Increasing cancer rates among firefighters has become a major issue facing all departments and municipalities. The NFPA and the IAFF are both conducting ongoing research and analysis into this serious problem. Incidents of throat, thyroid and even testicular cancer among firefighters are increasing at an alarming rate. For example in Miami Dade cancer is affecting one out of every 2 firefighters and this video from Boston’s FD shows what a serious issue this has become.
A major reason for the increase in cancer instances are the chemicals firefighters encounter during structure fires. Products used commonly today including modern furniture finishes, plastics and other chemicals are creating a deadly mixture. Once worn in a fire situation where toxins are present, the fire gear worn becomes contaminated. When a firefighter sweats, toxins enter the system through open pores where the gear comes in contact with the skin. This is particularly common in the neck and head region.
Contaminated gear is then worn for all calls, 95% of which aren’t fires. Firefighters naturally sweat when they work increasing opportunities for toxins to enter the system.
There is much research currently being done to develop products and other solutions to this. Examples include the H41 Hood from Fire-Dex featuring a Nano filter to catch particles up to .2 microns and these CeBeR Equipment Wipes designed to remove contaminants from equipment after use. Filtered hoods and other cancer preventing equipment will most likely become NFPA requirements in the future.
Chinese scientists have genetically engineered purple rice, which is rich in antioxidants(Credit: Qinlong Zhu/South China Agricultural University)
Chinese scientists genetically engineered purple rice that is rich in antioxidants and may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The added health benefits of the new rice are due to the increased levels of anthocyanins. Not only do these compounds boost antioxidant activity, which is linked to reduced risks of cancer, heart disease and diabetes, they also give foods like blueberries and red grapes their eye-catching coloration. As a result, the new rice breed has a rich purple pigment.
The next phase for the team involves studying how safe the new purple rice is to eat, and whether the technique can be applied to other cereals. Eventually, the researchers say the technique could be used to increase the levels of other nutrients and chemicals in plants.
Rutgers engineers have invented biosensor technology – aka lab on a chip – that could be used in hand-held or wearable devices to monitor your health and exposure to dangerous bacteria, viruses and pollutants.
Electronic detection of microparticles allows for ultra-compact instruments needed for wearable devices. The Rutgers researchers’ technique for barcoding particles is, for the first time, fully electronic. That allows biosensors to be shrunken to the size of a wearable band or a micro-chip, the study says.
The technology is over 95 percent accurate in identifying biomarkers and fine-tuning is underway to make it 100 percent accurate. The team is also working on portable detection of microrganisms, including disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Should be available in about two years.
CRISPR gene-editing technology has been the new rave in the medical world. Showing potential for treating diseases ranging from cancerto type 2 diabetes, the technology has been moving full-steam ahead, with a trial in humans already started, even as the repercussions of gene editing remain largely unknown.
A recent study has highlighted the uncertainties, showing that unintended mutations may result when you dice and splice the human genome, they it’s too ealy to say whether the mutations are a cause for alarm.
Dr Paul Ong, Technical Officer, Innovation for Healthy Ageing at the World Health Organization, says “ageing, on the whole, is “a good thing” for the world, and governments should not see it as a “threat”. He says, being old is, in fact, a sign of “successful development,” he says. “It means that a majority of people are now living to a much older age.”
Medical marijuana is currently legal in roughly 28 states (and Washington, D.C.), and recreational use is now legal in eight states—there’s been a wave of entrepreneurs sparking up new streams of income in the marijuana business. But it’s mostly whites who are making a profit from this “green rush.”Outside of the celebrity-endorsed bud brands, there are just a handful of everyday black folk who have been successful in opening up a cannabis company of their own or attaining leadership positions for existing weed businesses.
Read More, According to an investigative report by Buzzfeed, only 1 percent (fewer than three dozen) of the 3,200 to 3,600 marijuana dispensaries in America are black-owned.