– The Biggest Crooks In America Are Now The Cops (ZeroHedge, June 13, 2015):
The TSA Is a Complete Waste of Time
Today, we continue our series “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.” As you’ll recall, our premise is that in a world where everyone is a lawbreaker, it’s hard to spot the real criminals.
Below, we turn to the bad … Continue reading »
‘Designed’ to destroy your DNA …
– Judge Orders NYPD to Release Records on X-ray Vans (ProPublica, Jan 9, 2015):
The NYPD has a secretive program that uses unmarked vans with X-ray machines designed to detect bombs. ProPublica tried to find out more about it, but the NYPD refused to answer for three years.
This story was updated at 12:55 p.m.
A state judge has ordered the New York City Police Department to release records on a secretive program that uses unmarked vans equipped with X-ray machines to detect bombs.
The ruling follows a nearly three-year legal battle by ProPublica, which had requested police reports, training materials, contracts and any health and safety tests on the vans under the state’s Freedom of Information Law. Continue reading »
YouTube Added: 27.10.2013
Please help SHARE this prank & social expirement! This full body scanning prank and practical joke is based on a sad reality. We used a mobile scanner from http://www.inteli-tech.com to see how far we can take this trick on victims who were simply trying to do some shopping. SUBSCRIBE! http://bit.ly/10GNiYs #nudebodyscan #youhavenorights
We set up this prank downtown San Luis Obispo with a real body wand, hidden microphones and cameras. The goal was to see how far we could take this scanning and if people would let us! To our surprise, most people didn’t put up much of a fight and went along with the person ahead of them in line… which was our plant that we actual scanned again and again. People along the sidelines were freaking out as well and not sure how to intervene. Of course, once the gag was pushed to the limit, we all let the customer know it was a prank and and it was all love, hugs, high fives and laughs! 100% loved to be involved… but it does make you think!
NO! The last guy in the outtakes was NOT A PLANT. He was certainly a funny character who popped up on the radar that afternoon for sure. “Isn’t America free?” Awesome.
YouTube Added: 24.01.2013
Tags: 1984, Big Brother, Body Scanners, Constitution, Dictatorship, DNA, Fascism, George Orwell, Global News, Government, Health, Law, New World Order, NYPD, Politics, Society, Surveillance, Terahertz, U.S.
– NYPD Commissioner says department will begin testing a new high-tech device that scans for concealed weapons (NY Daily News, Jan 23, 2013):
The device, which tests for terahertz radiation, is small enough to be placed in a police vehicle or stationed at a street corner where gunplay is common
Get ready for scan-and-frisk.
The NYPD will soon deploy new technology allowing police to detect guns carried by criminals without using the typical pat-down procedure, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Wednesday.
The department just received a machine that reads terahertz — the natural energy emitted by people and inanimate objects — and allows police to view concealed weapons from a distance.
YouTube Added: 27.11.2012
Ashley Jessica and Jason Bermas visit Albany International on Black Friday to educate people about opting out of dangerous body scanners and filming intrusive pat downs.
– Major Airports to Remove Invasive X-ray, Body Scanners (CNBC, Oct 23, 2012):
TSA introduced the so-called Backscatter scanners, sometimes referred to as the “naked” X-ray machines, at U.S. airports in 2009. Many travelers were not happy that naked images of themselves were displayed to TSA officers in a nearby room. In addition to privacy concerns, travelers were concerned about radiation exposure.
– There is ‘no safe dose of radiation’ from TSA naked body scanners (Natural News, Aug 8, 2012):
Besides the fact that they are being operated by an agency that demonstrates on a daily basis a disdain and disregard for discretion, privacy, and professionalism, the Transportation Security Administration’s full-body backscatter x-ray machines are just not safe.
That’s the diagnosis of Dr. Dong Kim, the neurosurgeon who treated U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., when she was shot in the head in January 2011 by a crazed gunman in Tucson.
“There is really no absolutely safe dose of radiation,” said Kim, chair of the department of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Medical School. “Each exposure is additive, and there is no need to incur any extra radiation when there is an alternative.”
