Saturday, March 28, 2009
Ok, I admit that I'm not into following symbolic gestures such as "Earth Hour". But the loonies at RedState figure anything liberal must be socialism, communism, fascism or some sort of ism that they deem is not, I don't know.....patriotism? The RedStaters prove once again that they are more than willing to demonstrate against things that are in their own best interests.
Yes, another rant on DDT. You can read my other rants here, here, here and here. What brings on the latest rant you ask? It's the debut of "A Sense of Wonder", a film about Rachel Carson, at North Country Community College in celebration of National Women's History Month.
There is some disagreement about how much responsibility Rachel Carson deserves for the drastic reduction in the use of DDT to control malaria worldwide. Carson was not opposed to using DDT to control disease. However, the reduction in the use of DDT to control disease, especially malaria, has been attributed to her book "Silent Spring".
"Silent Spring" also led to the formation of the Environmental Defense Fund an organization I generally support. Unfortunately, on the issue of the use of DDT to control malaria, I'm of the opinion that the EDF provides some vary slanted information concerning the effects of DDT in humans (although they do somewhat support the use of DDT for indoor spraying in malaria control).
Concerning a relationship between cancer and DDT the EDF writes:
Most of what we know about DDT's toxicity to humans (as with many chemicals) is derived from laboratory-animal studies, which have demonstrated that DDT is likely to cause cancers and other health problems.EDF makes it sound like this relationship has been scientifically proven. According to the Malaria Foundation International which cites an article published in Lancet, it has not. Exotoxnet, a consortium of Cornell University, Michigan State University, Oregon State University and the University of California at Davis says
Thus it appears that DDT may have the potential to cause genotoxic effects in humans, but does not appear to be strongly mutagenicand, concerning cancer,
no significant associations were seen between DDT exposure and diseaseEDF also claims:
To attribute the resurgence in malaria to a failure to use one specific pesticide is not only misleading, it's incorrect.There is evidence and opinion that says otherwise, this article published in PLOS for instance or this article published in Science News.
Fortunately, the WHO is promoting the indoor use of DDT to prevent malaria. You can learn much more about how DDT prevent malaria by going here.
Friday, March 27, 2009
But check out these pictures:
The research station is located on Bear Cub Road in Lake Placid, NY. The fields are located behind the John Brown farm and the ski jumps.
The laboratory building, built in 1977, is in the background. Please paint the soles of your shoes before you enter past the gate.
Growing certified seed potatoes begins with replicating plants in test tubes with an agar growth media. Each plant is cut into several little stems containing germinal tissue which will replicate another potato plant.
Plants need to be checked for the presence of virus and bacterial infections.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
A resignation letter from an AIG executive has been published in the NYT. It is worth reading if only to hear from the other side of the AIG bonus "scandal".
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Here we are very slowly pushing through about an inch or inch and a half of ice. The ferry engines are really reving when this is occuring.
The ice breaking happened the return trip from VT to NY. The channel was completely open on the way over to VT.