roadwaylighting

Doctors Warn About LED Streetlights

We are all happy to get rid of the gloomy streetlights of old, but if you’ve felt like the new white LED lights are harsh on the eyes, you’re not alone. Science is on your side.

The new LED streetlights shine in a color range that is scientifically proven to hurt our eyes and produce significant glare. Doctors Color Temperaturerecommend that streetlights produce a color temperature less than 3000 Kelvin and new LED streetlights produce light at 4000 to 5000 Kelvin. This range has been shown to disrupt sleep patterns in humans and wildlife.

Although the lights look pretty from a distance, they might have significant long term effects on local residents and wildlife.

Click here to read the press release by the American Medical Association.

 

GMO

GMO Labels: coming to a store near you

July 1st marks the first day of mandatory GMO labeling, at least in Vermont. Although the new law only applies to food sold in Vermont, any company which sells food nationwide would either need specific packaging for Vermont or would in effect be labeling their product  everywhere. Many believe this will begin a chain reaction in GMO labeling.

Federal law makers are considering ways of putting a hold on the state law, citing concerns about its impact on US agriculture and commerce. They claim that state level laws could potentially create 50 different regulation frameworks that food product manufacturers would have to adhere to. Additionally, they claim that labeling GMOs will unnecessarily increase food prices.

The Senate has proposed a compromise law that will be voted on in the next few weeks. This law allows food manufacturers to display GMO information by either printing it on the box or having a QR code that one can scan with a smart phone. Opponents of the bill say that requiring a smart phone to read the label defeats the purpose of even having a label and helps keep US consumers in the dark about their food.

Click here to learn more.

Frozen Veggies

Listeria Again: Check your peas and mixed veggies

National Frozen Foods Corporation has recalled various packages of frozen green peas and frozen mixed vegetables due to Listeria contamination. Affected brands include: Great Value, Bountiful Harvest, First Street, Live Smart, Market Pantry, and Sprouts. These brands are associated with Walmart, Target, Schwan’s and Sprouts (among others).

Listeria can cause very serious infections that are particularly dangerous for young children, pregnant women, and the elderly. Infections can be fatal.

For a full list of recalled products click here.

Fishing

Alabama Toxic Fish Advisory, you’ll be surprised

Mercury, PCBs, and PFOS are all throughout Alabama’s water system. Some of this is due to natural causes but unfortunately there’s an unsavory man-made component.

For 40 years Monsanto knowingly discharged industrial amounts of toxic PCBs into Alabama waterways, namely West Anniston Creek. To learn more, read Monsanto Hid Decades Of Pollution.

Due to this and other factors, Alabama takes fish samples from all over the state, determines their toxicity, and provides consumption recommendations. You will be surprised at the number of fish all throughout the state that are recommended to never be consumed due to their high toxicity.

If you plan on catching some fresh fish this summer, make sure your favorite fishing spot isn’t on the list. See the whole list here. The specific advisories begin on page 12 and continue to page 32.

StanLarkin

Living without a heart for one year

Stan Larkin was diagnosed with familial cardiomyopathy when he was just 16 years old. This disease causes serious irregular heartbeats and inhibits proper blood flow.

Stan was immediately placed on the heart transplant list, but would have to wait a long time for a matching donor. In the meantime, doctors installed an internal defibrillator to help his heart beat whenever it would have problems.

Unfortunately, Stan’s heart continued to deteriorate. Near his 24th birthday, doctors knew they needed to do something drastic. They installed a SynCardia Total Artificial Heart.

Stan’s heart was literally on his sleeve. He would carry with him a 13.5 pound artificial heart that allowed him to maintain a normal lifestyle and continue being a father to his three children while he waited for an organ transplant.

“I just want to put the heart to use.” – Stan Larkin

The device performed all the functions of a healthy heart and kept Stan alive for an incredible (and record-setting) 555 days. He finally received his new “real” heart in May of 2016 and is making a swift recovery. He looks forward to putting his new heart to use on the basketball court.

Click here to read more.

Drugs

Drug that killed Prince is taking more lives

Prince died due to an accidental overdose of prescription Fentanyl, one of the world’s strongest narcotic drugs – 50 times stronger than morphine.

It is still unclear whether Prince had a legal prescription for the drug, but what is certain is that the drug is becoming an increasing problem in the US.

As a whole, abuse of prescription drugs has grown out of control and Fentanyl is quickly gaining notoriety. From 2013 to 2014, Fentanyl overdoses skyrocketed from 92 to 514 in Ohio alone!

Much of this growth is attributed to illegal Fentanyl that was produced in a single lab in Mexico. The DEA states that there were more than 1,000 deaths associated with this lab from 2005 to 2007.

Click here to read more.

african_feet

Science is about to permanently eradicate a disease

This will be the second time ever that humanity has eradicated a disease. The last and only other time was with smallpox.

In the 1980s there were more than 3 million cases of Guinea worm disease each year. Now, there are only 2 confirmed cases and 2 suspected cases.

I’d like the last Guinea worm to die before I do – Jimmy Carter

The Carter Center in Atlanta (named after the former president Jimmy Carter) has been devoted to the cause and has been quite successful.

Their efforts have  centered around educating governments and the public about how to prevent transmission, and how to control suspected cases.

Hopefully the world can rejoice that one more human threat has been permanently defeated. Thank you Jimmy Carter and thank you science!

Don’t read this if you don’t want the ugly details: The disease is spread by drinking infected water. Larva will develop into a worm within a human host and after about a year, the worm will try to painfully exit through the skin. During this process it will spread larva into any body of water, thereby infecting others. The disease was endemic to Africa, the Middle East and Pakistan. Thank goodness the disease is almost gone for good!

Click here to learn more.

Pig

US to mutate pigs to grow human organs

They call them Chimeras, pig embreos that have been injected with human stem cells. These creations have been made by various labs around the world but are typically killed before the fetus is able to fully develop.

A research team from the University of California, Davis, is hoping to create Chimeras to solve organ transplant shortages. They will create mutant pigs that lack the genes required to make a pancreas. Then, they hope the human stems cells will fill the void and create a human pancreas within the pig. They believe the process can work for any needed organ.

Although there are many ethical concerns that have delayed research in this area, one of the major concerns is what would happen if a chimera accidentally developed a human brain. How should we treat such a creation? Should we even be allowed to make one in the first place?

Aside from the moral / ethical issues involved, one of the many interesting applications would allow individuals who need a transplant to create their missing organ within a Chimera using their own stem cells. This would create a cloned organ that is a perfect match, in good health, and young – even better quality than a traditional donor organ.

Click here to learn more.