There was a lot of talk about the “toxic soup” that filled New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, but now the first peer-reviewed scientific assessment says it was just that–talk. The flood water in New Orleans was no worse than ordinary, except in volume, according to a paper in the current issue of Environmental Science & Technology:
“What we had in New Orleans was basically a year’s worth of storm water flowing through the city in only a few days,” says study leader John Pardue, Ph.D., an environmental engineer and director of the Louisiana Water Resources Research Institute at LSU in Baton Rouge. “We still don’t think the floodwaters were safe, but it could have been a lot worse. It was not the chemical catastrophe some had expected.”
The most unsafe aspects of the water were high levels of bacteria and viruses and not exposure to chemicals. Gasoline was also a significant component of the water, somewhat elevated compared to normal. So the water was nothing great to slosh around in, but apparently it won’t do anyone any long-term harm, even after it soaks into the ground.
Think the television networks will be running any corrections?
Geoffrey Hinton tells us why he’s now scared of the tech he helped build
“I have suddenly switched my views on whether these things are going to be more intelligent than us.”
Deep learning pioneer Geoffrey Hinton has quit Google
Hinton will be speaking at EmTech Digital on Wednesday.
Video: Geoffrey Hinton talks about the “existential threat” of AI
Watch Hinton speak with Will Douglas Heaven, MIT Technology Review’s senior editor for AI, at EmTech Digital.
Doctors have performed brain surgery on a fetus in one of the first operations of its kind
A baby girl who developed a life-threatening brain condition was successfully treated before she was born—and is now a healthy seven-week-old.
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