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Cell Phone Radiation Excites the Brain 115

frostilicus2 writes "The Register is reporting that Italian researchers have shown that radiation from mobile phones can excite the brain's cortex. A region that is "responsible for many higher faculties". They even claim that such an effect could be beneficial to some conditions."
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Cell Phone Radiation Excites the Brain

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  • Great! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ohreally_factor ( 593551 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:42AM (#15604728) Journal
    This should be a boon for the phone sex industry.
  • Heh (Score:1, Funny)

    by Rendo ( 918276 )
    People that overuse their cell phone are usually braindead to begin with, so at least SOMETHING is happening in their brains.
    • I know an 18 year old high school dropout who is currently sitting in a county jail in Texas waiting to be transported to prison. The toughest part of being in jail for him is not having a cell phone to keep in touch with all his "friends".

      He recevied probation for drug and theft charges and never made the slightest effort to do anything required for the probation. Although he claims to have had permission from the probation officer to move out of the county, when the sheriff asked me where he was and I a
  • Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

    by suso ( 153703 ) * on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:43AM (#15604736) Homepage Journal
    They even claim that such an effect could be beneficial to some conditions.

    Counterpoint, so does that mean that in other conditions it is harmful. Like causing you to drive like a moron.
    • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

      by thebdj ( 768618 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:59AM (#15604833) Journal
      Counterpoint, so does that mean that in other conditions it is harmful. Like causing you to drive like a moron.

      You know, studies have actually been mixed in regards to this. Mythbusters even attempted to replicate a study that was performed; however, I was a bit skeptical of their approach since it relied on asking questions during the cell phone section that would require some degree of actual thinking and/or decision making. Most conversations I have had on a cell phone, even those not done while driving, have hardly required much thought. The calls I typically make are fairly normal conversation with either my mother or one of my friends.

      I believe that my driving is no worse with the cell phone since I drive one handed anyway, and I believe that for most phone conversations the drivers are no worse then those who are smoking, playing with the radio, or eating while they drive. In fact, I would not be surprised to find people are as poor at driving with a hands-free set for their phone as they are holding the phone. In reality, I think the worse distractions do not come from the phone, but from people who may be in the car. I cannot count the number of times I see the person driving take their eyes of the road in front of them to look at the wife, girlfriend, son/daughter, or other individual riding in the car with them. Maybe it is just me, but this is far more dangerous then having a conversation and keeping your eyes on the road.
      • Re:Ummm (Score:4, Insightful)

        by MyLongNickName ( 822545 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:47AM (#15605134) Journal
        Most conversations I have had on a cell phone, even those not done while driving, have hardly required much thought.

        Maybe not. But there is that rare occasion where you suddenly need 100% brain power to make a quick decision. If you are engrossed in a phone conversation, it ain't there. Sorry. I should not be subject to your lack of attention on the road.

        And how do you drive with a cell in your hand? Turn signals are NOT optional despite popular opinion. When you are actually driving, do you take you "free hand" off the wheel to use it? Or do you just changes lanes, and leave it to everyone else to just deal with it?
        • And how do you drive with a cell in your hand? Turn signals are NOT optional despite popular opinion. When you are actually driving, do you take you "free hand" off the wheel to use it?

          Where did you find a car that requires you to remove your hand from the wheel to use the turn signal?

          Now if you were talking about driving a manual transmission where the shifter is not on the steering column, then maybe you'd have a point. But then you don't see people talking about banning manual transmissions as being a d
          • Now if you were talking about driving a manual transmission where the shifter is not on the steering column, then maybe you'd have a point.

            Even if the shifter were on the steering column (pretty uncommon in cars made after oh, about 1965) how would you drive one-handed? "Sorry for skating across three lanes of traffic, officer. I was trying to put it in third."
            • I drive my 5-speed manual truck one-handed all the time (yes on the phone, though not that often, as I usually prefer music over a conversation), while still managing to use the turn signals....its not that hard.

              As for being able to react, I drive one-handed normally anyways, and how long does it take to throw the cell phone on the seat and react?

