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.®

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