For my, what’s new(s) in science project I choose to write about a recent study done at Lund University in Sweden. Henrietta Nittby of the neurosurgery division uncovered some interesting results when testing cell phones and the radiation they give off. Nittby set an experiment up using rats to see if cell phone radiation affected their memory. The experiment consisted of releasing rats into a box with four objects mounted inside. The rats were all exposed to the radiation that a cell phone gives off, except for the control rats who, were left alone and were not exposed to any radiation. The rats would enter this box and inside were four different objects; Nittby then studied the rat’s actions inside the box. Next they same rats would enter into the same box again except the four objects were replaced with four new ones, and again Nittby would watch them. The third time the rats entered into the box was the most important because two of the objects were from the first round and the other two were from the second round. What happened was that the rats who, were not exposed to the radiation spent more time examining the objects from the first round because they had not seen them for a longer period of time; while, the rats who were exposed to the radiation “Evinced less pronounced differences in interest”. (Lund)
Nittby and her supervisor think these results are linked to the microwaves that the cell phone gives off and the reaction they have with the blood-brain barrier. This barrier is meant to protect the brain by preventing anything that is in the blood stream to enter the brain tissue or damaging any nerve cells. What happens is a protein named albumin leaks into the brain tissue due from the weakened blood-brain barrier. The albumin also damaged nerve cells in the cerebral cortex, and the hippocampus which is the part of the brain that deals with memory. (Lund)
This article appeared in the online magazine Science Daily, in the article it explained exactly how the experiment was run and went into detail about how the radiation actually affects the brain tissue. Science Daily is not written for the average person, it is written for the person who really understands science and wants to know more than just the result. My other source came from the website textually.org; which is a blog like website where top stories about health issues are posted. This site is for the person who doesn’t want to read much into the story; they just want to know the facts. In this article the author gave a quick synopsis of the experiment then said the result, nothing more.
I choose to report on this issue because cell phones have become an integral aspect of most people’s lives in today’s society. Cell phones have made us reachable no matter where we are or what we are doing. In return that makes people’s lives more efficient by being able to take your business on the road or where ever you are headed. In recent years cell phones have become more than just portable telephones, we are able to put a music player, camera, and the internet all on a single cell phone. With this news that cell phone radiation is harmful to the brain you would think that society will take this news seriously and either purchase hands free equipment or stop using cell phones altogether. However because cell phones are so embedded in our everyday lives, the majority of the population will continue to use their cell phones on a regular basis.
Lund University. "Mobile Phones Affect Memory In Laboratory Animals, Swedish Study
Finds."ScienceDaily 5 December 2008. 7 December 2008
"MOBILE PHONES AFFECT MEMORY IN LABORATORY ANIMALS, SWEDISH STUDY FINDS." Textually. 6 Dec. 2008. 7 Dec. 2008