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View Diary: Do Cellphones Cause Brain Cancer (28 comments)

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  •  The radiation from a cell phone is too low in freq (9+ / 0-)

    to break a single molecular bond.  So how is it going to hurt your DNA?

    A good analogy is trying to throw a rock across the Mississippi river. If you can only throw a rock halfway across, then it doesn't matter how many rocks you throw, you will never reach the other side.

    Although in this case, it would be more like trying to throw a rock across the Atlantic ocean.

    •  Physics, Shmisicks (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      armd, mikejay611, arodb, radmul, craiger, ladybug53

      This has been my biggest beef with the cell-phone-cause-cancer-caucus:  if it's true, the laws of physics have to be consistent with the claim.

      Radio waves in that frequency range can cause heating, but not ionization.  This is not in dispute, at least by anybody who has, well, a clue about the science.

      That's not to say that very slight amounts of heating of tissues couldn't have some health effects.  But if there is any effect, that's the only thing we have that could cause them.

      Like you say:  if you can't throw the rock across the Mississippi, it doesn't matter how many rocks you throw.  And if you can't generate the energies needed to ionize DNA, you won't cause any damage to DNA.  Minuscule amounts of heating of a cell won't do it either.

      You can't govern if you can't tell the country where you are taking it. The plot of Obama's presidency has been harder to follow than "Inception." -- F. Rich

      by mbayrob on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 02:11:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Cancer can be caused by factors other (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ladybug53

        than direct damage to DNA.  For example, epigenetically . . .

        And about DNA damage, that is also possible.

        For example, cell phones * have * been shown to increase metabolic activity in the brain.

        And increased metabolic activity generates additional reactive oxygen species (ROS), which CAN damage DNA.

        •  But wouldn't, say, thinking or reading also (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ladybug53

          increased metabolic activity in the brain?  That's what brains are supposed to do.

          The problem with the whole cell phone = cancer hypothesis is that no one can identify a causal effect.  First there is no ionizing radiation.  Cell phones don't emit x-rays or something else that strips the bonds on DNA molecules.  And second, cell phones can't cause heating in brain cells.  The capacity of any brain cell far outstrips the miniscule amount of EM energy being absorbed in the form of heat.

          Having a policy does not mean receiving care. -- Tzimisce

          by Miggles on Tue Apr 19, 2011 at 07:48:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sure, thinking causes an increase in (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ladybug53, arodb

            metabolic activity - but perhaps cells that are normally used for thinking are more prepared to deal with the ensuing onslaught of ROS than cells that are usually dormant (you know, the proverbial 97% of the brain that is never used!)

            As I posted in a different comment, cell phones * do cause an increase in glucose metabolism, and separate studies have * linked increased glucose metabolism with an enhanced risk of carcinogenesis.

            The point is that this can't be dismissed out of hand as ludicrious - there is a plausible mechanistic model based on sound science (that obviously needs to be proved experimentally, but still, it's not complete bunk).

    •  A scientifically plausible explanation (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      craiger, ladybug53

      (although at this point, one for which there is no evidence yet) is that the increased (glucose) metabolic activity in the brain from cell phone use * could * contribute to cancer.   Note that it could instead (or also) be therapeutic . . . .. .

      Anyways, there have been reports (in other contexts) of links between glucose metabolism and cancer

      Glucose metabolism in cancer cells

      and

      Recent studies have indicated that there may be a close relation between the activation of oncogenic signaling pathways and cellular glucose utilization

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