In fact, Kim says he doesn’t allow the TSA to irradiate him when he travels; he always opts for the individual pat down when passing through airport security. Continue reading »
– Court Demands TSA Explain Why It Is Defying Nude Body Scanner Order (Wired, Aug 1, 2012):
A federal appeals court Wednesday ordered the Transportation Security Administration to explain why it hasn’t complied with the court’s year-old decision demanding the agency hold public hearings concerning the rules and regulations pertaining to the so-called nude body scanners installed in U.S. airport security checkpoints.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit’s brief order came in response to the third request by the Electronic Privacy Information Center for the court to enforce its order.
A year ago, the circuit court, in a lawsuit brought by EPIC, set aside a constitutional challenge trying to stop the government from using intrusive body scanners across U.S. airports. But the decision on July 15, 2011 also ordered TSA “to act promptly” and hold public hearings and publicly adopt rules and regulations about the scanners’ use, which it has not done.
Watch the video here:
– Dr. Helen Caldicott (Co-Founder Of Physicians For Social Responsibility): What We Learned From Fukushima (Video – April 2, 2012)
Tags: Babies, Bill Clinton, Body Scanners, Cancer, Cesium-134, Cesium-137, Chernobyl, Children, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Economy, Environment, EU, Europe, Fukushima, George Bush, Government, Health, Helen Caldicott, Iodine-131, Iran, Japan, Leukaemia, Mikhail Gorbachev, Military, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Nuclear weapons, Plutonium, Politics, Pregnancy, Radiation, Ronald Reagan, Russia, Society, Strontium 90, Technology, Tritium, U.S., War, X-ray
Watch the video here:
– Dr. Helen Caldicott (Co-Founder Of Physicians For Social Responsibility): What We Learned From Fukushima (Video – April 2, 2012)
Tags: Babies, Bill Clinton, Body Scanners, Cancer, Cesium-134, Cesium-137, Chernobyl, Children, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Economy, Environment, EU, Europe, Fukushima, George Bush, Global News, Government, Health, Helen Caldicott, Iodine-131, Iran, Japan, Leukaemia, Mikhail Gorbachev, Military, Nuclear, Nuclear reactors, Nuclear weapons, Plutonium, Politics, Pregnancy, Radiation, Ronald Reagan, Russia, Society, Strontium 90, Technology, Tritium, U.S., War, X-ray
– Israeli Airport Security Expert: Full-Body Scanners Are Waste of Money (Vancouver Sun, Apr 23, 2010)
– TSA bars security guru from perv scanner testimony (The Register, Mar 26, 2012):
Security expert Bruce Schneier was been banned at the last minute from testifying in front of congress on the efficacy – or otherwise – of the US Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) much-maligned perv scanners.
Schneier is a long-time critic of the TSA’s policies for screening travelers, and was formally invited to appear before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure hearings. However, the TSA objected to his presence because he is currently involved in a legal case over the use of said scanners in US airports.
“I was looking forward to sitting next to a TSA person and challenging some of their statements. That would have been interesting,” Schneier told The Register. “The request to appear came from the committee itself, because they’d been reading my stuff on this and thought it would be interesting.”
– Israeli Airport Security Expert: Full-Body Scanners Are Waste of Money (Vancouver Sun, Apr 23, 2010)
A leading Israeli airport security expert says the Canadian government has wasted millions of dollars to install “useless” imaging machines at airports across the country.
“I don’t know why everybody is running to buy these expensive and useless machines. I can overcome the body scanners with enough explosives to bring down a Boeing 747,” Rafi Sela told parliamentarians probing the state of aviation safety in Canada.
“That’s why we haven’t put them in our airport,” Sela said, referring to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport, which has some of the toughest security in the world.
Transcript on Official Blog: http://tsaoutofourpants.wordpress.com/
Media / Official Inquiries: See Below for Contact
This video is here to demonstrate that the TSA’s insistence that the nude body scanner program is effective and necessary is nothing but a fraud, just like their claims that the program is safe (radiation what?) and non-invasive (nude pictures who?). This video is not intended to teach anyone how to commit criminal acts, nor is intended to help “the terrorists” — if I could figure this out, I’m sure they’ve long figured it out, and by exposing it to the public, we now have an opportunity to correct it. The scanners are now effectively worthless, as anyone can beat them with virtually no effort. The TSA has been provided this video in advance of it being made public to give them an opportunity to turn off the scanners and revert to the metal detectors. I personally believe they now have no choice but to turn them off.