              I definately find that I have less of a reaction time if my fiance is with me and we are talking about something or I am gazing/staring at her than if I am talk

            • Re:Ummm (Score:1, Funny)

              by Eternauta3k ( 680157 )
              Even if the shifter were on the steering column (pretty uncommon in cars made after oh, about 1965) how would you drive one-handed? "Sorry for skating across three lanes of traffic, officer. I was trying to put it in third."
              That's why god gave you KNEES
            • Even if the shifter were on the steering column (pretty uncommon in cars made after oh, about 1965)

              My 2007-model car has paddle shifters on the steering wheel. There is also a PRNDS shifter between the front seats, but I don't need to use it while in motion. It is an automatic transmission where in D the car does the shifting and in S you do it yourself, with no clutch. (You can still override the gear temporarily in D with the shifters.)

              how would you drive one-handed? "Sorry for skating across three la
            • Even if the shifter were on the steering column (pretty uncommon in cars made after oh, about 1965) [...]

              I had a 1971 Dodge somethingorother which had a manual shifter on the steering column ("three on the tree", with the neat mnemonic that backing up was "back and up").

              I don't know how long after 1971 they stopped making that model; on a galactic scale, you're accurate. ;-)

        • Sorry. I should not be subject to your lack of attention on the road.

          So should people not be allowed to listen to and sing along with music, because I've seen some people that are deffinitely not paying attention to the road while "rocking out" to their music. Or not allowed to eat in their car? I've had seen several businessmen veer out of their lane after spilling some sort of sauce on their shirt. How about we eliminate carpool lanes and not allow passengers, since you are more likely to have more e
          • "Or not allowed to eat in their car? I've had seen several businessmen veer out of their lane after spilling some sort of sauce on their shirt."

            Damn right - no way you should be eating if you are driving.

            "How about we eliminate carpool lanes and not allow passengers, since you are more likely to have more engrossing conversations with them since you also have body language to process and pay attention to."

            How about we be realistic and accept the fact that if you are driving you aren't going to be lookin

            • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Insightful)

              by drinkypoo ( 153816 )

              How about we be realistic and accept the fact that if you are driving you aren't going to be looking at the body language of your passenger

              If we are realistic, we can't accept that, because we know it's not true. We've been watching people talking to their passengers, even in the back seat, and turning around to listen to them. We've seen women turn around to smack their kid while driving in rush hour traffic. We've seen a wide range of human stupidity, and lack your faith in humanity, because we are no

              • We've been watching people talking to their passengers, even in the back seat, and turning around to listen to them.

                Yeah, that's illegal too. Believe it or not, the law actually requires the driver to watch the road. Therefore, your example carries no contrarian weight; all you've done is to shore up that cellular during driving is a bad idea.

                Some people can handle talking on the cellphone while driving

                Studies show they can't. I had friends in college who would insist they could handle driving drunk, too
                • And, luckily, if that's talking on a cellular phone, in better states like California, you will go right the fuck to jail, where you deserve to be.

                  You're an idiot if you think that. I see people talking on cellphones as they drive past cops all the time, both on and off the freeway. I live in California. It's also illegal to drive in the passing lane, which creates dangerous driving conditions, but they don't hand out tickets for that either. Maybe in SOME parts of California they actually write tickets

                  • And, luckily, if that's talking on a cellular phone, in better states like California, you will go right the fuck to jail, where you deserve to be.

                    You're an idiot if you think that.


                    The law allows for it, and San Diego County has been doing it for a year and a half. If I'm an idiot, I'm an idiot backed up by fact. Think I'm wrong? Try driving up Aero Drive and yakking on a cellular. You won't make it halfway to the mall.

                    Maybe in SOME parts of California they actually write tickets for that, but not anyw
                    • s/psychotic/psychopathic/g . Though, going by your responses to date, I'm sure you'll pretend that a simple near-word slip up which was immediately corrected is in fact indicative that I don't know what I'm talking about, or some other transparent and shallow self serving nonsense.
                    • The law allows for it, and San Diego County has been doing it for a year and a half. If I'm an idiot, I'm an idiot backed up by fact. Think I'm wrong? Try driving up Aero Drive and yakking on a cellular. You won't make it halfway to the mall.

