History of Science Blogs (already?!)

As science on the internet matures, an actual history of science on the internet necessarily is spawning.  Scientific American columnist Bora Zivkovic has written an in-depth article going back into our recent memories: take a walk back in time to the days of usenets, html perl scripts and plain old flame wars.  

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/a-blog-around-the-clock/2012/07/10/science-blogs-definition-and-a-history/

See also: http://sandwalk.blogspot.com/ (evolution and history of science)

http://blogborygmi.blogspot.com/2004/09/grand-rounds-archive-upcoming-schedule.html (medicine)

Pandas’ Thumb: http://pandasthumb.org/ (evolution)

 

 

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Hope and courag…

Hope and courage are on display at the 8th Annual Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization conference “Asbestos: An International Public Health Crisis”, March 30-April 1, 2012 at the Manhattan Beach Marriott.  Director Linda Reinstein has moved mountains to assemble world leaders in science, law and public policy on the current state of asbestos research, mesothelioma cures and the effort to ban asbestos worldwide.  Check out the proceedings at http://www.asbestosdiseaseawareness.org and by searching on the hashtag #adao on Twitter.  

Fraley v Facebook: We are all truly Famous now

Were you wondering if Facebook’s privacy policy (or should we say, anti-privacy policy) is constitutional? Legal? Ethical? Well, the good folks at Covington & Burling have tried to answer that for you in the Stanford Law Review.

What is really fascinating is reading what the real computer geeks think about this at Slashdot.

Compare, contrast, discuss.

India faces asbestos epidemic according to The Lancet

A report in the influential medical journal "The Lancet" shows how the deadly work of the Canadian Chrysotile Institute continues to kill and maim thousands every year in developing nations.  A silent Bhopal is happening every year — here are some shocking statistics:

From 2000—07, India 's use of asbestos rose from roughly 125 000 metric tonnes to about 300 000. Nearly all of India 's asbestos is mixed with cement to form roofing sheets. Bolstered by asbestos import tariffs that have been reduced from 78% in the mid-1990s to 15% by 2004, the country's asbestos-cement industry is increasing by roughly 10% every year, employing in excess of 100 000 people. Since 2003, companies no longer require a special licence to import chrysotile.

Since 1960, India has incorporated about 7 million tonnes of asbestos into its buildings. The health consequences are already apparent, but the scale of the problem is not clear. “The Government of India has a very poor, almost non-existent, system to record death and disease”, explains Arthur Frank from Drexel University , Philadelphia , PA , USA . Besides, cancer is not a notifiable disease. Frank cites a hospital in Mumbai which sees a dozen cases of mesothelioma every year. Studies have shown high rates of asbestosis among workers in the industry, including in those whose exposure to the material has spanned less than 5 years. “But I suspect that there has been no real assessment of [asbestos-related disease] to the point that you can get accurate figures”, Frank concedes".

To read more, go to The Lancet online at:  http://bit.ly/amJVqF

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Nanotubes: Do they cause cancers like mesothelioma?

A controversy is brewing regarding the health effects of new high-tech carbon nanotubes. These products are already in use in industries as wide ranging as high-end bicycle frame construction to electronics to medical applications.

According to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and US EPA, the answer may be yes. While this is a hot area of research and corporate growth, preventing another massive, quiet epidemic of cancer is worth the wait.

See also:

Centers for Disease Control:
http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/blog/nsb052008_nano.html
2. Nanotech Firms Fear New EPA Regs:
http://www.kiplinger.com/businessresource/forecast/archive/nanotech-firms-fear-new-epa-regs.html

Are high-tech nanotubes merely artificial asbestos?

A controversy is brewing regarding the health effects of new high-tech carbon nanotubes.  These products are already in use in industries as wide ranging as high-end bicycle frame construction to electronics to medical applications.


According to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and US EPA, the answer may be yes.  While this is a hot area of research and corporate growth, preventing another massive, quiet epidemic of cancer is worth the wait.

See also:
  1. Centers for Disease Control:
2.  Nanotech Firms Fear New EPA Regs:

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Toxic tourists?

Toxic chemicals are migrating to pristine parts of the earth more than ever.  Read an excerpt from Elizabeth Grossman's new book on this subject at Scientific American:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-do-toxic-chemicals-move-around-planet

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Toxic chemicals as tourists?

Read an excerpt from Elizabeth Grossman’s important new book, “Chasing Molecules” about pollution that has made its way to Antarctica. While health care and climate change dominate the news, toxic chemicals are increasingly being used by 3rd world countries in alarming amounts. A global effort to combat these uses is needed. Read more at:

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=how-do-toxic-chemicals-move-around-planet

FDA bans flavored cigarettes

Fantastically, we finally have a ban on candy-flavored cigarettes.  And look for more restrictions coming in the future.  These restrictions are finally what the country needs to stop the health-related nightmare that is cigarette addiction.  Good job Obama’s FDA!

For more, read:

http://www.webmd.com/smoking-cessation/news/20090922/fda-bans-flavored-cigarettes

Bauman vs Daimler Chrysler: A winning dissent

On August 28, 2009, the 9th Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by persons allegedly tortured at the request of Mercedes-Benz personnel and their affiliation with the Argentine government in the 1980s.  The 9th Circuit dismissed the case, finding that the plaintiffs had failed to show "minimum contacts" Daimler Chrysler and Mercedes Benz USA.

What is striking about this opinion is the well-reasoned, lengthy and detailed dissent of Judge Stephen Reinhardt.  Judge Reinhardt explains that the 9th Circuit has now set the bar too high under the Constitution, and provides a scholarly road-map explaining why the case should be allowed to continue:

"In an increasingly complex and globalized economy, corporations such as [Daimler Chrysler] reap enormous profits from the sale of their goods in the United States, achieved through the use of distributors, frequently in the form of subsidiaries.  Many multinational companies organize their corporate structure and acquire subsidiaries for the sold purpose of obtaining maximal benefit in the American market.  ….Given these realities, and the continually evolving ways of doing business in an international area, it is a mistake for the majority to formalize and rigidify our test for personal jurisdiction with an overemphasis on control."

A must read for students of corporate jurisdiction.

Bauman et al. v. Daimler Chrysler, 2009 DJDAR 12916, AO 07-15386, August 28, 2009.

http://blogs.findlaw.com/ninth_circuit/2009/08/bauman-v-daimlerchrysler-corp-no-07-15386.html

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