Please share this video with your family, friends, and most importantly, elected officials in federal government. Make sure they understand that your vote is contingent on them fixing the abuse that 200,000 passengers face from the TSA on a daily basis.
– How to get ANYTHING through TSA nude body scanners: Blogger exposes loophole in $1billion fleet (Daily Mail, Mar 7, 2012):
Controversial nude body scanners used at U.S. airports have come under fire again – after a blogger claimed he could easily smuggle explosives through them onto a plane.
Engineer Jonathan Corbett has published a video where he shows how he took a small metal case through two of the TSA’s $1billion fleet in a special side pocket stitched into his shirt.
This is because, he suggests, the scanners blend metallic areas into the dark background – so if an object is not directly placed on the body, it will not show up on the scan.
The metallic box, he claims, would have set off an alarm had he passed through the old detecting system.
His revelation comes just weeks after Europe banned the ‘airport strip-searches’ over fears the X-ray technology could cause cancer.
– No opt-out rule for airport body scanners (ABC Melbourne, Feb. 6, 2012):
Civil libertarians are worried by proposed legislation meaning passengers will not be able to opt out of undergoing full body scans at Australian airports.
The Federal Government will introduce legislation this week so the technology can be rolled out in all of Australia’s international airports.
These criminals are destroying your health (and your DNA):
In case you still don’t know who to vote for:
– NYPD, Feds Testing Gun-Scanning Technology, But Civil Liberties Groups Up In Arms (CBS News, Jan. 17, 2012):
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The NYPD is stepping up their war against illegal guns, with a new tool that could detect weapons on someone as they walk down the street.
But is it violating your right to privacy?
Police, along with the U.S. Department of Defense, are researching new technology in a scanner placed on police vehicles that can detect concealed weapons.
– DHS’ X-ray scanners could be cancer risk to border crossers (CNET News, Jan. 12, 2012):
Even though a public outcry has prompted Homeland Security to move away from adding X-ray machines to airports–it purchased 300 body scanners last year that used alternative technology instead–it appears to be embracing them at U.S.-Mexico land border crossings as an efficient way to detect drugs, currency, and explosives.
A 63-page set of specifications (PDF), heavily redacted, obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center through the Freedom of Information Act, says the scanners must “be based on X-Ray or gamma technology,” which use potentially dangerous ionizing radiation at high energies, and “shall be capable of scanning cars, SUVs, motorcycles and busses.”
“Society will pay a huge price in cancer because of this,” John Sedat, professor of biochemistry and biophysics at the University of California at San Francisco, told CNET. Sedat has raised concerns about the health risks of X-ray scanners, and the European Commission in November prohibited their use in European airports.
Roving security teams increasingly visit train stations, subways and other mass transit sites to deter terrorism. Critics say it’s largely political theater.
– TSA screenings aren’t just for airports anymore (Los Angeles Times, Dec. 20, 2011):
Reporting from Charlotte, N.C. — Rick Vetter was rushing to board the Amtrak train in Charlotte, N.C., on a recent Sunday afternoon when a canine officer suddenly blocked the way.
Three federal air marshals in bulletproof vests and two officers trained to spot suspicious behavior watched closely as Seiko, a German shepherd, nosed Vetter’s trousers for chemical traces of a bomb. Radiation detectors carried by the marshals scanned the 57-year-old lawyer for concealed nuclear materials.
A sign at a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint instructs passengers about the use of the full-body scanner at O’Hare International Airport. (Getty Images)
– U.S. Government Glossed Over Cancer Concerns As It Rolled Out Airport X-Ray Scanners (ProPublica, Nov. 1, 2011):
Update (11/01): This story has been updated with a comment from The Chertoff Group, from which ProPublica had sought comment before publication.
