Reuters – Women who eat about three servings of fish per week have a somewhat lower chance of having polyps found during a routine colonoscopy than women who eat just one serving every two weeks, according to a new study. The research doesn’t prove that seafood protects against polyps, but it “does increase our confidence that something real is going on,” said Dr. Edward Giovannucci, a professor at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, who was not involved in this study. Read article
WashingtonPost – India has joined China in saying it will not cut back on oil imports from Iran, despite stiff new U.S. and European sanctions designed to pressure Tehran over its nuclear program. “It is not possible for India to take any decision to reduce the import from Iran drastically because, after all, the countries which can provide the requirement of the emerging economy, Iran is an important country amongst them,” Read article
Independent – Three Iraqi soldiers have been killed in a bomb blast north of Baghdad, an Iraqi official said today. The attack came hours before the nation’s parliament is to reconvene after Sunni-backed politicians ended their boycott in protest at persecution of Sunni officials. Major Ghalib al-Karkhi, a police spokesman in Diyala province, said a parked car bomb was detonated near a military patrol in Baqouba late yesterday, killing three soldiers and injuring three others. Read Article
Associated Press – A federal judge said Tuesday that the U.S. government must notify Occupy DC protesters if it intends to evict them from a downtown Washington park and remove their tents and other belongings. The decision from U.S. District Judge James Boasberg means the protesters, part of one of the last major Occupy encampments, would have an opportunity to challenge any eviction beforehand. Read Article
Pro Publica – Freddie Mac agreed last month to stop making new bets against American homeowners after its regulator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, raised concerns, according to a statement the agency issued late Monday. Freddie, the taxpayer-owned mortgage giant, still retains $5 billion worth of such bets. Read Article
BBC – Two men who say they were rendered to Libya with the help of the UK have begun an action to sue one of Britain’s most senior former MI6 officers. Libyan dissidents Sami al-Saadi and Abdel Hakim Belhadj allege that Sir Mark Allen was complicit in their rendition and torture. Lawyers for the pair served papers on Friday, the first step in a civil action for damages. Sir Mark has declined to comment on the allegations and legal action. Read Article
Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine, Posted online on January 20, 2012. (doi:10.3109/15368378.2011.631068)
Brain proteome response following whole body exposure of mice to mobile phone or wireless DECT base radiation
Adamantia F. Fragopoulou1, Athina Samara2, Marianna H. Antonelou1, Anta Xanthopoulou3, Aggeliki Papadopoulou3, Konstantinos Vougas3, Eugenia Koutsogiannopoulou2, Ema Anastasiadou2, Dimitrios J. Stravopodis1, George Th. Tsangaris3, Lukas H. Margaritis1
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of two sources of electromagnetic fields (EMFs) on the proteome of cerebellum, hippocampus, and frontal lobe in Balb/c mice following long-term whole body irradiation. Three equally divided groups of animals (6 animals/group) were used; the first group was exposed to a typical mobile phone, at a SAR level range of 0.17–0.37 W/kg for 3 h daily for 8 months, the second group was exposed to a wireless DECT base (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications/Telephone) at a SAR level range of 0.012–0.028 W/kg for 8 h/day also for 8 months and the third group comprised the sham-exposed animals. Comparative proteomics analysis revealed that long-term irradiation from both EMF sources altered significantly (p < 0.05) the expression of 143 proteins in total (as low as 0.003 fold downregulation up to 114 fold overexpression). Several neural function related proteins (i.e., Glial Fibrillary Acidic Protein (GFAP), Alpha-synuclein, Glia Maturation Factor beta (GMF), and apolipoprotein E (apoE)), heat shock proteins, and cytoskeletal proteins (i.e., Neurofilaments and tropomodulin) are included in this list as well as proteins of the brain metabolism (i.e., Aspartate aminotransferase, Glutamate dehydrogenase) to nearly all brain regions studied. Western blot analysis on selected proteins confirmed the proteomics data. The observed protein expression changes may be related to brain plasticity alterations, indicative of oxidative stress in the nervous system or involved in apoptosis and might potentially explain human health hazards reported so far, such as headaches, sleep disturbance, fatigue, memory deficits, and brain tumor long-term induction under similar exposure conditions.
BBC – At least 13 people have been killed in air strikes on militants from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula in southern Yemen, residents and officials say. One tribal leader said at least four of the dead were local al-Qaeda leaders, the Reuters news agency reports. They were reportedly attacked by a drone in Abyan province. Read Article
BBC – US President Barack Obama has confirmed that unmanned drones regularly strike suspected militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Mr Obama called the strikes a “targeted focused effort at people who are on a list of active terrorists”. The US does not routinely speak publicly about drone operations. Mr Obama made his comments during an hour-long video “hangout” on Google’s social network, Google+, which was also streamed live on YouTube. More than 130,000 questions were submitted before the hangout began, and six people were invited to join the president online for the event. They were able to ask questions and seek follow-up answers from Mr Obama. Read Article
Bloomberg – Consumer spending stalled in December as Americans took advantage of a jump in incomes to restore depleted savings, indicating households remain focused on repairing finances. Purchases were little changed after rising 0.1 percent the prior month, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. Read Article
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ScienceDaily (Jan. 30, 2012) — A new University of Colorado Boulder-led study appears to answer contentious questions about the onset and cause of Earth’s Little Ice Age, a period of cooling temperatures that began after the Middle Ages and lasted into the late 19th century.
