October 23rd, 2008

treatment of adolescent scoliosis

Setting: Contemporary, New England area of the US
Attempted search terms: various combos of teen/adolesecent/idiopathic scoliosis treatment, full questions such as "how long will a teen with scoliosis need to wear a back brace", etc

I have a 17 year old girl diagnosed with scoliosis at age 13, with a 25 degree curve of her spine. If she was fitted with a back brace at the time of treatment (I don't know what kind of back brace--this can be flexible if it makes a different) and wears it as prescribed, for 22-23 hours per day, and refrains from heavy athletic activity and does yoga specifically designed for scoliosis patients, at what age would she likely be able to stop wearing the brace? From what I understand from my research, that's based on when bone growth is complete, but how would a doctor decide that she's reached her mature height or whatever other factors come into play?

And btw, the table on this website implies that a brace was barely necessary at a 25 degree curve--does that mean she'd wear the brace for less time than someone with a more severe curve?

Thanks in advance!

ETA: Thank you, I think I have what I need!

Biological attack by way of high altitude drones

I've tried googling for pesticide drift and drift calculators, but the closest I got was one that told me how many pesticides would end up in the water next to a field being cropdusted.

A group of high altitude drones (60 000 feet) are flying over agricultural land, and spraying a mixture of various biological agents. Said drones are mainly designed to be fast (near mach speed), have a remaining range of 300 km, and would probably rely on nozzles on the body rather than have a proper boom to deploy from. The drone will be travelling in a straight line.

My question is very simple how big an area could conceivably be covered by each drone? Assuming regular wind patterns nothing funny going on here. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Electrical Torture and aftermath

With NaNoWrMo around the corner, I have a few questions I want to ask before hand. Any sort of help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance!

Setting: Modern day, but with werewolves, and vampires and such.

1) I have a character that gets captured then tortured, a few times. She is a very fast healer, think healing factor, so I am assuming that after a few tries of cutting, her torturers would stop with that and instead go to something that would just cause a lot of pain. After a bit of thought, I figured that electrical shock would be a good way to do that. Is this a fair explanation?

2) How would you say getting shocked with electricity? I'm sure that there is an easier way of saying it then just electrical shock, but I can't think of any.

3) After doing some research, I found that the main fatality with electrical shocks would be the electricity messing with your hearts natural electrical charge, causing a heart attack. Is this correct?

4) She would be standing (her feet are secured to the floor), and her arms would be held outwards (there would be some freedom to the arms probably, but they would be out almost straight) and there would be thick things attached to her wrists that would be where the electricity would go through. How would her wrists look after an extended amount of time of having electricity pumped through there? I read that there is also a risk for burns with electrical shocks, so I'm assuming that there would be burns on her wrists, but I want to make sure. Would there be any other physical signs from the electricity?

5) What does getting shocked feel like? I've never gotten shocked with electricity, except once in school, which I don't remember much of except that it made my muscles jerk a little. Though she would be getting a much higher dose of electricity. Other then the pain, would there be any other side effects? I'm writing this in first-person, so anything could be helpful.

6) I'm also assuming that these experiences would give her a deep phobia of getting electrical shocks. What is the technical term for this? She would only be afraid of getting an electrical shock, even a very minor one, and not be afraid of, say, a wall socket.

7) What would be the steps that her boss (a rich guy who has the best people out there) take after they find her the first time? Err... perhaps I should ask, what would the psychologist do to talk to her about it? What if she doesn't want to think about it? Would they let it go, pry deeper, or is that a question that I have to answer for myself?

8) What other torture methods might they use? The first time they are trying to get information, but then they just like causing pain. They do not know anyone from her family, and they have limited time, as people would be trying to rescue her.

Thanks again, and if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them to the best of my abilities! 

Nicotine Poisoning

I'm looking for information on the absorption of nicotine through the skin, specifically how long a dose remains in the body.

My story is set in England, 1919, and involves an assassin trying to win a bet; he must kill the hostess of a party, without being detected, in the middle of her speech at a dinner party.

Cut for lengthCollapse )

Mods? There's nothing in the rules about whether we're allowed to tag our own posts, so I just haven't. But will if asked.