Look for a PBS NewsHour story on X-ray body scanners, reported in conjunction with ProPublica, to air later this month.
On Sept. 23, 1998, a panel of radiation safety experts gathered at a Hilton hotel in Maryland to evaluate a new device that could detect hidden weapons and contraband. The machine, known as the Secure 1000, beamed X-rays at people to see underneath their clothing.
One after another, the experts convened by the Food and Drug Administration raised questions about the machine because it violated a longstanding principle in radiation safety — that humans shouldn’t be X-rayed unless there is a medical benefit.
“I think this is really a slippery slope,” said Jill Lipoti, who was the director of New Jersey’s radiation protection program. The device was already deployed in prisons; what was next, she and others asked — courthouses, schools, airports? “I am concerned … with expanding this type of product for the traveling public,” said another panelist, Stanley Savic, the vice president for safety at a large electronics company. “I think that would take this thing to an entirely different level of public health risk.”
The machine’s inventor, Steven W. Smith, assured the panelists that it was highly unlikely that the device would see widespread use in the near future. At the time, only 20 machines were in operation in the entire country.
“The places I think you are not going to see these in the next five years is lower-security facilities, particularly power plants, embassies, courthouses, airports and governments,” Smith said. “I would be extremely surprised in the next five to 10 years if the Secure 1000 is sold to any of these.”
Today, the United States has begun marching millions of airline passengers through the X-ray body scanners, parting ways with countries in Europe and elsewhere that have concluded that such widespread use of even low-level radiation poses an unacceptable health risk. The government is rolling out the X-ray scanners despite having a safer alternative that the Transportation Security Administration says is also highly effective.
– Redacting all but your privacy – DHS Voyeurism, Backscatter Vans and Body-scanners (Activist Post, August 18, 2011):
Apparently public information can be redacted into an unaccountable oblivion, and the only boundary to black-marks are your private parts where they end for the sake of voyeurism. EPIC’s Freedom of Information Act request was answered with what looks more like a Hubble malfunction than a document regarding body-scanners and mobile X-ray (Backscatter) vans. See PDF.
“ZBV” – Z Backscatter Van
The implication of such things are many, and it is not surprising that the very agency vigilantly attempting to criminalize normal civilians would want to keep these technologies as private as possible while applying them on the public. The good news – however hopeless – is that EPIC has filed suit to force disclosure of these documents. If it is the public who are to be the subjects of this technology, then it is the public who should be thoroughly informed of it. The DHS clearly opposes this, and seeks to covertly employ their spyware wherever they can. We really must ask where this will stop if left unchecked. The likeliest answer is that it will not.
TSA to retest airport body scanners for radiation
The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that it would retest every full-body X-ray scanner that emits ionizing radiation – 247 machines at 38 airports – after maintenance records on some of the devices showed radiation levels 10 times higher than expected.
The TSA says that the records reflect math mistakes and that all the machines are safe. Indeed, even the highest readings listed on some of the records – the numbers that the TSA says were mistakes – appear to be many times less than what the agency says a person absorbs through one day of natural background radiation.
Even so, the TSA has ordered the new tests out of “an abundance of caution to reassure the public,” spokesman Nicholas Kimball says. The tests will be finished by the end of the month, and the results will be released “as they are completed,” the agency said on its website.
The lawmaker behind a bill Texas that would levy felony charges against overly-touchy security personnel may be staunchly Republican, but he truly believes his cause isn’t one tied to the political left or right.
“We’re talking about what would be a criminal act in any other place,” Rep. David Simpson (R) told Raw Story on Monday. “If you viewed someone naked without their permission or consent, or as a condition of travel, it would be sexual harassment or vouyerism. If you touched people’s privates, that would be sexual assault.
“This is not a left or right issue,” he added. “They are treating American citizens with great indignity, and we’ve got to make this right.”
Though unlikely to pass — even with a GOP supermajority in the Texas legislature — Simpson’s proposal has become a cause célèbre for civil libertarians, many of whom adamantly oppose the TSA’s screening procedures.