                      You didn't say San Diego. You said California. If you don't want to be argued with, be precise.

                      You're just an antisocial psychopath like the rest. (Go look the clinical definition up. You're acting with complete disregard to the safety and practices of people aro

                    • If I actually believed that lawmakers had my best interests at heart, then I'd be a fucking ignorant sheeple like you are.

                      This attitude is one of the hallmarks of psychopathy, as is lashing out when criticised. You've displayed your hand, and are now marginalized. Thanks for doing my footwork for me.
                    • If I actually believed that lawmakers had my best interests at heart, then I'd be a fucking ignorant sheeple like you are.

                      This attitude is one of the hallmarks of psychopathy, as is lashing out when criticised. You've displayed your hand, and are now marginalized. Thanks for doing my footwork for me.

                      It's not paranoia if they really are out to get you. Again, if you don't believe they are, then you are paying insufficient attention. Meanwhile, you are clearly helping them maintain their control by pla

          • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Informative)

            by elvum ( 9344 ) *
            FWIW, it is illegal to use a phone while driving in the UK, unless you use a hands-free system. It's also illegal to do anything else that interferes with your control of the vehicle, including eating. Listening to music is considered to increase alertness more than it distracts. Scrabbling in the passenger footwell for tapes would probably be a no-no though...
          • So should people not be allowed to listen to and sing along with music

            I don't know if it's still like that but when I was in Germany it was illegal to play the radio while you were driving.

            Falcon
        • Like so many other things, the answer is probably "it depends" - for 90% of people, maybe it will never be a problem. For the other 10%, it's not a problem 90% of the time.

          But when those two 10%'s intersect, you have a problem.
        • Maybe not. But there is that rare occasion where you suddenly need 100% brain power to make a quick decision.

          That isn't determined by what you are doing, but rather your ability of your mind. People like to think we are equal, but a common neuroscientist will point out that this is pre-determined by education, genetics, and diet. Oh and don't forget health and sleep.

          A person talking on a cell phone who is well rested and well fed is less dangerous than a guy who has no sleep for over 24 hours and is compens
          • However, the real truth of the matter is that American multi-task way too much than their European counterparts. For example, in Germany they don't have cup holders. It is the common belief that when you drive, you just drive and nothing else.

            America is different from Germany. How often do Germans go on 8-hour drives? It's pretty common here. I can spend 8 hours just driving to the next state, or to the nearest major city. When you're on a drive that long, and that uneventful with few other cars even in
            • We just happen to use the same vehicles for both tasks. I'm just guessing, but Germans probably more frequently use trains when traveling long distances.

              When I was there travel by train was the most frequent method of traveling longer distances not just in Germany by in most of Europe. Trains were better suited for passenger travel there than it the US. However a few years back I heard that was changing, that air travel was becoming more popular. After 911 while airlines were hurting in the US, a few

        • I drive a stick shift, so I handle the wheel with one hand while the other works the gearshift. I manage by using my pinky finger to flick the signal-thingie when I change lanes.
        • Maybe not. But there is that rare occasion where you suddenly need 100% brain power to make a quick decision. If you are engrossed in a phone conversation, it ain't there. Sorry. I should not be subject to your lack of attention on the road.

          You're subject to it whether you wish to be or not. Not having a cell phone to my ear does not preclude me from talking to passengers in the car, being distracted by concerns over job security, having my attention on some other car, or just plain zoning out.

          And how do

        • And how do you drive with a cell in your hand? Turn signals are NOT optional despite popular opinion. When you are actually driving, do you take you "free hand" off the wheel to use it?

          Slide hand to left side of wheel. Extend finger(s). Use extended finger(s) to push turn signal lever up or down. Easy.

          (Note that I very, very rarely talk on my cellphone whether driving or not. I just drive one-handed the vast majority of the time.)
        • If something happens that requires full attention, I ignore the phone conversation. Many times on my cell phone in the car I say things like, "...Sorry, I wasn't paying attention, there was some idiot swerving into my lane." It involves the same amount mental shuffling as does speaking with someone in the car. It is less difficult than smoking or changing the CDs and no one wants to outlaw those in one's vehicle.

