January 7, 2009
Yet another ridiculous study out of the University of South Florida claims that cell phone radiation actually protects against brain disorders rather than cause them.
It’s another version of researchers promoting junk science at its best. The ludicrous study only done in mice, suggests that long-term exposure to electromagnetic frequencies (EMF) associated with cell phones may actually protect against, and even reverse, Alzheimer’s disease.
“It surprised us to find that cell phone exposure, begun in early adulthood, protects the memory of mice otherwise destined to develop Alzheimer’s symptoms,” said lead author Gary Arendash, PhD, USF Research Professor at the Florida ADRC. “It was even more astonishing that the electromagnetic waves generated by cell phones actually reversed memory impairment in old Alzheimer’s mice.”
The so-called researchers claim their study was “highly-controlled” and that they isolated the effects of cell phone exposure on memory from other lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise. Yes folks, we’re talking about the lifestyle factors of mice, but you can see where this is going.
So how did they achieve this magnificent feat you ask? Well, when scientists can’t get the results they want from animal testing, they genetically alter animals to achieve favorable results. This way, the biology of their lab rats is custom tailored to suit the objectives and conclusions desired by the scientists and their funding sources. It’s actually very common and this study is no different.
It involved mice, most of which were genetically altered to develop beta-amyloid plaques and memory problems mimicking Alzheimer’s disease as they aged. Think about what would happen if you radiated a genetically modified potato that was designed to be different that a potato found in nature. The cells of the genetically modified (GM) potato could react very differently from the natural potato to a given stimulus. They may be more susceptible or resistant to the radiated dose depending on how the GM potato was designed specifically for that purpose. The same principal can be achieved with rodents.
The conditions of the experiment were also simulative as no practical application on mice could ever mimic how humans use phones. The mice didn’t wear tiny headsets or have scientists holding cell phones up to their ears; instead, their cages were arranged around a centrally-located antenna generating the cell phone signal. But wait, the researchers claim that they perfectly housed each mouse the same distance from the antenna and exposed them to electromagnetic frequencies typically emitted by a cell phone pressed up against a human head. Huh? They exposed tiny little mice to the same EMF as cell phones emitted to a human head? Wouldn’t that expose the mice to a lopsided amount of EMF comparitively by ratio if you were to quantify the head mass of a human and that of a mouse? Ok, perhaps they overlooked that this wouldn’t be very applicable to humans.
Or maybe not. They stated they used memory tests on the mice that were closely designed from a sensitive test used to determine if Alzheimer’s disease, or its very early signs (mild cognitive impairment), are present in humans. “Since we selected electromagnetic parameters that were identical to human cell phone use and tested mice in a task closely analogous to a human memory test, we believe our findings could have considerable relevance to humans,” Arendash said. Hmmm, so Arendash is suggesting that a sensitive test used to determine a complex human brain disorder like Alzheimer’s, can be reproduced in rodents? I would love to see that test.
[efoods]They found that if cell phone exposure was started when the genetically-programmed mice were young adults — before signs of memory impairment were apparent — their cognitive ability was protected. Months of cell phone exposure even boosted the memories of normal mice to above-normal levels. The memory benefits of cell phone exposure took months to show up, suggesting that a similar effect in humans would take years if cell phone-level electromagnetic exposure was provided.
Are you starting to get the picture of how absurd this study and its objective is? Perhaps we could genetically alter humans now so they could boost their memory, protect their cognitive ability and prevent brain disorders, all from a few years of dedicated cell phone use.
Based on what the researchers claim are “promising and unexpected findings” in mice, they concluded that electromagnetic field exposure could be an effective, non-invasive and drug-free way to prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease in humans. Wait, it gets better. They are also now evaluating whether different strengths of electromagnetic frequencies will produce a faster and even greater cognitive benefit. So the stronger the EMF the greater the benefit? I wonder if the heat in Florida makes researchers go nutty?
The researchers also found increases in brain temperature during the two one-hour periods when mice were exposed to electromagnetic waves each day. This increase in brain temperature was seen only in the Alzheimer’s mice, and only after months of exposure. So the normal mice didn’t have a increase in brain temperature after months of blasting them with high EMF doses? Those were some amazingly resilient normal mice.
“Our study provides evidence that long-term cell phone use is not harmful to brain,” Dr. Cao said. “To the contrary, the electromagnetic waves emitted by cell phones could actually improve normal memory and be an effective therapy against memory impairment.”
I think Dr. Cao said it all. Improving memory and effective therapy against impairment….who could ask for more right?
This is one of the most obviously senseless, illogical and foolish studies I have ever seen. Not only is the construct of the study absurd, but the researcher’s discussions and conclusions are so outlandish and unsupported, that they make global warming studies actually look scientific. I find it very suspicious that not even one of these authors had a disclosure statement. Another disturbing fact was that this study was supported by Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute.
This is an obvious attempt by the cell phone industry to further warp (literally) and sway public opinion on the detrimental health effects of cell phone radiation which are increasingly catching the media’s attention.
Electromagnetic frequencies and radiation are emerging health problem of the 21st century. “Cells in the body react to EMFs as potentially harmful, just like to other environmental toxins, including heavy metals and toxic chemicals,” said Martin Blank, PhD.
“Based on the existing science, many public health experts believe it is possible we will face an epidemic of cancers in the future resulting from uncontrolled use of cell phones and increased population exposure to WiFi and other wireless devices. Thus it is important that all of us, and especially children, restrict our use of cell phones, limit exposure to background levels of Wi-Fi, and that government and industry discover ways in which to allow use of wireless devices without such elevated risk of serious disease,” said David Carpenter, MD.
“Radio frequency radiation and other forms of electromagnetic pollution are harmful at orders of magnitude well below existing guidelines,” said Magda Havas, PhD.
“The overall problem with environmental electromagnetism is much deeper, not only of concern at power line frequencies, but also in the radiofrequency range encompassing mobile phones. Here the public’s continuing exposure to electromagnetic radiation is largely connected to money. Indeed the tens of billions of dollars in sales one finds in the cell phone industry makes it mandatory to corporate leaders that they deny, in knee-jerk fashion, any indication of hazard,” said Abraham R. Liboff, PhD .
Next they’ll be telling us that cell phone radiation can increase your income, boost your love life and make you fly.
This article was posted: Thursday, January 7, 2010 at 11:33 am