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Official: cellphones won't maim your brain

Mild heating, yes; memory loss, neuron scrambling, no

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Mobile phones wont fry or scramble brain cells, though they may slowly casserole them, according to a government study released today. The project, funded by the Department of Health, found no evidence that cellphones killed memory or worsened mental attention. Though they admitted there was "mild heating" of brain cells, according to today's Daily Telegraph. Researchers from the University of Bristol found emissions had strange effects on living tissue that could not be explained by radiation biology. The report, published in the International Journal of Radiation Biology, discovered warming in the brain that project leader Dr Alan Preece said needed further investigation. "I'm pretty sure there is no effect on short-term memory," said Preece. He added that reaction times to memory tests were even four per cent speedier in mobile users. Tests were carried out on 36 volunteers who were strapped to dummy headsets, unaware of whether the phones were switched on or off or transmitting analog or digital signals. The findings followed the European Parliaments recommendation last month that mobile phones be labelled with a health warning similar to cigarette packets (see previous story). There are around 15 million cellphone users in Britain. ®

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