[extropy-chat] ping

scerir scerir at libero.it
Wed Apr 18 17:49:34 UTC 2007

> If you're reading this message,
> you should not be reading this message.

But I'm not reading this message.

I'm reading the story of the bees here...


and here...

Are mobile phones wiping out our bees?
Scientists claim  radiation from handsets
are to blame for mysterious 'colony collapse'
of bees.

By Geoffrey Lean and Harriet Shawcross
Published: 15 April 2007

It seems like the plot of a particularly far-fetched horror film. But  some
scientists suggest that our love of the mobile phone could cause massive
shortages, as the world's harvests fail.

They are putting forward  the theory that radiation given off by mobile
phones and other hi-tech gadgets  is a possible answer to one of the more
mysteries ever to happen in the  natural world - the abrupt disappearance of
the bees that pollinate crops. Late  last week, some bee-keepers claimed
the phenomenon - which started in the  US, then spread to continental
Europe -
was beginning to hit Britain as  well.

The theory is that radiation from mobile phones interferes with  bees'
navigation systems, preventing the famously homeloving species from  finding
way back to their hives. Improbable as it may seem, there is now  evidence
back this up.

Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) occurs when a hive's  inhabitants suddenly
disappear, leaving only queens, eggs and a few immature  workers, like so
apian Mary Celestes. The vanished bees are never found,  but thought to die
singly far from home. The parasites, wildlife and other bees  that normally
the honey and pollen left behind when a colony dies, refuse  to go anywhere
near the abandoned hives.
The alarm was first sounded last  autumn, but has now hit half of all
American states. The West Coast is thought  to have lost 60 per cent of its
commercial bee population, with 70 per cent  missing on the East Coast.

CCD has since spread to Germany, Switzerland,  Spain, Portugal, Italy and
Greece. And last week John Chapple, one of London's  biggest bee-keepers,
announced that 23 of his 40 hives have been abruptly  abandoned.

Other apiarists have recorded losses in Scotland, Wales and  north-west
England, but the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural  Affairs
"There is absolutely no evidence of CCD in the UK."

The  implications of the spread are alarming. Most of the world's crops
depend on  pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees
disappeared,  "man would have only four years of life left".

No one knows why it is  happening. Theories involving mites, pesticides,
global warming and GM crops  have been proposed, but all have drawbacks.
German research has long shown  that bees' behaviour changes near power
Now a limited study at Landau  University has found that bees refuse to
return to their hives when mobile  phones are placed nearby. Dr Jochen Kuhn,
carried it out, said this could  provide a "hint" to a possible cause.

Dr George Carlo, who headed a  massive study by the US government and mobile
phone industry of hazards from  mobiles in the Nineties, said: "I am
the possibility is  real."

The case against handsets

Evidence of dangers to  people from mobile phones is increasing. But proof
still lacking, largely  because many of the biggest perils, such as cancer,
take decades to show  up.

Most research on cancer has so far proved inconclusive. But an  official
Finnish study found that people who used the phones for more than 10  years
40 per cent more likely to get a brain tumour on the same side as  they held
the handset.
Equally alarming, blue-chip Swedish research revealed  that radiation from
mobile phones killed off brain cells, suggesting that  today's teenagers
go senile in the prime of their lives.

Studies in  India and the US have raised the possibility that men who use
mobile phones  heavily have reduced sperm counts. And, more prosaically,
have  identified the condition of "text thumb", a form of RSI from constant
Professor Sir William Stewart, who has headed two official  inquiries,
that children under eight should not use mobiles and made a  series of
recommendations, largely ignored by ministers.

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