          Also, I can hit my turn signal using the hand with which I am driving without releasing the w
        • The beauty of my car...See driving left handed I can reach those pesky turn signals with my fingers. I see far more people who are not distracted and not using the things then me. BTW, I am 8+ years into my driving (5+ with cell phone) with no accidents *knock on wood*. Years of practice...long long years of practice.
        • Re:Ummm (Score:1, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Why hasn't anyone yet addressed the question I find most baffling?

          What the hell is so important that you have to make a phone call while driving? I can understand using it to try and find a close parking space to a friend, or maybe trying to find someone whom you're giving a ride to, but people on the road are having 20+ minute conversations.

          Seriously people, hang up the damn phone.
      • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by mrogers ( 85392 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:01AM (#15605226)
        My guess is that it's the brain, not the hands, that makes you more likely to have an accident while talking on the phone. When I'm on the phone, especially during a long call, I tend to notice a change in my spatial awareness: I become less aware of the space around me, and more aware of the space around the person I'm talking to, particularly if they're in a place with a lot of background noise or a place I can easily visualise.

        Good spatial awareness is essential for safe driving, and as you pointed out a lot of people drive with one hand anyway, so I wouldn't be surprised if the accident rate was equally high for people using hands-free phones. You could test this theory in a driving simulator by asking one group of subjects to perform a spatial awareness task (eg matching rotated shapes) and a second group to perform a verbal task (eg listening comprehension).

        • I would Mod Parent again. Well said my friend. I have come to the same conclusion. All the new cell phone laws that condone hands free sets as safe while using the handset as unsafe are rediculus(sp?). I have found myself making bad decisions while on a cell phone and many more occaisions where other drivers have made very dangerous moves while on phones.
      • Re:Ummm (Score:5, Insightful)

        by wbean ( 222522 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:51AM (#15605550)
        I live in the city and spend a lot of time walking around. I have reached the point where if I see a driver on a cell phone I assume that they will not see me and I stay well out of their way. They are in a little world of their own with very little awareness of what's around them.

        The NY Times had an interesting article on this recently [nytimes.com] (Times Select subscription required). Researchers put video cameras in cars and collected information about what was going on in the car in the seconds before an accident. The result was that "driver inattention was the overwhelming cause of the crashes in the study."

        My own opinion is that conversations inside the car are less distracting than cell phone conversations because the second party to the converstation is aware of the situation outside the car and knows when to shut up or to wait for an answer. The person on the other end of the cell phone conversation doesn't have this extra input and so the conversation doesn't have the natural breaks for heavy traffic that an in-car converstation would have.
        • My own opinion is that conversations inside the car are less distracting than cell phone conversations because the second party to the converstation is aware of the situation outside the car and knows when to shut up or to wait for an answer. The person on the other end of the cell phone conversation doesn't have this extra input and so the conversation doesn't have the natural breaks for heavy traffic that an in-car converstation would have.

          Mod parent up. I think this is a very good point. Passengers
      • I believe that my driving is no worse with the cell phone

        I don't care if you believe pixies will magically steer your car away from accidents. I'm telling you: People driving with cell phones drive worse than without the cell phone.

        This isn't an opinion, nor a belief, it's an observation.
        • So you have observed all people, and know that each and every one drives worse on a cell phone?

          What about those people who become less aggressive beause they're on the phone and they take extra precautions for just that reason?

          I believe your sample size is too small to be statistically useful.
      • The more distracted you are the worse off you'll be able to react in an emergency.

        Distractions come in many flavors besides cell phone use. Noisy kids in the back seat. Changing the radio dial. Unexpected construction signs. Flashing billboards. Other drivers honking. A news bulletin on the radio.

        It is each driver's responsibility to know how much each distraction will impair him and how much impairment he can handle given traffic and road conditions.

