Linked by Howard Fosdick on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 12:12 UTC
Privacy, Security, Encryption If you're modest, think twice before having sex in your van, truck, or RV. Law enforcement uses roving vans with backscatter X-ray technology to peer inside vehicles (the same technology used in airport body scanners). In the Land of the Free, authorities don't request search warrants. More at Forbes here and here. What, you don't want an X-ray bath?
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RE[2]: Radiation?
by Alfman on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 23:15 UTC in reply to "RE: Radiation?"
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"Well, spontaneously, I'd say that it depends on the x-ray dose. Ordinary radiography doses should remain pretty much harmless as long as exposure remains exceptional."

Well, as I understand it, it's not the quantity that matters, but rather the odds that any given x-ray photon interacts with our cellular dna to create a mutation. What are the odds that any given exposure results in a cancerous mutation? Non-cancerous cell mutations probably aren't harmful when the cells just die off on their own, but I'm not sure about non-cancerous mutations that don't kill off the cell.

Assume a cell C undergoes a series of exposures resulting in various mutations a,b,c. My question is, would the cell still have become cancerous without all the previous mutations?

C[ ] -> original cell
C[ a ] -> benign mutation
C[ a , b ] -> benign mutation
C[ a , b , c ] -> first cancer symptoms
C[ b ] -> cancerous?
C[ c ] -> cancerous?
C[ b , c ] -> cancerous?
C[ a , c ] -> cancerous?

If any of the later 4 above are cancerous, it suggests a coincidence that the prior mutations did not result in cancer. If a cell has equal risk of contracting cancer at each exposure, then it places doubt on the common medical notion that x-rays are ok as long as they're infrequent.

If we could digitally test a cell's DNS for traces of cancer characteristics, then we could mathematically prove correlations between multiple mutations and cancer, I wonder if anyone's attempted it.

Edit: fix osnews formatting

Edited 2011-12-02 23:19 UTC

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