Archive for Cancer

Is It Really Possible To Live On Mars?

Posted in America, Environment, Health, Insanity, Life in the Universe, Modern World, News, Space, Travel, USA with tags , , , , on 25/10/2014 by floroy1942
Going To Mars

Going To Mars?

I have read with some interest the reports on sending people to live on Mars, and the experiments currently taking place in Hawaii. Although I am not a scientist, it makes me wonder if we are not going too far. The idea that six people could live a sustained life on the Red Planet for many years seems just a bit too ambitious.

Mars Habitat Trial In Hawaii

Mars Habitat Trial In Hawaii

Consider what it would be like. You live in a small habitat (1,000 sq.ft.) with five other people with basically no-where to go. No bars, cinema’s, local shops, parks or even family. You can go outside but only when wearing a spacesuit, and once you get outside what can you do, basically nothing except go for a stroll. In the first few months there will be all sorts of experiments to keep you busy, but when they are finished, what then? You are doomed to spend the rest of your life on this planet because you can’t get back to Earth. I think the average person would go crazy after a few months of this.

Inside The Dome

Inside The Dome

The current experiments in Hawaii are looking at how people will react to one another when cooped up in a single habitat with nowhere else to go. So far there have been two missions of four months each, and two more are planned, one of eight months and one of a year. These experiments will give a good idea of how people react to each other in a small space over a given period.

Cosmic Rays - Earth Is Protected By Its Magnetic Field

Cosmic Rays – Earth Is Protected By Its Magnetic Field

The first challenge will be to get there and still be in sufficient good health to be able to build your habitat. Experience has already shown that prolonged exposure to cosmic radiation, which is everywhere in space, is detrimental to health. NASA has already learnt this from I.S.S. astronauts who stayed on the space station for prolonged periods. Experts consider the longest time a man can be in space is 400 days, and for a woman it is less at 320 days. The strength of cosmic rays is determined by the sun which goes through periods of high and low activity. The more activity the less the rays will penetrate our solar system. The time taken to reach Mars is anything from 131 to 225 days depending on the orbits of Earth and Mars.

So this begs the question, what affects will the cosmic radiation have on the Mars astronauts? Prolonged exposure to cosmic rays will cause radiation sickness and cancer. Will they be fit enough to get out of their capsule and begin building their habitat, or will they even survive long enough to get there? All questions no-one seems to have an answer for.

Let us presume they make it to the landing site, for then comes the next big challenge i.e. building their home. In a Mars atmosphere this could take weeks, and in the meantime they will have to live in their capsule or ship. One would presume that earlier spacecraft had been sent to the planet stuffed with building parts, tools and of course food and water. One can only hope that the craft carrying them will land near enough to those supplies. Imagine if something goes wrong and they land perhaps ten or a hundred earth miles from the supply craft. That could be a disaster. The one thing never to be forgotten is that with any plan, something can always go wrong.

Oxygen Scrubber As Used In Submarines

Oxygen Scrubber As Used In Submarines

Given that everything goes to plan, the habitat is built and they move inside, what then? They are forced to rely on man-made equipment that must keep them alive until either they die of radiation sickness and cancer, old age, or just maybe space science makes sufficient advances to bring them back in maybe ten or twenty years. So far as the habitat is concerned, they will have to rely on oxygen scrubbers to provide them with this necessity and they do work for long periods, like in submarines, but would they last for years on end? Everything has a life when it eventually wears out or something breaks.  Any breakdown in the oxygen system would be catastrophic, for the repair shop is not just around the corner.

ISS Meal - Yummy!

ISS Meal – Yummy!

The next thing that comes to mind is food. Current plans showing the proposed housing unit does not seem to show any space for plants. If that is the case then growing their own vegetables is out of the question. The inhabitants may have to rely on so-called space rations like they use in the space station. I can’t imagine spending the rest of my life eating goo from a plastic bag. Can you?

ISS Supplies En Route

ISS Supplies En Route

People living on Mars will also require regular supply rockets in order to keep them alive. Anything can interrupt this which would condemn these people to die. A rocket failure, a tracking failure, even an economic crisis that would prevent such an expensive endeavour, for expensive it would be.

Launch Failure

Launch Failure

Allowing for the twenty four minute delay in radio transmissions to Mars, I can imagine the faces of the Mars crew to hear that their next supply ship has crashed on the launchpad. I for one would certainly not volunteer for something like this and I don’t think any sane person would. There are many experts who are of the opinion that this project is impossible from a practical viewpoint and it may be cancelled, but we will have to wait and see.