        On familiar road with little or no traffic and no u
      • Re:Ummm (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Your anecdotal evidence is contradicted by studies that have shown automobile drivers talking on cellphones are as accident prone and unsafe [google.com] as drunk drivers. Some countries ban cell phones and driving at the same time and make it an arrestable offense.

        My two cents:

        I bet if you take a survey of drivers who talk on their phones a large majority of them would say they are not causing problems. Just like you said about yourself. And most of them would be wrong.

        Also, I've had plenty of friends and coworkers cal

        • Your anecdotal evidence is contradicted by studies that have shown automobile drivers talking on cellphones are as accident prone and unsafe as drunk drivers. Some countries ban cell phones and driving at the same time and make it an arrestable offense.

          Studies have also shown that sleep deprivation is as bad as or worse than being legally drunk [eurekalert.org]: "The most severe effects of sleep inertia generally dissipated within the first 10 minutes, although its effects are often detectable for up to two hours, accor

          • Do we next arrest people for not having enough sleep?

            Excellent point. It's one of the major reasons why I think we should just scrap all of the laws banning "driving while X" and start enforcing the laws against reckless driving. A revolutionary idea, I know - removing people from the road because they're driving poorly instead of because of what's in their hand or how much sleep/food/booze they've had - but it seems to me like it just might work...
            • [...] I think we should just scrap all of the laws banning "driving while X" and start enforcing the laws against reckless driving.

              Amen to that. Actually there's a whole lot of car crap that's like that, for example emissions regulations. Why is the equipment on my vehicle at all significant? Just check my tailpipe. Worry about the results, not the method.

            • Do we next arrest people for not having enough sleep?

              It's one of the major reasons why I think we should just scrap all of the laws banning "driving while X" and start enforcing the laws against reckless driving. A revolutionary idea, I know - removing people from the road because they're driving poorly instead of because of what's in their hand or how much sleep/food/booze they've had - but it seems to me like it just might work...

              Agreed. Although I occassionally say something like "I wish there we

      • Driving can be easily impaired by things like:
        1) Conversations with other car occupants (can be quite distractions)
        2) Radio fiddling (or even just listening and grooving along)
        3) Operating cabin climate controls, navigation systems, etc.
        4) External stimuli (car accidents to gawk at, pretty girls to lead the eye, etc)
        5) Alcohol
        6) Drugs, prescription or otherwise
        7) Fatigue (Drowsiness probably kills as many people as cell phones ever will)
        8) Drinks and/or food in the car especially if consumed on the move
        9) L
      • You know, studies have actually been mixed in regards to this.

        I would actually like to see studies that show no effect. I'm actually quite familiar with studies that show that cell phone driving does have an effect and would like to see a good counterpoint. I recommend reading a post I wrote up in another discussion about David Strayers's work on dual-task interference and change blindness. [slashdot.org] Humans don't multitask all that well despite their own perceptions of their abilities.

        In fact, I would not be surpr
      • I believe that my driving is no worse with the cell phone since I drive one handed anyway,

        So? A lot of people believe that drive just as well stoned or drunk as they do sober - but the emprical evidence for all three is starkly clear; anything that distracts your attention from the road or impairs your reaction speed leads to an increase in accidents.
      • by jafac ( 1449 )
        My thinking is that it's the abstract thought that happens when you're in a phone conversation, sometimes you visualize the person's face, or something they're describing, or you're trying to remember something - and maybe this interferes with the driver's attention or ability to watch what's going on on the road.

        A good control would be to test cognative abilitity while driving with a handsfree (wired) - this would eliminate the variable of how many hands are on the steering wheel, and electromagnetic radia
      • One problem is that the person on the other end of the conversation can't see what is happening. If you are talking to your girlfriend/boyfriend in the car and something happens that requires your full attention, then they can stop immediately. The person on the other end of the phone can't anticipate that situation.
      • I believe that my driving is no worse with the cell phone since I drive one handed anyway, and I believe that for most phone conversations the drivers are no worse then those who are smoking, playing with the radio, or eating while they drive

        I always thought that the problem stemmed from having a specific source of sound that you're concentrating on, located only at one ear. It's very different from using a handsfree speakerphone, or from talking to other people in the car, where both ears pick up the nois

      • You know, studies have actually been mixed in regards to this.