According to the new study, the Little Ice Age began abruptly between A.D. 1275 and 1300, triggered by repeated, explosive volcanism and sustained by a self- perpetuating sea ice-ocean feedback system in the North Atlantic Ocean, according to CU-Boulder Professor Gifford Miller, who led the study. The primary evidence comes from radiocarbon dates from dead vegetation emerging from rapidly melting icecaps on Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic, combined with ice and sediment core data from the poles and Iceland and from sea ice climate model simulations, said Miller.
While scientific estimates regarding the onset of the Little Ice Age range from the 13th century to the 16th century, there is little consensus, said Miller. There is evidence the Little Ice Age affected places as far away as South America and China, although it was particularly evident in northern Europe. Advancing glaciers in mountain valleys destroyed towns, and famous paintings from the period depict people ice skating on the Thames River in London and canals in the Netherlands, waterways that were ice-free in winter before and after the Little Ice Age.
Most scientists think the Little Ice Age was caused either by decreased summer solar radiation, erupting volcanoes that cooled the planet by ejecting shiny aerosol particles that reflected sunlight back into space, or a combination of both, said Miller.
The new study suggests that the onset of the Little Ice Age was caused by an unusual, 50-year-long episode of four massive tropical volcanic eruptions. Climate models used in the new study showed that the persistence of cold summers following the eruptions is best explained by a sea ice-ocean feedback system originating in the North Atlantic Ocean. Read Article
Telegraph – Hundreds of soldiers from 3rd battalion The Parachute Regiment spent last week learning how to contain and arrest “rioters” in a series of exercises mirroring last summers violence. Defence sources have confirmed that if violence were to return to British cities, especially during the Olympic Games, the Paras would be “ideally placed” to provide “short-term” support to police forces around the UK. Read Article
Nature – The US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) today outlines, for the first time, the rationale behind its request for two H5N1 influenza papers to be published in a redacted form. As well as publishing the full statement, Nature also releases a related Q&A with the acting chair of the NSABB. Read article
HuffingtonPost – A Republican member of the Indiana General Assembly withdrew his bill to create a pilot program for drug testing welfare applicants Friday after one of his Democratic colleagues amended the measure to require drug testing for lawmakers. “There was an amendment offered today that required drug testing for legislators as well and it passed, which led me to have to then withdraw the bill,” said Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), sponsor of the original welfare drug testing bill. Read article
CNBC – The Pentagon doesn’t know what happened to more than $100 million in cash held at Saddam Hussein’s palace in Baghdad during the Iraq war, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. What’s more, the Pentagon can’t find documents to explain what it spent as much as $1.7 billion on from funds held on behalf of the Iraqi government by the New York Federal Reserve, the report says. The missing records raise new questions about how the US government handled billions of dollars in Iraqi funds during the war. Read Article
Naval Today – The carrier group based in Norfolk, VA will also include a guided missile cruiser and three guided missile destroyers, reports Interfax. USS Abraham Lincoln had already entered the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz on Jan 22. She is escorted by a guided missile cruiser and two destroyers (USN), one British and one French warships. Meanwhile, another US Navy’s carrier strike carrier group headed by USS Carl Vinson is stationed eastward the Strait of Hormuz, in northern part of the Arabian Sea washing southwest coast of Iran. Read Article
NPR – Farmed salmon, that ubiquitous pink fish decorated with ribbons of fat, can thank the forage fish of the southern Pacific ocean – like anchovy and jack mackerel – for their calorie-rich diet. Indeed, more than 5 pounds of jack mackerel typically can go towards raising one pound of farmed salmon. … “This is the last of the buffaloes,” Daniel Pauly, an oceanographer at the University of British Columbia, told ICIJ. “When they’re [the mackerel are] gone, everything will be gone … This is the closing of the frontier.” Read article
Herald Sun – Australia’s major banks have been placed on “negative” ratings watch amid renewed concerns about their reliance on global funding markets. Fitch Ratings last night warned the banks had “weaker funding profiles” than global peers with similar credit ratings. Industry insiders said the move potentially provided the lenders with cover to pass on only part of any cut to the official interest rate next week. Read Article
Guardian – He has been described as everything from Messianic visionary to terrorist, courageous battler for government accountability to sexual abuser. So why not chatshow host? That is the latest surprise incarnation announced by Julian Assange, who last week revealed his next step, after 13 months on bail fighting extradition to Sweden over sex assault accusations, would be to host a series of televised interviews with “iconoclasts, visionaries and power insiders” on the theme the world tomorrow”. Read Article
Independent – As it is, the demolition of three houses here resulted in a series of “price tag” attacks by settlers, which included vandalised and burned mosques in several Palestinian villages. (Migron settlers are adamant none of them took part.) The Netanyahu government has now proposed a remarkable “compromise”, under which the outpost is removed to another approved site 2km away. It is still in occupied territory of course, but on officially designated “state land”.Read article
NY Times – As Syrian forces pushed rebels back from strongholds near Damascus on Monday, some of the world’s top diplomats converged on the United Nations to try to press President Bashar al-Assad to leave office through a Security Council resolution. Much of the attention focused on Russia, which stoutly opposes an Arab League proposal, backed by Western and Arab diplomats, that calls for Mr. Assad to cede power as part of a transition to democracy. Read Article