This is outside the scope of this blog but when absurd assertions are reported unchallenged by the media, a Scientist is driven to comment.
A recent report made on Al-Jazeera TV station claimed that Yasser Arafat was poisoned by a radioactive substance.
The claims were made by a Swiss laboratory analysing samples of clothing purportedly used by Arafat before death.
These reports are nonsense for a simple reason: the most obvious symptom of radiation sickness is complete hair loss. The hair loss is rapid and affects hair on head and body.
This symptom is well recognised, predictable and can not be masked. There is no history of Arafat losing hair at any stage of his illness.
Which leads us to the question, why would nonsense such as this – well known by radiologists and medical professionals everywhere, be presented in the media unchallenged.
I don’t have an answer but readers are welcome to make suggestions.