back to article Cells 'react' to GSM signals claims research

New research claims that cells can react to a GSM-like signal in as little as ten minutes - though if whether this could causes cancer remains open to interpretation. Those who believe that mobile phones do cause cancer, and/or a wide variety of other ailments, suffer from two problems: the fact that long-term studies have …


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  1. tangerine Sedge

    oh dear....

    Expect an innacurate, scare-mongering story to appear in an 'upmarket' tabloid near you!

    Mobiles have been in significant use for 15 years or so now, with no verified links to cancer yet. *IF* they were so dangerous, then all those '90s yuppies should be dead by now or at least suffering from some sort of nasty cancer (what an amusing thought).

  2. MarkMac

    So what...

    So all this article does is say "cells react to energy".

    Whoo, how incredible. Newsflash: if they didn't, we'd all be dead. How else do people think muscles, digestive systems, brains, eyes etc work?

    By the way cells react to water - notice how your hands go wrinkly in the bath? And air - notice how your hair blows about on a windy day? Maybe we should start panicking about that too...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    this study actually suggest that electromagnetic energy could be used to control growth at the cell level without using external hormones.

  4. Stephane Mabille


    If at least it can lead to a ban of mobile in pubs, restaurants etc it might be a good news.

    Not sure if radiowave would lead to cancer but stupid ring tone clearly affect my nerves (hopefully the crazy frog is soooooo last year :) )

  5. Paul Kinsler

    or, on the other hand:

    "Electric fields have potential as a cancer treatment " ...

  6. Angus Cooke

    Re: Interesting...

    absolute rubbish - it doesn't suggest anything of the sort. As MarkMac says all it does is illustrate cells reacting to energy.. not growing or multiplying!

    In fact the temporary effect a GMS signal can have on cells can be quite incredible. Whenever I'm on a train and a suited up tw*t next to me answers his phone and proceeds to embark on a long extremely loud conversation my whole body starts shaking.. and sometimes even my arms uncontrollably grab him in a headlock and give him the worse headburn he's ever experienced.... as you can see that's a huge cell reaction and definitely a case for banning mobiles on trains in my opinion.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Also in the press today is the news that plants react to Beethoven. I haven't seen anyone suggesting that you move your HiFi well away from your Tomatoes to avoid accidently creating super-intelligent, mutant, killer fruit though.

    Tomorrow's tabloid headline maybe?


  8. pctechxp

    mobile phone scares

    We hear constantly about mobiles and their masts doing this, that and the other.

    If transmitters are that dangerous, what about the people that live in places near to TV and radio masts, you don't hear stories about them everyday now do you or what about the electrical cables running through the walls of your house/office/pub?

    I think there maybe a few folk that are genuinely worried but these so called 'experts' that they wheel out are the real problem that fuels the fire.

    They also just happen to sell devices to detect this evil EMF or will, for a large fee, provide expert testimony to support whichever side of the argument you are on.

    There needs to be a totally independent, public funded (and I mean no government involvement to avoid accusations of a whitewash) study into whether there is a problem or not.

    Step forth willing, public spirited scientists (who don't have a business interest in selling black boxes that squeal or their professional opinion) and someone start passing round the collection tin to over the costs of the facilities.

    Then just maybe, we can put this issue to bed once and for all.

  9. David Sidebotham

    Grasping straws

    Now look here. I am fighting a planning application for a mobile base station right next door to my house (well would you want one?).

    I will grasp at any straw and a nice bit of media agitation will do nicely, thank you.

  10. Clive Galway

    Shocking grammar

    "though if whether this could causes cancer remains open to interpretation"

    Shocking, truly shocking.

    El Reg seriously needs some proof readers, there are way too many errors like this lately.

  11. Mike Moyle

    Re: Ban?

    If at least it can lead to a ban of mobile in pubs, restaurants etc it might be a good news.

    I wonder if we could claim that exposure to second-hand radiation is hazardous to our health...? It seems to have worked for the anti-smoking zealots.

  12. pctechxp

    @Mike Moyle

    Inhalation of smoke, whether it be generated by Tobacco or a fire, does cause breathing difficulties due to carbon monoxide and then you have to add in all of the poisonous chemicals that they add in.

    Therefore I do support the ban on smoking in public places as its based on sound Science FACT, but even putting the science aside, it's pretty horrendous breathing in the smoke from a smoker if you are a non-smoker.

    The debate about mobiles is murky with both sides accusing the other of hiding results that conflict with their particular viewpoint.

    While it can be argued that experts and research funded by the mobile phone hardware manufacturers have a vested interest in disproving claims that the devices and thus use of the services is harmful to health which is of course distrurbing IF true as I said above I also find it disturbing that experts, also flog devices or their professional opinion at great expense thus profiteering from people's fear which is frankly sickening

    As I said above, its high time an expert who has knowledge but does not have a business interest in either camp, stepped forward, agreed to give their time to do the research and that we, joe and joanne public, got the money together to fund the facilities, that way there can be no accusations of bias which you will get until this happens.

    Then we will know either way.

  13. A. Merkin

    Double-Blinded Studies

    Of course long term studies have shown no cancer correllation... Cellphone users are dying on the motorway before symptoms are diagnosed!

  14. Mike Moyle

    @ pctechxp

    "Inhalation of smoke, whether it be generated by Tobacco or a fire, does cause breathing difficulties due to carbon monoxide and then you have to add in all of the poisonous chemicals that they add in.

    "Therefore I do support the ban on smoking in public places as its based on sound Science FACT, but even putting the science aside, it's pretty horrendous breathing in the smoke from a smoker if you are a non-smoker."

    I concede all of your points, but not your conclusion.

