its World War II defeat.

My mother would go on to marry an American, one who served in World War II on the Allied side. My father — neither big nor blond nor blue-eyed — had been a U.S. Marine correspondent, who covered some of the fiercest battles of the Pacific, from Iwo Jima to Tarawa. In the American Deep South where my father grew up, my mother, more than a generation younger, was referred to as the “Jap wife.” (She responded, cheerily, that she was now related to “barbarians.”) In rural Japan, one of my mother’s relatives, a priest in the native Shinto faith, refused to bless my parents’ union.

As U.S. President Barack Obama prepared to make his historic visit Friday to Hiroshima — a city that denotes both ferocious war and enduring peace — I think of how quickly mistrust on both sides of the Pacific has dissipated. Wartime enemies are now not only friends but also allies, despite disputes over U.S. bases on Japanese soil and the occasional crimes American servicemen have committed against locals. Also, the yellow peril has migrated. Japan’s spectacular economic rise was followed by a postbubble humbling. Today, the role of America’s Asian adversary is filled by China, which has replaced Japan as the world’s second-largest economy. U.S. Congressmen who once worried about the Japanese snapping up Rockefeller Center fret about hordes of rich Chinese buying up American real estate.

Obama’s pilgrimage to Hiroshima, ground zero of atomic annihilation, is meant to celebrate a peace that has lasted for seven decades. By laying a wreath at a cenotaph for the 140,000 victims of a bomb codenamed Little Boy, he will also honor the more than 60 million people who were killed by World War II.

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The Age of Transparency – By Sean P. Larkin May/June 2016 Issue


International Relations Without Secrets

Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at May 27, 2016 1.50

Transparency has long been a rare commodity in international affairs. But today, the forces of technology are ushering in a new age of openness that would have been unthinkable just a few decades ago. Governments, journalists, and nongovernmental organ­izations (NGOs) can now harness a flood of open-source information, drawn from commercial surveillance satellites, drones, smartphones, and computers, to reveal hidden activities in contested areas—from Ukraine to Syria to the South China Sea.

Over the next decade, the market-driven explosion of surveillance sensors and data analytics will bring an unprecedented level of transparency to global affairs. Commercial satellites will capture daily images of the entire globe, offering inexpensive and automated reports on everything from crop yields to military activity. Journalists, NGOs, and bloggers will increasingly use crowdsourced data to uncover wartime atrocities and expose government hypocrisy. Private security companies will discover the sources of cyberattacks and data theft. Biometric systems will expose the identities of clandestine operatives, and government agencies will struggle to contain leakers and whistleblowers.

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First Drug-Resistant Superbug Detected in U.S. Could Mean the “End of the Road” for Antibiotics – By Elliot Hannon MAY 26 2016 10:27 PM


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Aha! — BENOIT DOPPAGNE/AFP/Getty Images

Before you head off for a nice little family vacation at the beach this weekend, just a quick heads up that researchers announced Thursday that for the first time a drug-resistant E. coli superbug has been detected on American shores. (Gulp.) It was last seen on I-95 tossing cars and trucks left and right with its tentacles. Just kidding, everyone knows superbug tentacles are only strong enough to lift a compact. Have a great trip!

But seriously, a drug-resistant strain of the bacteria, how bad are we talking? Because it certainly sounds bad. “It basically shows us that the end of the road isn’t very far away for antibiotics…” CDC Director Tom Frieden told the Washington PostThursday. I’m going to miss the road. Before you go stock up on hand sanitizer for this post-antibiotic world, here’s more from the Post:

The antibiotic-resistant strain was found last month in the urine of a 49-year-old Pennsylvania woman. Defense Department researchers determined that she carried a strain of E. coli resistant to the antibiotic colistin, according to a studypublished Thursday in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors wrote that the discovery “heralds the emergence of a truly pan-drug resistant bacteria…”

Colistin is the antibiotic of last resort for particularly dangerous types of superbugs… [i]n some instances, these superbugs kill up to 50 percent of patients who become infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called CRE among the country’s most urgent public health threats… Scientists and public health officials have long warned that if the resistant bacteria continue to spread, treatment options could be seriously limited. Routine operations could become deadly. Minor infections could become life-threatening crises. Pneumonia could be more and more difficult to treat…

In November, public health officials worldwide reacted with alarm when Chinese and British researchers reported finding the colistin-resistant strain in pigs, raw pork meat and in a small number of people in China. The deadly strain was later discovered in Europe, Africa, South America and Canada.

“[The CDC has] been urging drug companies to develop new antibiotics, and asking people to make better use of the antibiotics now available so that more superbugs do not evolve,” according to NBC News.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/05/26/drug_resistant_superbug_detected_in_u_s_could_mean_end_of_the_road_for_antibiotics.html