Cells 'react' to GSM signals claims research
Cellphone-cancer link generates headlines in under 10 minutes
New research claims that cells can react to a GSM-like signal in as little as ten minutes - though if whether this could causes cancer remains open to interpretation.
Those who believe that mobile phones do cause cancer, and/or a wide variety of other ailments, suffer from two problems: the fact that long-term studies have shown no causal link, and the fact that there is no known mechanism for phones to affect cells. This study would seem to address the latter issue.
Researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot exposed cells to signals at 875MHz (close to one of GSM's frequencies), the signal was very low-level in order to avoid heating the cells, which is known to have effects. The researchers then report (in Biochemical Journal) that the cells exhibited changes in their "ERK Pathways".
This doesn't mean the cells are cancerous. Indeed Simon Arthur, at the University of Dundee, is unimpressed; as reported by New Scientist:
"Transient and reversible activation such as this is unlikely to [cause cancer] ... transient activation of ERK1/2 occurs frequently in response to a huge variety of signals and is an essential component of many aspects of cellular physiology".
So what we have established is that it is possible for cells react to radio waves, but that their reaction is a long way from cancer. There also remains the first problem, that of long-term empirical studies, before we can point the accusing finger at our mobiles and relight our fags.®
Why just cell phones?
Why is it only cell phones which are accused in these scare stories? The 875Mhz frequency used in this study is a broadcast TV frequency in the UK, not used for cell phones. And TV transmitters typically transmit a LOT more power than cell phone ones. So shouldn't the headline read "X-Factor causes cancer" or suchlike? When we ban cell phones, we also need to ban all forms of radio and TV broadcasts, police, ambulance & fire communications, taxi companies, all air travel (or fly without radar), microwave ovens etc and go back into our caves!
Re: The Capitalist Argument
"By those who have no choice I mean people who currently rely on mobile communications to do their jobs.
Sales reps, service engineers, couriers, on-call medical professionals"
Sorry? RELY on mobiles to do their jobs? WTF did they use before the mobile then? Or were there no Sales reps et al pre-1980s?
Until there's hard evidence of mobiles causing cancer, people should just STFU.
And all the campaigners against masts - ok, if it were up to me, I'd remove all the masts from your area. See how long till you start bitching about no mobile coverage.
Please. Perspective. Get some.
The capitalism argument
People should be given the choice but you have to remember that there are some that have no choice and so that is why I make the argument for truely independent research.
By those who have no choice I mean people who currently rely on mobile communications to do their jobs.
Sales reps, service engineers, couriers, on-call medical professionals.
While the likes of you and I can exercise a choice (I'm assuming that you don't work in a job that relies on mobile communication)
IF a genunine problem were found then it may have more credence if the research was seen to be completely independent rather then being funded by one side or the other.
While in the case of smoking you could say that people have a choice as to where they work, we will always need people in the above jobs so the research should be carried out for their sake really as I'm sure some of them are in the hypersensitive group.
If we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that their symptoms aren't due to EMF (the recent UK gov/industry-funded study that proved most could not tell whether the mast was transmitting or not is a start but some might argue that as it's outcome was predictable due to its sponsors)
Therefore if directly funded by the likes of you and me, the research would be perceived as unbiased and thus reliable.
Personally I dont think there is a link between mobiles and health issues, apart from the stress caused when people receive large bills.
In fact, I'm more concerned about the long-term effects of numerous x-rays I've had prior to operations as I am disabled.
Think there's numerous other things we could investigate.
Scare about infrared remote controls, anyone?