Big Think Facebook Fans Vote Next Country Into The E.U.

The Facebook crew has spoken, and the next country that should enter the European Union is...

Turkey!


With a booming economy, an educated workforce and the second largest contribution to NATO, the country that bridges Europe and Asia has been waiting to enter the E.U. since 1987.

An entrance by Turkey into the Union would give Europe dramatically more strategic and economic clout in the region as well as shift the balance of power in Brussels. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, a vigorous supporter of Turkey's entrance, has said, "the accession of Turkey would give the E.U. a decisive role for stability in the eastern part of the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, which is clearly in the strategic interest of Europe."

To officially be accepted into the Union, Turkey would have to be unanimously approved by member states after satisfying 35 "acquis chapters" that grade the country on civil society, military, political and trade issues.

But Turkey's internal and external affairs continue to divide members. Controversy stems over Turkey's inconsistent dedication to human rights; poor relationships with its neighbors like Armenia and Kurdistan; and Islamic fundamentalism. There is also a sense that Turkish culture is fundamentally not European. Other opponents say allowing Turkey to enter the E.U. will lead to demands by other countries on Europe's periphery like Morocco for the same.

Turkey will have to wait at least until 2013--when the E.U.'s next six-year budget comes into effect--for the next potential vote on its European future.

We'll have to see how this week's elections turn out to know how the next Parliament will behold Turkey's prospects.

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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