Thursday, 7 January 2010

Happy to undergo the naked scanners?

Before you allow yourself or worse still your children to be subjected to the new airport scanners, read the following from an article in Technology Review which discusses the potential harm they could cause:

"What of the health effects of terahertz waves? At first glance, it's easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging. Terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionise atoms or molecules, the chief reasons why higher energy photons such as x-rays and UV rays are so bad for us. But could there be another mechanism at work?

The evidence that terahertz radiation damages biological systems is mixed. "Some studies reported significant genetic damage while others, although similar, showed none," say Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and a few buddies. Now these guys think they know why.

Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they've found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That's a jaw dropping conclusion."

You think the corporations selling them give a fuck? You think the government will err on the side of caution?

Hat tip:


James Higham said...

They're not having a look at my naked body and sniggering.

alison said...

What of the health effects of being blown to smithereens at 37 ooo feet. I'll take my chances with the scanners thanks.

Trooper Thompson said...

What rights won't you give up, Alison, if a guy in a uniform demands it?

It's your choice if you want to live in fear, but it takes more than a kid with a fire-cracker in his underpants before I surrender. I'm not a slave, and I won't be treated like one.