Tagged With radiation

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Practically everyone who likes space and has lots of money is trying to get to Mars in the near future. But before anyone reaches the Red Planet, there are plenty of concerns to mull over, most notably that our bodies were not built to live in a barren litter box with a thin atmosphere. But the journey to Mars is an equal concern. An unnerving new study suggests that the trip to Mars could put passengers at a higher risk to develop cancer — possibly two times greater than what experts previously thought.

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A remotely-controlled robot sent to inspect and clean a damaged reactor at Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant had to be pulled early when its onboard camera went dark, the result of excess radiation. The abbreviated mission suggests that radiation levels inside the reactor are even higher than was reported last week — and that robots are going to have a hell of a time cleaning this mess up.

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In a breakthrough that will appeal to both spies and those who work with priceless but frail historical documents, researchers at MIT have developed a camera that uses terahertz radiation to peer at the text on pages of a book, without it having to be open.

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How does one read a book without opening it? Why would you want to read a closed book in the first place? While not a common problem, it's enough of one that MIT research scientist Barmak Heshmet decided to have a crack and came up with a system that uses terahertz radiation, femto-photography and air to read characters from a closed book, along with an algorithm that can give CAPTCHAs a run for their money.

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Image Cache: Since March 2011, a 50km radius around the ruined Fukushima Daiichi reactor has been a designated exclusion zone, unsafe to travel. Over 100,000 evacuees left in a hurry and left behind a snapshot of what life looked like in the moments just before they fled. A brave soul recently snuck in to photograph the apocalyptic scene today.

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Video: Radiation is all around us and too much of radiation is a bad thing so... are we all just screwed from all the radio waves and microwaves and ultraviolet radiation and rainbows and X-rays and radon and nuclear radiation in the world? Not exactly. Ted-Ed explains in the video animation below how not all radiation is created equal (we just have to protect ourselves from the ionising radiation) and details how much radiation is actually damaging for us (four Sieverts!).

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A recent edition of the ABC’s Catalyst programme looked into the issues of the health effects of electromagnetic (EM) radiation. The episode "takes a closer look at the link between mobile phones and brain cancer, and explores whether our wireless devices could be putting our health at risk".

Dr Devra Davis stated on the show, "With respect to mobile phones and brain cancer, the reality is every single well-designed study ever conducted finds an increased risk of brain cancer with the heaviest users, and the range of the risk is between 50 per cent to eightfold. That's a fact."

Experts have now spoken out about the program's findings.

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The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in 1986 had a devastating impact on the local population and forced 116,000 people to permanently leave their homes. But now researchers have discovered that, while the people may not have returned, the contaminated area of Belarus is teeming with wild animals, including elk, wild boar, deer and wolves. Perhaps surprisingly, many of these numbers seem to be on the rise and some of them are higher than in uncontaminated areas.

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Radiation tends to strike fear in the hearts of the general populace, particularly the ionizing variety produced by X-rays and radioactive elements. But most have no idea what actual radiation looks like. Now a French organisation called CloudyLabs has found a way to let us see the process in action using a simple cloud chamber.