Moon Landing

Moon Landing

There is a saying; “Don’t run before you can walk”, which seems to aptly describe this current endeavour. It would make more sense to try this on the moon before attempting to put people on Mars. At least it doesn’t take ten months for anything to get there, communication is much better and it would not be as expensive. Most important though, is that it would be possible to retrieve people if the whole experiment went wrong. Perhaps someone should give this some thought.

Roy.

Has Science Today Become Meaningless?

Posted in America, Britain, England, Europe, Health, Modern World, News, Overweight, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 30/05/2014 by floroy1942

As we all know, scientific breakthroughs hit the headlines on a regular basis, but to believe some of them you would have to be stark raving mad. Today I read that, in a nutshell, having too much light in your bedroom is linked to obesity! Can you believe this?

Read And Weep

Read And Weep

The study was made by a team at the Institute of Cancer Research in London and they concluded that women got larger waistlines if there was enough light to see across the bedroom at night. Incredible!

During the study that involved 113,000 women, they were asked to gauge the amount of light they had in the bedroom at night. The subjects were then measured for Body Mass Index, waist measurement, and waist to hip ratio, and the results indicated that women sleeping in lightened rooms had a much higher risk of obesity than those sleeping in fully darkened rooms.

Nah! Too Much Light You'll Be Obese By Morning!

Nah! Too Much Light You’ll Be Obese By Morning!

Prof Anthony Swerdlow, from the Institute of Cancer Research said: “In this very large group of people there is an association between reported light exposure at night and overweight and obesity. But there is not sufficient evidence to know if making your room darker would make any difference to your weight. There might be other explanations for the association, but the findings are intriguing enough to warrant further scientific investigation.” Well, how absolutely profound! The line in italics says it all really.

Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, from the Surrey Sleep Centre is reported as saying: “People in general are not aware of the light present in their bedroom, I think people should assess their bedroom and see how easy it would be to make it darker. Street lights, some alarm clocks and standby lights on electrical equipment such as televisions could light a room. Overall this study points to the importance of darkness.”

This Is ScienceThis ‘important’ study was commissioned by Breakthrough Breast Cancer Charity (BBCC) that looks into the causes of breast cancer among women. It is well known that obesity can cause this illness, but beginning with light levels in the bedroom?

Dr Matthew Lam, from the BBCC commented: “It’s too early to suggest that sleeping in the dark will help prevent obesity, a known risk factor for breast cancer, but the association is certainly interesting. Whilst we are learning more and more each day about the environmental, genetic and lifestyle factors that affect breast cancer risk, it is not yet possible to predict who will get breast cancer, and for women who have been diagnosed with the disease, we can’t yet say what caused it.” So in effect, this is ‘much ado about nothing’ to coin Shakespeare.

Serious Science

Serious Science

I am sure those involved are sincere in their wish to advance the knowledge of people who suffer these problems, but to my mind they could be much better employed in more important work with more concrete results.

It’s almost as bad as the idiot who said about a year ago that obesity was caused by a tummy bug! I really do not understand how these scientists can make such outlandish claims and call themselves scientists. It beggars belief.

Only If It Gets Indisputable Results!

Only If It Gets Indisputable Results!

The one thing that has changed over time is that in the old days scientists proved their theories before making them public i.e. “It IS,” not like today, “Data indicates – It may be – It’s possible” etc etc. Sorry, but to me that is not science as it is meant to be. That is nothing more than useless innuendos!

These days, instead of everyone taking part in serious experiments that can benefit all of mankind, they are doing mediocre work like this full of ‘maybe’s and could be’. More emphasis on a cure for Cancer, Multiple-Sclerosis, Malaria and Ebola, solving the bigger problems facing us at the moment, and coming up with concrete results like in years gone by would be time better spent.

Let's Hope Tomorrow's Scientists Are Better Than Today's.

Let’s Hope Tomorrow’s Scientists Are Better Than Today’s.

I am aware that the aforementioned fields of research are being looked into by a great many scientists today, but wouldn’t it be better if more of them concentrated on these important issues instead of branching off into useless areas like the amount of light in your bedroom?

I believe part of it is the ‘fame game’ and another part the necessary ‘must get a grant at all costs’. Most scientific work today is done on the basis of getting grants from governments, companies and charities etc, but if you cannot get even the indication of results to satisfy your paymasters, and produce a Scientific Paper, you get no money and are out of business.

