Assessing the effects of cell phone radiation on brain tissue
Researchers have found a novel, non-invasive technique for measuring brain hot spots caused by electromagnetic radiation from mobile phones, according to a study published today.
However, the scientists noted their model measured a "worst case scenario" level of heat and that in reality, the body's natural self-cooling mechanisms would reduce the amount of heat rise in the brain caused by a mobile phone.
The World Health Organisation's cancer agency, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), classed mobile phones as Group 2B or "possibly carcinogenic" in a report released last year. That puts them in the same IARC category as coffee, napthalene and pickled vegetables.
To test how much electromagnetic energy from cell phone radiation was absorbed into a brain, US researchers David H. Gultekin and Lothar Moeller used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) techniques on a brain that had been removed from a cow.
The scientists rigged up an antenna system to help create 3D images of the hot spots without allowing the strong magnetic fields of the NMR to interfere with the results.
The results were checked against heat measurements taken with fibre optic temperature sensors and showed that the NMR method delivered accurate findings.
The researchers concluded that "NMR thermometry offers sufficient spatial and temporal resolution to characterise the hot spots from absorbed cell phone radiation in… biological tissues."
However, the researchers said that a biological process called perfusion—in which blood is directed to overheated body parts to help cool them down—would mean that the amount of heat rise caused by a mobile phone in a living brain would be less in real life than what was studied in this experiment.
"This study essentially presents the worst case scenario in terms of radiation-heated brain tissue. The temperature rise in the in vivo brain tissue is expected to be smaller because of perfusion," the study said.
The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Their technique was an improvement on existing methods to test for hot spots, which currently involve inserting a probe into a gel designed to mimic the way a brain would conduct heat.
"They are invasive and they can not measure the thermal fields in ex-vivo or in-vivo tissues. NMR method is non-invasive and can measure the thermal fields in ex-vivo and in-vivo including the perfusion effects," said one of the scientists who conducted the research, Dr David Gultekin from the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Centre in New York.
Another author of the paper, Dr Lothar Moeller of Bell Labs, said "our method has the advantages that it can be applied to measure remotely temperature enhancement caused by cell phone radiation inside in-vivo brain. No other existing method can do this."
Professor Rodney Croft, Professor of Health Physiology at the University of Wollongong and a researcher of mobile phone radiation said the research was interesting proof-of-concept study but "I don't think it has much relevance to the mobile phone debate."
"What they are talking about at the moment is a non-realistic model using biological material without thermoregulation," meaning natural mechanisms that help cool down overheated body parts, said Dr Croft.
"We can be exposed to quite a lot of changes in temperature and our body can deal with it. If we get mobile phone exposure, because it's such a small amount of heat, the thermoregulation can deal with that without any difficulty."
Dr Croft said there still was no research suggesting major health problems caused by mobile phone use.
"It really doesn't represent much of a risk. We are talking about a conclusion that it remains a possibility [that they may cause cancer] but there is no evidence it is a problem."
More information: "NMR imaging of cell phone radiation absorption in brain tissue," by David H. Gultekin and Lothar Moeller: www.pnas.org/conte… 0/1205598109
Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Provided by The Conversation
This story is published courtesy of the The Conversation (under Creative Commons-Attribution/No derivatives).
- Industry disputes report on cell phone cancer link May 31, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Study finds mobiles excite brain cells Jun 27, 2006 | not rated yet | 0
- Mobile phone electromagnetic field affects local glucose metabolism in the human brain Sep 15, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- San Francisco passes mobile phone radiation law Jun 16, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Mobile phone derived electromagnetic fields can disturb learning Jun 30, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be villous adenoma in colon, if there are no villi there
3 hours ago As title suggest. Thanks :smile:
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
May 21, 2013 Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
On May 22, JoVE will publish details of a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age. The method is demonstrated by the laboratory of Dr. Gil Atzmon at New York's Albert Einste ...
Medical research 45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have a new theory as to why a woman's fertility declines after her mid-30s. They also suggest an approach that might help slow ...
Medical research 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Medical researchers discover new ways to target, develop and design drugs to prevent and treat viral infection
Researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new drug target, developed a new drug and identified a new way to design drugs—all of which could be a winning combination in the battle against viruses.
Medical research 2 hours ago | 4 / 5 (1) | 0 |
New research at The University of Nottingham aimed at preventing harmful blood clots associated with heart disease and stroke has recently received a major funding boost from the British Heart Foundation.
Medical research 3 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Italian lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a law that allows limited use of a controversial type of stem cell therapy which has been condemned by many scientists but has given hope to families of terminally-ill ...
Medical research 3 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 1
Research presented today shows that high-fructose corn syrup can cause behavioural reactions in rats similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine. These results, presented by addiction expert Francesco Leri, ...
47 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
New research shows that craving drugs such as nicotine can be visualized in specific regions of the brain that are implicated in determining the value of actions, in planning actions and in motivation. Dr. Alain Dagher, from ...
45 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Is it permissible to harm one to save many? Those who tend to say "yes" when faced with this classic dilemma are likely to be deficient in a specific kind of empathy, according to a report published in the scientific journal ...
5 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Health care spending is much higher for older Americans than for younger adults and children, on average, and analysts have said that increasing spending leads to longer life expectancy.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—High blood pressure is something that has traditionally been a problem in Scotland, but might there be a link to our climate?
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
Phthalates: Study links chemicals widely found in plastics, processed food to elevated blood pressure in children, teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates) are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and—according to the ...
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 1 |