back to article Wi-Fi may damage sperm, boffins warn

A team of scientists has suggested that Wi-Fi-connected laptops sited too close to chaps' gonads could damage their sperm. Argentinian and US boffins collected semen from 29 healthy males, divided each sample into two containers*, then exposed one "to an internet-connected laptop by Wi-Fi for 4 hours". The second sample "was …


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  1. David 39


    Just found out the wife is up the duff. 6 years of wireless exposure to my nads did bugger all to stop that occurring.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm the guy shinning down your drainpipe, with an ethernet cable in my pocket.

      Anonymous for obvious reasons (DSS)

      Congrats, btw.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Simon Neill


    This is a study showing that if we do things that can never occur naturally, harm will result.

    Unless the wifi chip is directly under the trackpad on my laptop, the signal is going to have to penetrate my thighs before it reaches my manhood. That alone is going to attenuate the signal 90+%, if the signal strength reading is any indication.

    Fair play to them, they outright said that their study alone is useless, but that doesn't make it ok.

  4. Stephen 10

    Pretty poor study design

    They left too many variables to make any real conclusions at first glance, I'd love to see the stat analysis and full expiramental design but I'm not paying $31.50 to read a dubious paper.

    Glad you linked to the abstract though - keep on providing original sources.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So they put a laptop next to a cup of man fat and turned on the wi-fi. Meanwhile a separate cup of heir-gel is incubated without the laptop.

    Isn't that a pretty rubbish control? Why didn't they just disable the wireless and re-run the test?

    Laptops put out all sorts of radiation quite apart from radio and are usually heaving with microbiology. Blaming wi-fi specifically seems like an invalid conclusion.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And that's bad news ?

    It looks a better option than a vasectomy or counting your girlfriends pills.

  7. Nev Silver badge
    Thumb Up


    There's too many of us.

    7 Billion and still rising.

    1. Red Bren

      Speak for yourself!

      There's too many of you, Nev. Please step this way to the suicide booth...

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Richard Wharram

    Obvious conclusion is obvious

    The lack of fit sperm after putting blokes on the internet for 4 hours is unlikely to be wifi related. There's probably a few squillion perfectly good sperms trying to find an egg to fertilise inside a bunch of tissues hidden under the sofa.

  10. TRT Silver badge

    Overheating penis?

    No. Mine's watercooled.

  11. jake Silver badge

    More to the point ...

    I' pretty certain that beer & tobacco have a much larger affect on sperm ...

    Not that it's politically correct to point out, of course ;-)

    1. Dan 63


      Been smoking and drinking for nearly 18 years and I have 3 kids. It was when no. 3 arrived that I decided to have my plumbing altered.

  12. Citizen Kaned


    about about mobiles you keep in your pocket for hours at a time?

    at work i keep it on my desk but when out and about it can be right next to the baby maker for hours at a time.

    oh well, i have a 3.5 month old son, not sure we need another anyway!

  13. Robert Jenkins

    Tiny RF power, masses of heat

    So; comparing exposure from a laptop producing tens of watts of heat, plus milliwatts or RF, or no laptop at all.

    Sperm are 3 - 5um body size.

    WiFi at 2.4GHz has a wavelength of about 120mm.

    Infra red radiation (radiant heat) has wavelengths in roughly the 1 - 10um range.

    A sperm cell looks to be a pretty good IR resonator, but completely invisible at 2.4GHz..

    If they had been testing RF exposure, they would have used the same laptop with WiFi on & off.

    Laptop or No laptop implies they wanted a result, then assumed the cause...

  14. Joe Carter

    controlled for temperature?

    If they didn't place a laptop with wifi turned off next to the control then this experiment is a load of guff. I can't read the full paper (payware) so I don't know whether they controlled both samples for temperature and so it could simply be heating. If so, then the wifi aspect is pure "give me more money for research" bull emissions.

  15. Dave Murray Silver badge

    Keep that laptop away from your 'nads, lads

    Something you should have been doing anyway. Everyone knows that laptops emit an incredible amount of heat and as well as risking burning your legs they will decrease your fertility.