        Every study I've ever seen claims cell phone driving to be worse than alcohol in as regards the effects on driving. Several people have claimed these studies are mixed; still, when I've asked for references, I've received none. I don't actually believe that there are studies which say otherwise. I believe that this is a case of people reporting misinformation they'd heard, something which is deeply offensive to those interested in factual argu
      • I'd like to see a study done with a referent based on the IQ of the driver. I'd bet heavily on people with IQs over 125 being way better at driving while talking on their cell than people 110 or less.
      • The world is filled with morons and shouldn't be driving a car.

        But the general public blames the cell phones.
    • Re:Ummm (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Smidge204 ( 605297 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:03AM (#15604862) Journal
      No, it could be that in other conditions it has no effect whatsoever. I know you're probably just trying to make a joke, but the exception is not always the exact polar opposite to the norm.

      Regarding driving like a moron: If you're using a cell phone while driving, you're probably already a moron. The cell phone is coincidental, not causal. :)
      =Smidge=
    • Re:Ummm (Score:3, Funny)

      by Guppy06 ( 410832 )
      "Like causing you to drive like a moron."

      Because nobody drove like a moron before the invention of the cell phone?
    • Re:Ummm (Score:2, Funny)

      by dushkin ( 965522 )
      What's that got to do with radiation? It's to do with gender! ;)
    • Counterpoint, so does that mean that in other conditions it is harmful. Like causing you to drive like a moron.

      Certainly does. A number of tymes I've had to avoid accidents when someone was talking on their cellphone while driving. If these people must talk on thier cellphone while driving the least they can do is get a handsfree setup so one arm isn't glued to their head!

      Falcon
  • ...is not one of those 'high level faculties'.
  • Young male volunteers at Fatebenefratelli hospital in Milan used a GSM900 device for 45 minutes. Reporting in the journal Annals of Neurology, Dr Paolo Rossini and colleagues then measured activity in the motor cortex, located near the ear. Powerful magnets aimed at the motor cortex have been shown to induce muscles to twitch.

    It might explain while people can't seem to walk and talk on their mobile phone at the same time.

    • It might explain while people can't seem to walk and talk on their mobile phone at the same time. /blockquote>

      Oh, they can talk ... they just can't listen. That's why they're always going "Can you hear me now? What? Can you hear me now? What? Can you ..."

    • It might explain while people can't seem to walk and talk on their mobile phone at the same time.

      Dear God, what if they were also trying to chew gum? Just think of the carnage!
    • Powerful magnets aimed at the motor cortex have been shown to induce muscles to twitch.

      Really? Moving magnetic fields can induce electrical potential in the brain? I wonder which psychologist figured that out...
  • It obviously doesn't excite the part of the brain that controls someone's ability to drive worth a damn.
  • by quokkapox ( 847798 ) <quokkapox@gmail.com> on Monday June 26, 2006 @08:56AM (#15604820)
    Talking on the cell phone will activate your cortex. Ok. So where's the control group that talked on a wired phone instead and showed a lower level of cortical activity?
  • by DavidBorgioli ( 522427 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @09:00AM (#15604839)
    It is an interesting article but way too short to tell us anything. With just 15 subjects the sample group is likely way too small to draw any conclusions. It may be enough however to secure more research money.
  • Pseudo-science (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    No no, cell-phone radiation doesn't cause brain cancer - see, it's actually good for you! It sounds like the same kind of PR tactics climate-change "skeptics" employ - just causing doubt and confusion around an issue - and putting it out in the popular press. I wonder who is publicizing these results?
  • Then why do I always feel slightly dumber after talking on one of the damn things?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:06AM (#15605249)
    Without having read the actual scientific journal article (but just the very unscientific coverage of it), I have serious reservations about the study: 1) Cell phone radiation is of sufficiently low energy that I am not sure it can even penetrate INTO the brain. I am not sure this has ever been conclusively shown. (I am a radiation oncologist by trade. We deal with much higher energy beams when treating patients. So I'm a little outside my training here. However, even some of the treatments we use only penetrate a centimeter or less, and these are much higher energy than radiation from cell phones, as far as I know.) 2) This study appears, at first blush, to make the error of assuming that association of two disparate events demonstrates cause and effect. If the brain is more active, their study design fails to prove that it is due to the radiation. Maybe the brain becomes more excitable because the study subject just got a phone call from a friend or loved one? Furthermore, does the motor cortex excitation show a "sidedness?" That is, if subject hold the phone against her right ear, versus their left, does it make a difference in the excitation of the right versus left motor cortex? It might be that the original article addresses some of these shortcomings.
    • Dude, you're trying to kill a cancer in a reasonable amount of time.