The bill would amend a Texas statute pertaining to “the offensive touching of persons,” extending it to security personnel who conduct a search “without probable cause.”
That’s actually the exact wording used in the Constitution in the section outlining prohibitions on unreasonable search and seizure. The legal standard for a lawful search is probable cause: a requirement that law enforcement must meet before most judges will issue search warrants.
Tags: Barack Obama, Body Scanners, Civil liberties, Civil rights, Constitution, David Simpson, DHS, Freedom, Global News, Government, Homeland Security, New World Order, Police State, Politics, Surveillance, TSA, U.S.
The body scanners, bought in 2005 at a cost of £100,000 each, are “rotting” in the basement of the building in Brussels and have never been used.
When the scanners, which create an image of a person’s nude body, were eventually delivered to the Parliament in the autumn of 2005 MEPs objected to them being used in the building on privacy grounds.
Nikki Sinclair, a British independent MEP, said the Parliament tried to sell the machines but failed to do so.
The Homeland Security Department paid contractors millions of dollars to develop and study surveillance systems that could covertly track pedestrians and check under people’s clothing with airport-style body scanners as they enter train stations, bus depots or major events, newly released documents show.
Two contracts the department signed in 2005 and 2006 were part of its effort to acquire technology to find suicide bombers in a crowd of moving people, according to documents given to the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), a privacy-rights group that is suing Homeland Security.
The department dropped the projects in a “very early” phase after testing showed flaws, Homeland Security spokesman Bobby Whithorne says.
EPIC lawyer Ginger McCall says the project is disturbing nonetheless because it shows the department “obviously believed that this level of surveillance is acceptable when in fact it is not at all acceptable.”
A $1.9 million contract with Rapiscan Systems, which makes airport body scanners, asked the company to develop similar machines for “covert inspection of moving subjects” and to find explosives on suicide bombers “through clothing, backpacks and other packages.” The contract was signed in 2005.
Rapiscan’s airport body scanners require subjects to stand still while the machines create an image of passengers underneath their clothing to reveal hidden weapons. EPIC has sued the department to stop their use, saying the machines violate privacy.
Now the TSA denies what the DHS proposed before:
Body-scanners are so ‘safe’:
Full documents obtained by EPIC through a Freedom of Information Act request
Updated with the TSA’s response below, which denies implementing airport-style scans in mass transit.
(Forbes) — Giving Transportation Security Administration agents a peek under your clothes may soon be a practice that goes well beyond airport checkpoints. Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.
The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Wednesday published documents it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security showing that from 2006 to 2008 the agency planned a study of of new anti-terrorism technologies that EPIC believes raise serious privacy concerns. The projects range from what the DHS describes as “a walk through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest” to “covert inspection of moving subjects” employing the same backscatter imaging technology currently used in American airports.
The 173-page collection of contracts and reports, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, includes contracts with Siemens Corporations, Northeastern University, and Rapiscan Systems. The study was expected to cost more than $3.5 million.
One project allocated to Northeastern University and Siemens would mount backscatter x-ray scanners and video cameras on roving vans, along with other cameras on buildings and utility poles, to monitor groups of pedestrians, assess what they carried, and even track their eye movements. In another program, the researchers were asked to develop a system of long range x-ray scanning to determine what metal objects an individual might have on his or her body at distances up to thirty feet.
“This would allow them to take these technologies out of the airport and into other contexts like public streets, special events and ground transit,” says Ginger McCall, an attorney with EPIC. “It’s a clear violation of the fourth amendment that’s very invasive, not necessarily effective, and poses all the same radiation risks as the airport scans.”
– Homeland Security’s Offensive Comments At The We Won’t Fly Blog – Here Is One Of Them: “Fuck you, Fuck all you cocksuckers, you wont change anything. ride the bus, TSA is here to stay there doing a great job keeping americia safe.”
An undercover TSA agent was able to get through security at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport with a handgun during testing of the enhanced-imaging body scanners, according to a high-ranking, inside source at the Transportation Security Administration.
The source said the undercover agent carried a pistol in her undergarments when she put the body scanners to the test. The officer successfully made it through the airport’s body scanners every time she tried, the source said.