All I can say is that while we have made great strides in field of science in the past three decades, science ‘ain’t what it used to be’ to coin a phrase.

May your results always be indisputable.

Roy.

Finally, Some Common Sense From Science

Posted in America, Britain, Children, England, Environment, Europe, Health, News, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 20/10/2013 by floroy1942

WHOThe World Health Organization (WHO) has just released a report that states “the leading cause of lung cancer is air pollution”. It has always been my belief that air pollution from cars and factories has been a significant cause of this and many other sicknesses, and not the smoker who was deemed by all as the ‘Evil One’. For years, doctors and scientists have been blaming smokers for all the cancers in the world with their ‘Passive Smoking’ hype and telling everyone that if as a non-smoker you get lung cancer it is the fault of those evil smokers who pollute the atmosphere. Well, at last the truth will out, and it seems we smokers are not the ones to blame for all the vile diseases in the world.

Not As Big An Evil

Not Killing Everyone In A 100m Radius As We Were Told!

I am well aware that smoking heightens the risk of smoker’s contracting lung cancer and I do not take that lightly, but I have never subscribed to the idea that to sit across the room from a smoker you are bound to get it as some will have us believe. When I was young I often went to the cinema, and because there were no restrictions on smoking, the smoke inside was as thick as fog at times. It was an every day part of life, just as in the pubs, but the point I am making is that we did not have hundreds of thousands dying of lung cancer every year like we do now, the disease was practically unheard of. It was the same for every leading nation in Europe and North America.

1950's Industrial Scene - The Price Of Burning Coal

1950’s Industrial Scene – The Price Of Burning Coal

The one major thing that changed after then was that people became more affluent and had money to buy cars, evidenced by the fact that since the 1950’s the car population has exploded until we now have over a billion cars on the world’s roads. As you would expect, this came at a price i.e. a massive expansion of the pollutants entering the atmosphere. Not only cars but also the explosion of the manufacturing industry is to blame as more and more factories started up to provide us all with the luxury goods we crave like mobile phones, electric hair-dryers, cosmetics, computers and of course cars. The number of factories in the world has risen beyond imagination when compared to those far off days prior to 1960.

Air Pollutants

Air Pollutants

From the WHO data it becomes clear that our avarice will at some time in the future be the end of us, for as we want more and more so we add more deadly chemicals to the very air that we breathe, and eventually it will kill us! Harsh words for some, but I believe prophetic.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has quoted the fast rising economic and industrial expansion of countries like China and other East Asian countries that has resulted in smog in major cities such as we saw in major industrial centres in England in the 1950’s.

Bus Conductor Guides The Bus Driver

Bus Conductor Guides The Bus Driver

I remember a time in Manchester when I was about fourteen that my father made me walk in front of the car to show him the way because otherwise movement in the thick smog was impossible. It took us several hours to travel a few miles to get home.

The catalyst in those days was that since the birth of the Industrial Revolution, every factory and home burnt ordinary coal, and it was only in the 50’s and 60’s that we learnt how to to process coal into such things as coke and other smokeless fuels. Later came the nuclear age which was the cleanest of all, but we sat with the problem of disposing of used nuclear fuel rods. Thankfully for us, such times are history, but not in the Far East.

The  Good Old Days

The Good Old Days

I find it amazing that for decades scientists have blamed the smoker for all the lung diseases of the world, and governments have willingly persecuted these people for their “Filthy Habit”, and many people give disgusted looks or shout abuse at those among us who enjoy it. I remember sitting in the front row of the smokers seats on an aeroplane when going on holiday. I was well within my rights to smoke then, but a Dutch woman in front of me turned and gave me a mouthful of abuse in a very loud voice that “I was killing her with my smoke”. Needless to say, she got short shrift from me. But all the hype against smokers has been exacerbated by continuing ‘scientific’ reports that if you are within 100 yards of a smoker the passive smoke will kill you.

The Effects Of Air Pollution

The Effects Of Air Pollution

Dr Kurt Straif, from IARC, said: “The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances. We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths.” Cancer Research UK said it was not a surprise. I am no scientist but I reported on the link between air pollution and cancer up to two years ago because to me it was obvious. Thankfully science has now caught up.

