Here’s why scientists are questioning whether ‘sonic attacks’ are real | Science News

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Here’s why scientists are questioning whether ‘sonic attacks’ are real

Using a sound wave to cause neurological damage would be hard to do

By
7:00am, June 1, 2018
Outside the US consulate in Guangzhou

SOUNDING OFF A U.S. government employee in China reported mysterious symptoms similar to those suffered by U.S. diplomats in Cuba during “sonic attacks.” Scientists are trying to figure out what really happened.

An account of another alleged “sonic attack” has surfaced, this time from a U.S. government employee in China. The employee reported “subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure,” according to a U.S. Embassy health alert. The episode mirrors reports from American diplomats in Cuba in late 2016, and fuels the debate among scientists about what, if anything, is actually happening.

Last year, 24 of the diplomats who reported sonic attacks in Cuba were tested to gauge whether lasting harm had occurred. In March, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia reported in JAMA that the people had balance and thinking problems, sleep disturbances and headaches, and that some had widespread injury to brain networks.

But some scientists and

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