Friday, June 13, 2014

magical moon tonight!

Rare Friday the Thirteenth Full Moon
By Geoff Gaherty, Starry Night Education
June 13, 2014; 9:30 AM

Over the next few nights, the full moon will be riding low in our summer sky.

The summer solstice will occur Saturday (June 21), so the noontime sun is nearly at the highest it can get in our Northern Hemisphere skies. This puts the full moon, occurring just after midnight Eastern Daylight Time on Friday the 13th, at close to the lowest it can possibly get this week.

The full moon is an instantaneous event: the exact instant when sun, Earth and moon fall closest to a straight line. A moment before this, the moon is in waxing gibbous phase; a moment after, it is in waning gibbous phase. Only at exactly 12:11 a.m. EDT (0411 GMT) is it exactly "full." [The Moon: 10 Surprising Facts]

As far as the naked eye is concerned, the moon looks full for a day or two on either side of the exact "full" phase. Only with a telescope can you see that the moon is being lit from a slight angle, causing the line of sunrise or sunset on the moon, called the terminator, to be very close to one edge or the other.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Would we be happy without a phone?

The cell alteration from the cellphones...
Dr. Nesrin Seyhan is the chair of the Gazi biophysics department in Ankara (beside being a member of the Advisory committee of the WHO, a Scientific member , İCEMS and a Panel member , NATO RTO HFM). She has been studying the effect of radiation on cells for the last 20 years, focusing lately in the kind of radiation that the cell phone emit.
Besides the fact that millions of people do not have a phone, we can asume that you can be happy without this addictive device. I made the experiment multiple times, mostly because I did not have any other option, and it was ok at the beginning but lately it was an awful experience. I had to change mobile plans and according with the Murphy's laws, if something can go wrong, it will... I was without a phone for a week.
A quick search in the pubmed, the scientific papers data base, with the word cell phone gives you 5424 articles. The best one was a Korean research back from 2014 by Kim and collaborators published in PLOS One (1). They studied Smartphone Addiction in 795 students in elementary, middle, and high schools across South Korea. They conclusion was that Smartphone addiction is gaining a greater spotlight as possibly a new form of addiction along with internet addiction.
Other interesting study done in El Cairo showed the effects of pulsed electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone in adult rats. The researchers exposed adult rats to a daily dose of Electromagnetic radiation (EMR, frequency 1800 MHz) and sacrificed after 1, 2 and 4 months. Then, monoamines were determined by high performance liquid chromatography coupled with fluorescence detection (HPLC-FD) using their native properties. they reported that the exposure to EMR resulted in significant changes in dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE) and serotonin (5-HT) in the hippocampus, hypothalamus, midbrain and medulla oblongata of adult rats.
Soooo, the exposure of adult rats to EMR may cause disturbances in monoamine neurotransmitters and this may underlie many of the adverse effects reported after EMR including memory, learning, and stress (2). This results, plus other research has showed that we might feel happy every time he heard our hone ringing... and also stressed.
The good news is that a study involving a nationwide cohort study of mobile phone use, did not found increased risks of tumors of the central nervous system, providing little evidence for a causal association (3).
Obviously the mobile phone technology changed our life in a daily bases, and our social etiquete has been affected for the "staring at the phone" behavior and the "just to check updates" constant social interaction interruptions. But getting deeper in the biological effects of the phones, Dr. Nesrin Seyhan, registered a concerning alteration in the programmed cell death (aka apoptosis) in rabbits exposed to radiation. Furthermore, exposure to 1,800 MHz may induce some pathomorphological alterations in different tissues of non-pregnant and pregnant rabbits and their infants. In other research from her group they showed that apoptosis resulted from radio frequency radiation exposure of pregnant rabbits and their infants (3). They measured the oxidative DNA damage and lipid peroxidation levels in the brain tissue of pregnant and non-pregnant New Zealand White rabbits and their newborns exposed to RFR. They were exposed to RFR (1800 MHz GSM; 14 V/m as reference level) for 15 min/day during 7 days. Malondialdehyde (MDA) and 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG) levels were analyzed. MDA and 8-OHdG levels of non-pregnant and pregnant-RFR exposed animals significantly increased with respect to controls.
This results are alarming and a huge "danger" sign that we should not underestimate, in Dr. Seyhan words: "There exist very few experimental studies on the effects of RFR during pregnancy. It would be beneficial to increase the number of these studies in order to establish international standards for the protection of pregnant women from RFR."

Söderqvist F1, Carlberg M2, Hardell L2.

1-PLoS One. 2014 May 21;9(5):e97920. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097920. eCollection 2014.
Development of korean smartphone addiction proneness scale for youth.
Kim D1, Lee Y1, Lee J1, Nam JK1, Chung Y2.
2-Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2013 Jul;17(13):1782-8.
The effect of pulsed electromagnetic radiation from mobile phone on the levels of monoamine neurotransmitters in four different areas of rat brain.
Aboul Ezz HS1, Khadrawy YA, Ahmed NA, Radwan NM, El Bakry MM.
3-BMJ. 2011 Oct 19;343:d6387. doi: 10.1136/bmj.d6387.
Use of mobile phones and risk of brain tumours: update of Danish cohort study.
Frei P1, Poulsen AH, Johansen C, Olsen JH, Steding-Jessen M, Schüz J.