      The cell phone is chronic exposure. It damn well better not come even remotely close to the level needed for killing a large chunk of tissue deep inside the head.

    • No, microwaves can penetrate the brain with very little trouble at all. It's basically transparent to them, but every now and then a microwave will be absorbed by a molecule and heat it a little.

      And then your brain cools itself back down the same way it would if it were a hot day outside.

      Obviously it's theoretically possible that a lot of microwave photons could cause a lot of damage by heating the brain to the point where chemical change occurs. Your brain can cool itself quite comfortably if the hotspots don't heat up at a rate any more than 1K per hour - I've never actually heard of anyone checking that this is so, but I would expect that this was part of the initial safety testing when cell phones were first introduced.

      (Note that microwaves haven't enough energy to ionise the brain like your gamma or X rays do - they work by heating molecules rather than by ripping the electrons off an atom to change the chemical structure.)
      • That when that 1W of power (see above poster) goes through your brain, if, on a random chance, it should strike the DNA or growth inhibitor, it could spawn a cell that reproduces randomly and without restraint.

        Such a growth is called "Cancer".

        And now you have learned.
    • After saying that there is not effect, now they are saying that cell phone radiation is "good" for us. It reminds me about early studies on patent medicines with curium and radium. Oh, Boy! I can't want to have the first glow in the dark brain!
    • Without having read the actual scientific journal article (but just the very unscientific coverage of it), I have serious reservations about the study

      That tells us everything we need to know. You're worried about something you neither have read nor understood, but you feel empowered to tell other people how bad it is despite your ignorance.

      Don't you have the good sense to be ashamed of behaving this way?

      Cell phone radiation is of sufficiently low energy that I am not sure it can even penetrate INTO the bra
  • Aural Exciter (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:26AM (#15605389) Homepage Journal
    What happens when we're all using multimode 3G/WiMAX phones? Swedes in Gotene got their brains fried [google.com] by their recent WiMAX deployment. I'd call that "exciting the brain": exciting like a train wreck.
    • Re:Aural Exciter (Score:3, Insightful)

      by khallow ( 566160 )
      Assuming the story is for real, it doesn't mean that WiMAX is responsible, but rather that people are blaming WiMAX for health problems that cropped up then. After all, people will become unhealthy even under normal circumstances. Here, we have no comparison of the symptoms to what would normally occur nor any indication of how much exposure to radio frequencies these people are getting. My take is that this sounds like a mix of natural illness and hysteria gussied up as the WiMAX threat. It's the typical,
  • by EZLeeAmused ( 869996 ) on Monday June 26, 2006 @10:27AM (#15605394)
    It has been known for many years that cell phone radiation stimulates the brains of product liability lawyers.
  • The article mentions intra-cortical communication and the article suggests their findings may apply to the entire cortex, but really, they've only tested the temporal lobe.

    My overall reaction is positive. I have ADD, so I'll be strapping my phone to my forehead and talking on my earpiece in the hope that the radiation will go straight to my prefrontal cortex. I'll look silly, but I'm used to that, and there's a slim chance that maybe I'll stop losing my keys.
  • And they make you thinner and better looking too....

    -Todd

  • Now where did I put that tinfoil hat again?

"Mr. Spock succumbs to a powerful mating urge and nearly kills Captain Kirk." -- TV Guide, describing the Star Trek episode _Amok_Time_

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