    Please understand that I'm no "Small Government At All Costs" type - but I believe that it should be protecting us from threats that we, as individuals, CAN'T protect ourselves from, rather than those things that we WON'T protect ourselves from.

    Dumping of toxic waste in the waterways? Erosion caused by clear-cutting forests? Those are areas where undividuals are at a disadvantage and need governments to step in.

    Smoking in bars/restaurants? Not so much.

    Here's an experiment: two bars, side by side. (We'll use bars as the example since, by definition, you're supposed to be old enough to decide whether you want alcohol and/or nicotine in order to enter, as opposed to a restaurant where minors might be expected to be.)

    One has a prominently-posted sign: "Smoking Prohibited". The other has a similar sign: "Smoking Permitted". Whether you do or don't want a cig with your drink, you know which bar will accommodate you. If not enough customers choose to patronize one or the other establishment, it either changes its policy or it goes out of business. Eventually, with a sufficiently large number of bars and customers who prefer to patronize either smoking or non-smoking places the system should stabilize with the most efficient mix. And all without government intervention. You simply make the CHOICE as to where you want to go and to whom you want to give your money.

    Note that the above doesn't prohibit government from establishing simple rules for defining standards for "smoke free" areas and allowing mixed-use establishments with the appropriate use of interior walls, doors, and ventilation that flows from non-smoking towards smoking areas and out.

    Personally, I probably WOULD patronize a smoke-free, cell-phone-free restaurant. I would just rather have the CHOICE.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How does the cell know...

    ...that there even is a radio signal if the wavelength is ~30cm?

  16. Luther Blissett

    No news here

    It is in fact possible to get cancer in 10 mins from exposure to electromagnetic radiation. Not me, not you. But a very tiny number of people have a genetic defect which puts them at risk of skin cancer if they get so much as half an hour of direct sunlight exposure. They can only go out dressed in radiation-suit things - and some of these are kids. Imagine that? The rest of us have repair systems which neutralise the DNA damage before it develops into a carcinoma. As I've not seen lots of people with cancer of the ear or head, I presume either a similar self-repair mechanism exists and operates, or never gets to be activated by the body.

  17. Orv

    Everything old is new again

    Remember the "power lines cause cancer" flap back in the 80s?

  18. Graham Hawkins

    @tangerine Sedge

    But it DOES have a measurable effect.

    It make ~0.000002% of the population dress in aluminium foil and feel slightly nauseous...

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Smoking comments

    I was in a bar pre-smoking ban, in the smoking section, smoking. I used an ashtray on the next table to stub it out, asking first, and then taking the ashtray to my table to stub it out before returning it to the original table. I was given a look like daggers by the two people sitting there. No-one seems to care that there is a choice there, they didn't have to sit in the smoking section, but surely by sitting there they accept they might get a bit smokey. As a smoker I would welcome if tobacco was made illegal, it's a terrible drug and is incredibly difficult to quit. I don't welcome half-arsed measures to satisfy one set of people while bringing in the taxes of addicts. The whole attitude of the country has been shaped as well, people don't look at smokers as addicts, they look at them as some sort of self-centred menace who wants to kill everyone else.

    As far as mobiles are concerned, maybe they should appease people by stopping calling them cellphones.

  20. pctechxp

    The capitalism argument


    People should be given the choice but you have to remember that there are some that have no choice and so that is why I make the argument for truely independent research.

    By those who have no choice I mean people who currently rely on mobile communications to do their jobs.

    Sales reps, service engineers, couriers, on-call medical professionals.

    While the likes of you and I can exercise a choice (I'm assuming that you don't work in a job that relies on mobile communication)

    IF a genunine problem were found then it may have more credence if the research was seen to be completely independent rather then being funded by one side or the other.

    While in the case of smoking you could say that people have a choice as to where they work, we will always need people in the above jobs so the research should be carried out for their sake really as I'm sure some of them are in the hypersensitive group.

    If we can prove beyond reasonable doubt that their symptoms aren't due to EMF (the recent UK gov/industry-funded study that proved most could not tell whether the mast was transmitting or not is a start but some might argue that as it's outcome was predictable due to its sponsors)

    Therefore if directly funded by the likes of you and me, the research would be perceived as unbiased and thus reliable.

    Personally I dont think there is a link between mobiles and health issues, apart from the stress caused when people receive large bills.

    In fact, I'm more concerned about the long-term effects of numerous x-rays I've had prior to operations as I am disabled.

    Think there's numerous other things we could investigate.

    Scare about infrared remote controls, anyone?

  21. Jon Thompson

    Re: The Capitalist Argument

    "By those who have no choice I mean people who currently rely on mobile communications to do their jobs.

    Sales reps, service engineers, couriers, on-call medical professionals"

    Sorry? RELY on mobiles to do their jobs? WTF did they use before the mobile then? Or were there no Sales reps et al pre-1980s?

    Until there's hard evidence of mobiles causing cancer, people should just STFU.

    And all the campaigners against masts - ok, if it were up to me, I'd remove all the masts from your area. See how long till you start bitching about no mobile coverage.

    Please. Perspective. Get some.

  22. Radioman

    Why just cell phones?

    Why is it only cell phones which are accused in these scare stories? The 875Mhz frequency used in this study is a broadcast TV frequency in the UK, not used for cell phones. And TV transmitters typically transmit a LOT more power than cell phone ones. So shouldn't the headline read "X-Factor causes cancer" or suchlike? When we ban cell phones, we also need to ban all forms of radio and TV broadcasts, police, ambulance & fire communications, taxi companies, all air travel (or fly without radar), microwave ovens etc and go back into our caves!

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