Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cell phones effect more than just your personal life.

Cell phones play a major role in everyone's daily life, they are with us where ever we go. But did you know that they effect brain activity? In this recent study, conducted by Henry Lai, researchers have found out that cell phones effect more than just your personal life , they are actually affecting the glucose metabolism of your brain, which increases brain activity. This is because of the electromagnetic radiation coming from the cell phone.
The research conducted was very interesting, in that the subject tested had 2 phones strapped to each of their ears. One phone was turned off, and the other was playing a recorded message. The interesting part is that the phone, which was playing the message, was actually switched to mute, so that there wasn't any way for the subject to even know which phone was effecting them. The message was played for a period of 50 minutes, after which the subject was put through a PET scan. This revealed that the region of the brain, that had the phone playing the message, had an increase of glucose metabolism of 7 percent. But this is not very accurate, because of variables like the distance of the nearest cell phone tower and the kind of phone used, not being controlled. It is also not known how harmful this may be, if harmful at all. But most people would have to agree that it is scary to know that talking on the phone might be doing harm to your brain. I for one will be texting a whole lot more!


  1. I was thinking the same thing as you, David-- if this is the case, it's a good thing I text as much as I do! The effect cell phones have on the brain seems to have been a concern ever since they were introduced, so it is interesting to know that research is still being performed in order to come to a final conclusion. I would like to see a follow up test to this experiment carried out that had more controls and less variables so that the findings could be more accurate and we could know once and for all whether or not we should limit our time talking on our cell phones!

    Posted by Brianna Lee

  2. A cell phone, and a household cordless phone, use a low level form of microwave radiation to send and receive their signals, which is kind of scary.I read an article recently that stated that radiation from cell phones is too weak to heat biological tissue or break chemical bonds in cells, but!! the radio waves they emit may still change cell behavior. I will definitely text more often!

    Cleopatra Duque

  3. David, I heard about this study while watching G4 the other night. I learned that cell phone radiation increases brain activity. I would be surprised if they actually failed to use the same phone provider for each phone, or if they were different models. That seems very unprofessional. I also believe people are overreacting to the results by saying that talking on the phone is deleterious to our health. It is not like talking on cell phones is a new activity. Personally, I feel that I would rather have lots of brain activity than not enough, and upon first hearing these results, I thought that increased brain activity was a good thing, maybe strengthening our thinking power. I have read that more active brains are more aware and people with them are sharper. However, I realize that too much activity may indeed be deleterious to human health. I am unsure whether a seven percent increase in brain activity would be correlated with being more aware or being close to having an aneurysm. My inkling is that it would be the former, at least more so than the latter.

    Posted by Derek Melzar

  4. Response-

    Brianna- I actually had no idea about this research until I read this article. It’s kind of awful that I’ve been using a cell phone for all of these years, without knowing these kinds of things.

    Cleopatra- It is true that the radiation from cell phones are too weak break the chemical bonds of our cells. They’re still doing research on what radio waves actually effect in brain behavior.

    Derek- They actually did use the same kind of phone for the experiment, but I should clarify myself. What they couldn’t do was test all kinds of phones, so they don’t know if one phone would do more harm than another kind. I myself am not really sure if increased brain activity is really a good thing or not. But I do know that I would rather have my brain increase its activity when I’m doing things like reading or learning in class, rather than talk on a phone.


  5. This study is very interesting, however I’m a little scared by it. After reading Louis’ post earlier about how cancer cells use glycolysis to proliferate, this study seems like it may be proving two things at once. The cell phone may increase brain activity, but by increasing the glucose metabolism, perhaps it is creating a better environment for cancer cells to grow rapidly. This, of course, has no scientific backing, but as an observer of these two studies, this seems like it may be a problem.

    Posted by Marlena Grasso

  6. Studies like these illustrate why the precautionary principle and science often don't mix well. From a commonsense perspective, I read the words 'cell phone usage raised glucose metabolism 7%' and I feel somewhat alarmed. Yet, from a scientific perspective, I read those same words, and I think, 'I have no idea what that means'. Not that I don't understand the results of the study, but that I really have no way to evaluate how exactly this can affect me personally. What part of the brain is being affected by cell phone usage? By what mechanism does cell phone usage affect brain activity? Can it have long-term effects, and if so, are those effects detrimental?

    We've been hearing fear-mongering stories regarding the effects of cell phones on neurological function for years. So many of those reports have been debunked, taken completely out of context or blown studies way out of proportion that until someone offers up some sort of hypothesis which posits a mechanism for *how* cell phone usage affects the brain, I really couldn't care less.

  7. It seems that there is a new accusation of something causing cancer every day. This post shows that cell phones do have an affect on brain activity but I'm not sure how that increase in brain activity affects a persons health over time. I'd be interested to know how long the increased period of brain activity lasts.
    -Jessica Kusmirek

  8. Cell phones did not become widely used until the 1990’s. Assuming that the cell phones used the same frequencies back then, it would be interesting to see if the brain activity of individuals who did and did not use cell phones during the 90’s have had any drastic changes over the years. I personally can’t stand texting, so this article is not going to get me to stop talking on the phone.

    Posted by Nelson Milano