Mobiles really do fry your brains: JAMA
Don’t yet know by how much
In the latest mobile health scare to hit the Interwebs, the Journal of the American Medical Association is reporting measurements of mobile use on brain chemistry.
Although the research is currently of “unknown clinical significance”, it’s bound to feed a frenzy of new stories threatening death and horror on anyone using a mobile.
In the study, published as a “preliminary communication” to JAMA, a research team led by Dr Nora Volkow used positron emission tomography (PET) to measure brain glucose metabolism with and without a mobile phone held against the head
The small study (it had 47 participants) found that while glucose metabolism across the brain as a whole was not affected by the presence of a mobile, things were different close to the antenna, where metabolism rose.
“The increases were significantly correlated with the estimated electromagnetic field amplitudes for both absolute metabolism … and normalized metabolism”, the article’s abstract states.
Whether this has any particular significance – whether, for example, increased glucose metabolism would lead to an increased cancer risk – is only speculative at this stage. ®
Nobody is suggesting that they cause instant death to everybody who uses them. We might have noticed that.
Mobiles have only been widely used for 15-20 years, and the amount of time people spend on them is continuously increasing as tariffs get cheaper. We can't judge the long term effects of current or future usage based on experience so far.
If somebody aged 10 or younger starts using a mobile for several hours a week, what will be the effect when they are 50 or 60? If there is a moderate risk they will die prematurely, they at least deserve to know. Some won't care, but some will.
Lets not forget that it took several hundred years of tobacco use in this country before anyone acknowledged the cancer risk.
Facts are elitist
Cue cries of "Luddites", "scaremongers"...
It's very sad, what's happened to debate in our society. We've reached a point where you *can't* even talk about "evidence", without a significant part of the audience assuming that you're lobbying for one side or the other, and reflexively lining up to ridicule you. (See Para 2 of the above story.)
Scientific method is doing its best, but it's up against democracy and free speech.
Where is Lewis when you need him?