Sunday, May 14, 2006

Cellphones are the devil's work

Author: Khalil A. Cassimally

Well, if I called the wrong number, why did you answer the phone? – Cartoon caption by James Thurber.

But I say, “I will not pick up my cellphone even if you called the right number. Message/Text me.”

Let’s put this straight: cellphones are a threat to both your privacy and your grey matter – in the literal way.

You go to a party and find a really beautiful girl. You know that you have to talk to her. And that’s exactly what you do. You grab two glasses of champagne and head towards her. “Euhem,” you manage to utter. She turns to look at you. She smiles and you hand her the champagne. Then out of nowhere, your cellphone vibrates in your pocket. “Oh shit!” you say. She glares at you and asks, “sorry?”

Damn the cellphone. What’s more, it was only mum calling to check whether you are all right.

Anywhere you go somebody can call you. Little by little, you’ve become an answering machine. And you don’t even have a moment for yourself because the cellphone always rings/vibrates when you least need it to. Because cellphones actually do obey Murphy’s Law!

But then you might say that you don’t even have a private life anymore, so why bother. Well you have to know that cellphones may damage people in other ways.

Only a small amount of energy is emitted by a cellphone. However even this amount will cause stress responses in your cells and affect your reflexes.

Cellphone radiation can even cause molecular changes in your cells. An experiment was performed by a Finish team to prove this. 4500 genes in human cells, cultured in laboratory, were exposed to cellphone radiation for only 48 hours. More than 20 genes were found to have had their activity rate interrupted. Now in your brain alone are billions of genes. Even if a small group of cells will be perturbed, the group isn’t really small at all. It still contains several millions of genes. Are you prepared to lose these genes and consequently the cells then?

Cellphone radiation has yet another effect on your grey matter. It increases blood-vessel permeability in the brain. This permits molecules normally excluded from the brain to seep in. This same thing happens in rats’ brains. It is now thought that this bleach in the blood-brain barrier may be accompanied by the death of brain cells. If however you like the fact that all types of I-don’t-know-what molecules are pouring into your ‘defeated’ brain, then only may you continue to use your cellphones regularly. But don’t blame me; blame yourself.

And yes; you’re right! A rat’s brain is not like a man’s one. In fact the energy absorbed by the rat is really low compared to what a person gets when using a cellphone! And what if the effects add up over time? Maybe your head will literally explode.

Neuroscientist, W. Ross Adey of Loma Linda University says, “You have to ask, ‘How much can people handle before it becomes a significant problem?’”

Cellphones may come in handy when you’re in need. But remember that many of your cells are dying every time you pick up the cellphone. Hang up!

About the author: Khalil A.Cassimally is the editor in chief of Astronomy Journal and Astronomy Journal Ezine. He is also the co-founder of the RCPL Astronomy Club. He is currently Senior Columnist at and Columnist for h2g2 The Post where he writes 'Not Scientific Science' column.


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