“In this case, where they had a test, and it was just a dismal failure as I’m told,” said Larry Wansley, former head of security at American Airlines. “As I’ve heard (it), you got a problem, especially with a fire arm.”
Wansley said covert testing by the TSA is commonplace — although failing should be rare.
The TSA insider who blew the whistle on the test also said that none of the TSA agents who failed to spot the gun on the scanned image were disciplined. The source said the agents continue to work the body scanners today.
“It was intentional then. It went this far to further the war on terror, to get body scanners in the airports, to increase the TSA’s budget, to renew the Patriot Act and whatever other reasons you wanna list.”
– Lawyer Kurt Haskell
Added: 26. Januar 2011
I contend that this story is just the tip of the iceberg into the US government’s black operations to further the Patriot Act, funding for Homeland Security and the TSA, and to keep intensity up for the so called War on Terror.
Respected lawyer and community leader, Kurt Haskell, has nothing to gain from pointing his finger at the federal government.
He witnessed the underwear bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, being whisked past security and led onto NorthWest Airlines flight 253, by a well-dressed man with an American accent- all without the passenger’s proper visa and passport documentation.
What the news piece doesn’t mention is that the State Dept did indeed put Mutallab on the plane, at the behest of “an unnamed US intelligence agency.”
Undersecretary Patrick F. Kennedy (Detroit news article was removed from web!).
THIS is why we are being groped, molested, and body scanned at the airport by the TSA! Because the government claims the underwear bomber is a real threat! Stand up America- the politicians say our rhetoric is dangerous. Maybe the government itself is terribly dangerous….
28/01/2011 – 13:34 by cybe
The US government is Al-Qaeda or better Al-CIAda:
“The truth is, there is no Islamic army or terrorist group called Al Qaeda. And any informed intelligence officer knows this. But there is a propaganda campaign to make the public believe in the presence of an identified entity representing the ‘devil’ only in order to drive the TV watcher to accept a unified international leadership for a war against terrorism. The country behind this propaganda is the US.”
– Robin Cook, Former British Foreign Secretary
While the application of scientific knowledge creates technology, sometimes the technology is later redefined by science. Such is the case with terahertz (THz) radiation, the energy waves that drive the technology of the TSA: back scatter airport scanners.
Emerging THz technological applications
THz waves are found between microwaves and infrared on the electromagnetic spectrum. This type of radiation was chosen for security devices because it can penetrate matter such as clothing, wood, paper and other porous material that’s non-conducting.
This type of radiation seems less threatening because it doesn’t penetrate deeply into the body and is believed to be harmless to both people and animals.
THz waves may have applications beyond security devices. Research has been done to determine the feasibility of using the radiation to detect tumors underneath the skin and for analyzing the chemical properties of various materials and compounds. The potential marketplace for THz driven technological applications may generate many billions of dollars in revenue.
Because of the potential profits, intense research on THz waves and applications has mushroomed over the last decade.
The past several years the possible health risks from cumulative exposure to THz waves was mostly dismissed. Experts pointed to THz photons and explained that they are not strong enough to ionize atoms or molecules; nor are they able to break the chains of chemical bonds. They assert—and it is true—that while higher energy photons like ultraviolet rays and X-rays are harmful, the lower energy ones like terahertz waves are basically harmless. [Softpedia.com]
While that is true, there are other biophysics at work. Some studies have shown that THZ can cause great genetic harm, while other similar studies have shown no such evidence of deleterious affects.
Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico recently published an abstract with colleagues, “DNA Breathing Dynamics in the Presence of a Terahertz Field” that reveals very disturbing—even shocking—evidence that the THz waves generated by TSA scanners is significantly damaging the DNA of the people being directed through the machines, and the TSA workers that are in close proximity to the scanners throughout their workday.
From the abstracts own synopsis:
“We consider the influence of a terahertz field on the breathing dynamics of double-stranded DNA. We model the spontaneous formation of spatially localized openings of a damped and driven DNA chain, and find that linear instabilities lead to dynamic dimerization, while true local strand separations require a threshold amplitude mechanism. Based on our results we argue that a specific terahertz radiation exposure may significantly affect the natural dynamics of DNA, and thereby influence intricate molecular processes involved in gene expression and DNA replication.”