The Harmful Effects of Air Pollution

The Harmful Effects of Air Pollution

What has also come to light is that charity organizations like Cancer Research are down-playing the WHO results, probably because it will affect future donations and goes against everything they have been preaching to the masses for the last thirty years i.e. that tobacco smoke is the number one killer. Dr Julie Sharp, the head of health information at the charity, said: “It’s important that people keep the risk from air pollution in perspective. Although air pollution increases the risk of developing lung cancer by a small(??) amount, other things have a much bigger effect on our risk, particularly smoking.” (Oh yes! Let us admit we may have made a mistake, but after all it was was only a teensie weensie one wasn’t it!).

So where do we go from here? That’s a very big question with a very expensive answer! The WHO is asking governments to begin taking action to curb emissions in a big way. They can do this if they wish, but the measures required would be very unpopular with the masses who invariably know nothing of the risks to mankind’s future, and are only interested if it impacts their daily lives. Few people have the brains to look forward and imagine what our current greed is doing to the lives of our children and grand-children, and even their children.

New York City Skyline At Night - A Shocking Waste Of Power, And It's Everywhere

New York City Skyline At Night – A Shocking Waste Of Power, And It’s Everywhere

To clean up the air we breathe before it kills us all we have to make major inroads into our current way of life. It may be as some advocate, finding cleaner sources of energy but in my opinion that is a pipe dream unless you are talking about nuclear power stations. We would be far better off making huge cuts in the amount of energy we use because so much of it is pure waste, like city office blocks with all their lights on all night, garish advertising boards that stay on all night, and all the little electrical gadgets we have around the home like electric toothbrushes, hair dryers and juice mixers. They all add up to a monumental waste of all the world’s precious resources and add to the pollution unnecessarily.

One Of The Largest Polluters

One Of The Largest Polluters

Next in line is of course the motor car, for this is perhaps the biggest polluter of all with over a billion cars on the road. Some families have three and four cars between them, father, mother, son, daughter etc. There will come a time when governments will have to step in and make it law there will be no more than one car per family. Vehicles are a double danger, for not only do they pollute the air in our cities and towns, but are also consuming natural resources at an ever increasing rate, and what will you do when the oil tap is closed for the last time? Keep going on at the rate we are and I can see mankind going back to the horse as a means of transport.

Is This YOUR Child's Future Because Of Our Own Excess?

Is This YOUR Child’s Future Because Of Our Own Excess?

Whichever way you look at it, we all have to start consuming less and reduce emissions drastically if our children, and theirs, are to have a world to live in. It starts with each an every one of us – No-one else!

Roy.

Weird Science

Posted in Britain, Modern World, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 03/10/2010 by floroy1942

Over the last few months, various scientists have come up with some rather weird, and to say the least, bizarre conclusions. For example, did you know that if you do not clean out your car regularly you are in serious danger.

Staphylococcus Bacteria

It would appear, from research commissioned by Halfords, that the interior of our cars are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria that can cause food poisoning, skin infections (Impetigo), severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea, especially in warm weather. The main culprits are Bacillus Cereus and (this one is a real mouthful) Staphylococcus.

Breeding Ground

Swabs were taken from steering wheel, radio switches, gear lever, door handles, floor mats and under the seats among other places, of a randomly chosen car. All showed quantities of these two particular bacteria in significant amounts.

According to Dr. Anthony Hilton, reader in microbiology  at Aston University, The presence of animals and eating in dirty vehicles heightens the risk of infection.

So I guess we had better not put off cleaning the interior of the car until next weekend after all!!!

Are you aware that if your christian name is Colin you have a higher risk of high blood pressure. No! I thought not.

High Blood Pressure?

A survey commissioned by Lloyds Pharmacy indicates that if your christian name is Colin, Brian or Alan for men, or Margaret, Linda or Anne for women, you have a 47% and 50% respectively higher risk of developing heart problems than others. Names with the lowest risk are Daniel, Liam and Thomas, Emily, Sophie and Chloe.

Keep it Steady!

Sounds really weird does it not, but the science is based on research covering an 80 year period taking into account links to certain geographical areas for each of the names, and whether they are from working class or middle class homes.

It all sounds too weird to be true to me, but just in case, I’ll advise anyone who has a new baby to call it Daniel or Emily!!!

Normally you associate taking a shower with getting clean, or just to feel good; But beware the hidden danger! Over the years, taking a shower has become more popular than taking a bath, although no-one will discredit the soothing effect of laying in a hot tub.

The Hidden Dangers

Research carried out in the U.S. by Professor Norman Pace indicates that many shower heads contain a deposit of Mycobacterium Aviun which can cause severe pulmonary problems.

