No safe levels of radiation

In a recent press release, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission claims to be expert on the subject of “junk science.” I believe it. How else could the CNSC claim there is “no risk” to health from elevated levels of radioactive materials in the environment when so many major scientific bodies say the opposite? The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR) have all stressed that existing scientific evidence reveals no safe level of radiation exposure.

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Privatizing compassion – Squeezing a profit from HandyDART

by Dean Brown

A chilling rain falls in the Vancouver night. I sit in a bus outside St. Paul’s Hospital preparing to board a group of kidney dialysis patients and take them home. Exhausted by their ordeal of being hooked up to a machine for four hours, some of them shuffle forward on their own steam, determined and steady in their step, not too advanced in the disease. Some are slumped half asleep in a wheelchair. They are quiet, leaning on my arm, humbled by the unwanted circumstance of kidney failure.

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Shaping the body – The crisis in our closest relationship

by Susie Orbac

Every day, my inbox, like most people’s, fills with invitations to enlarge the size of my penis or my breasts, to purchase the pleasure and potency booster Viagra and to try the latest herbal or pharmaceutical preparation to lose weight. The exhortations have fooled the spam filter and the popular science pages, which too sing of implants and pills to augment body or brain and new methods of reproduction, which bypass conventional biology.

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IT vs TLC – Electronic medical records? Try listening first

by Marc Ringel, MD
illustration by Steve Sedam

As far back as you look, the history of science is rife with puzzlement over the relationship between mind, spirit, consciousness, and experience on one side, and body on the other. How to reconcile the subjectivity of human life with the objectivity of science continues to be a central issue of post-modern life, especially when it comes to healthcare.

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by Chris Jordan

Running the Numbers looks at contemporary American culture through the austere lens of statistics. Each image portrays a specific quantity of something: fifteen million sheets of office paper (five minutes of paper use); 106,000 aluminum cans (thirty seconds of can consumption) and so on. My hope is that images representing these quantities might have a different effect than the raw numbers alone, such as we find daily in articles and books. Statistics can feel abstract and anesthetizing, making it difficult to connect with and make meaning of 3.6 million SUV sales in one year, for example, or 2.3 million Americans in prison, or 32,000 breast augmentation surgeries in the U.S. every month.

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