In layman’s terms what Alexandrov and his team discovered is that the resonant effects of the THz waves bombarding humans unzips the double-stranded DNA molecule. This ripping apart of the twisted chain of DNA creates bubbles between the genes that can interfere with the processes of life itself: normal DNA replication and critical gene expression.
Other studies have not discovered this deadly effect on the DNA because the research only investigated ordinary resonant effects.
I am a biochemist working in the field of biophysics. Specifically, the lab I work in (as well as many others) has spent the better part of the last decade working on the molecular mechanism of how mutations in the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA2, result in cancer. The result of that work is that we now better understand that people who have a deficient BRCA2 gene are hypersensitive to DNA damage, which can be caused by a number of factors including: UV exposure, oxidative stress, improper chromosomal replication and segregation, and radiation exposure. The image below shows what happens to a chromosome of a normal cell when it is exposed to radiation. It most cases, this damage is repaired; however, at high doses or when there is a genetic defect, the cells either die or become cancerous.
Quite some time ago, I posted a short educational video that describes how BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations cause cancer. In short, when a person who has a mutation in one of these genes is exposed to environmental factors that cause DNA damage, they simply don’t repair the damage with the same efficiency as the general population. Over the course of their lifetime, the incremental exposures to relative small and seemingly safe doses of ionizing radiation (which is everything from UV light to X-rays to gamma radiation) statistically accumulate damage (or the effects of damage and improper repair) until the probability of developing cancer becomes almost certain. This is because BRCA1 and BRCA2 are both part of a molecular process that is very similar to the spell-check on your word processor (in oncology parlance, these genes are known as caretakers of the genome for this specific reason). When these genes don’t work, mutations accumulate faster and eventually results in cancer.
Its because of my interest in this aspect of cancer biology that I felt compelled to review the safety reports released on the TSA website here. However, my interest is not only professional, but also personal. My grandmother died of breast cancer in 2005 after being in remission for 20+ years. While she was never tested for either BRCA1 or BRCA2, her family history indicates that there is a strong probability of one of these mutations running in my family. Including my grandmother, at least four of her siblings developed cancer: two died of breast cancer, one developed a rare form of leukemia and another died of skin cancer. All of her female siblings had cancer, and its noteworthy that her mother died of a very young age (maybe 30’s or early 40’s) of an unknown (to me) cause. For these reasons, I fear that inadequate safety evaluation of these machines could unduly expose my family (and myself) to levels of radiation that might be harmful should this high familial cancer rate in fact be hereditary.
Last spring, a group of scientists at the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) including John Sedat Ph.D., David Agard Ph.D., Robert Stroud, Ph.D. and Marc Shuman, M.D. sent a letter of concern to the TSA regarding the implementation of their ‘Advanced Imaging Technology’, or body scanners as a routine method of security screening in US airports. Of specific concern is the scanner that uses X-ray back-scattering. In the letter they raise some interesting points, which I’ve quoted below:
- “Our overriding concern is the extent to which the safety of this scanning device has been adequately demonstrated. This can only be determined by a meeting of an impartial panel of experts that would include medical physicists and radiation biologists at which all of the available relevant data is reviewed.”
- “The X-ray dose from these devices has often been compared in the media to the cosmic ray exposure inherent to airplane travel or that of a chest X-ray. However, this comparison is very misleading: both the air travel cosmic ray exposure and chest X-rays have much higher X-ray energies and the health consequences are appropriately understood in terms of the whole body volume dose. In contrast, these new airport scanners are largely depositing their energy into the skin and immediately adjacent tissue, and since this is such a small fraction of body weight/vol, possibly by one to two orders of magnitude, the real dose to the skin is now high.”
- “In addition, it appears that real independent safety data do not exist.”
- “There is good reason to believe that these scanners will increase the risk of cancer to children and other vulnerable populations. We are unanimous in believing that the potential health consequences need to be rigorously studied before these scanners are adopted.”