It would appear this bacteria is present in water and can accumulate in a shower head where they tend to clump together. When you turn on the shower the bacteria are ejected as minute particles that hang suspended in the air, and you run the risk of inhaling these germs which end up deep in the lung. Once there they can cause tiredness, shortness of breath, a persistent cough, weakness and a general ‘run-down’ feeling.

Hmmm! Hot Tub

Earlier research by Dr. Pace shows huge amounts of the bacteria can be present in the soap scum on shower curtains, and even floating on the surface of warm therapy pools. Indoor swimming pools have also been known to harbour the germ leading to a condition known as ‘Lifeguards Lung’.

All is not lost however. There is no need to give up your daily shower, all that is necessary is to let the water run a few seconds before entering, and to clean the shower head regularly. Whew! Thank goodness for that!!!

When you go to the cinema the experience just isn’t the same without a bucket of popcorn. Well, for cinema lovers everywhere there is good news, popcorn is good for you, and that’s official!

Cinema Favourite

According to new research headed by Joe Vinson Ph.D, popcorn, along with breakfast cereals contain as well as essential fibre,  a high level of polyphenols that are an excellent anti-oxidant that removes so-called ‘free-radicals’ from the bloodstream thus reducing the chance of heart disease and cancer among other things. Free-radicals are chemicals found in the bloodstream and have the potential to cause damage to cells and tissue.

It was thought for years that popcorn was bad for you because of the oils and salt they contain, but this new research has turned the tables. By going deeper, science has discovered the presence of this polyphenol and the discovery has turned out to be significant.

Nice one lads, now I don’t have to feel guilty at being seen with a bucket of popcorn in my hand when I go to the cinema!!!

Roy.



Smoking Versus Obesity – The Cost

Posted in Child Abuse, Children, Diabetes, England, Insanity, Modern World, Obesity, Overweight, Parenting, Teens, UK, USA with tags , , , , , , , , , on 29/08/2010 by floroy1942

For the last twenty years or so, smokers have been considered a legitimate target by health organizations, governments and ‘holier than thou’ pressure groups, all of whom have done their best to stop people lighting up. One of the many excuses touted was the cost to the health system of treating smoking related diseases.

Many years ago I gave my opinion on this issue and stated that the costs of obesity related diseases would eventually far outstrip those of smoking. Seems I was right!

A report issued this week by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) states that the number of Health Service patients receiving operations to reduce obesity in English hospitals has risen ten-fold in the last decade.

In 2000 the NHS performed just 238 operations to help people who were over-weight, this rose to 2,543 in 2007, the last year for which figures are available. You can bet your last dollar this number has increased significantly between 2007 and 2010.

The interesting point is, that these operations are only for those who need to lose weight, and do not cover operations and/or treatments for obesity related illnesses like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart problems.

Most of the operations were for ‘bypass’ or so-called ‘banding’, both of which are designed to reduce the amount of nutrients absorbed by the body. Put simply, a ‘bypass’ operation will re-route food into a small stomach pouch added by surgeons, and ‘banding’ entails placing an adjustable band around a portion of the stomach to reduce its size.

The reason given for this dramatic rise in operations is that obese patients are becoming more aware of the fact that surgical procedures can help them reduce weight.

Obesity in the UK, as in many other countries, has exploded during the last couple of decades as peoples standards of living increased, and they became less interested in their outward appearance. It is all about living the good life now-a-days and to hell with the consequences. The sad thing is, the consequences will not be denied.

Living on the Costa del Sol as I do, it amazes me how many of the tourists that come here are grossly overweight. They lay on the beaches like a herd of elephant seals endeavouring to get that perfect tan, before tottering back to their hamburgers, potato crisps and other fat laden foods, all the time wailing that it’s not their fault.

The most disturbing thing is the increase in tomorrow’s obese, i.e. the children. I find it scandalous that today’s parents do not make any effort to ensure their children don’t end up like them.

The number of obese people suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and heart problems is rising year on year, and there are tens of thousands of future patients out there who will develop major health problems.

For the past half century, life expectancy has grown significantly in many nations, particularly the affluent west, but with the rise in obesity it is possible the trend will come to an abrupt halt until people realise the inherent dangers of eating too much.

In a few years time there is every possibility that the health system will be struggling to cope under the massive demand put on it by obese patients, and many an over-stretched hospital will be looking back at the ‘good old days’ when all they had to deal with were smoking related diseases.

Roy.

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