  16. steve 27

    Well, I have used WIFI for the last 6 years at home, my laptop has been sat on my knee for a couple of hours a time, 3 -4 times a week.

    We have 3 girls under the age of 6 :-)


  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Well then, let me know when they have figured out if it does or not.


  18. Duffaboy


    Some of us, who have had enough kids don't really give a damn

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if only

    if only that were true. then we could donate all sorts of wireless hardware to Africa, east Asia, and south America.

    the "western" world is doing well enough already to actually reduce it's populations. Time for the part of the world responsible for the massive overgrowth to take responsibility. Like they want industrial nations to do with industry, so-called "cap and trade" regulations should take into account the massive human population surplus as well.

    But that doesn't make them money does it?

    1. Local Group

      @if only

      my life's work: the mutual exclusivity of Capitalism and population control. And, naturally, maintaining a watchful eye for signs that diminishing returns are getting unacceptably nasty.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Damaged Goods

    is whats on the way out, (of your wife) i'm afraid to say.....

    when will you retards realise that pulsed microwave radiation #ukcs up DNA !!!!

    AstraZenica and all the other PharmaTeks use it to RIP DNA apart, although they use highly tuned and calibrated signals to do it in a test tube.

    Your all busy doing on your bodies and with broad spectrum signals, so there is only so much the human body can do to repair DNA damage before it gets out of control and ....

    YOU DIE OF CANCER !!!!!!

    1. ArmanX

      Cancer? Really?

      Recent studies have shown that human skin is actually pretty good at not letting all that harmful radiation into your body, rendering wifi and cell phones fairly harmless.

      Wait. No, sorry, I mean, yes! Yes, stay away from pulsed microwave radiation, and for that matter any radio emissions! Turn off the wifi, bluetooth, and cell phone! Hide in a bunker! No, no, leave the computer, it radiates worse than a leaky cell tower! Don't you know how bad USB is for you? Run for the hills! And take your pseudoscience technology-doubting friends with you!


    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: AC 17:26

      Was that a troll? Please tell me it was, because I'm not sure my fragile nerves can take the knowledge that there is someone that truly clueless in the world ...

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old news confused...

    Just research to pander to the WiFi Paranoids (like Mr Damaged Goods above). Some of those idiots will happily pay the £31 to read the report.

    Surely the research is well known that it is the "inadvertent testicular heating" that can damage sperm in the obvious logic of overheating parts that need to stay cool. As mentioned in other posts above, surely a real scientist would have had the control group with the identical laptops doing identical tasks - but with wireless turned off. Very simple to do.

    Clearly their tests were not trying to be scientific. Just pandering to the flappers.

    And surely the WiFi aerial is up in the LID of the laptop? Well away from your bits. Much further away that that phone in your pocket. And if phones in pockets were bad - why don't all males now suffer from this?

  22. Jim Birch

    The secret of a successful science story

    Invisible rays and genitals.

    Suspect science is not an issue.

  23. Scorchio!!

    The design should from the very start have controlled for temperatures. Sperm have a relatively narrow temperature survival range. This is a dangerous confound which could have been obviated by means of obvious and simple design features. No conclusions about the effects of wireless connectivity on the survival of spermatozoa can be drawn at all from this survey.

  24. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    Good to see Alan Pacey here.

    Knew him in a previous role - great bloke, and a very good scientist (but you can tell that from his comments!)

  25. Framitz

    True story dealing with RF radiation

    Off topic, but maybe interesting.

    This is a much higher energy than any cell phone or laptop, but it's somewhat humorous.

    While working in Turkey at a NATO 50 KW HF radio transmitter site. The land was leased from a local farmer and sheep herder.

    The farmer found that in winter his sheep would cluster under the transmitter antennas. He noticed that he felt nice and warm in the area around and under the antennas.

    So, he built a house under one of the antennas. One of the guy wires actually went in a window and out the back door.

    Then he noticed that there were very few lambs born the next spring . . .

    I guess someone told him it was the radiation that sterilized the sheep, he sued NATO for damages and won. NATO payed to replace his entire flock of sheep and then built fencing around the antennas to keep the sheep safe.

    The funny thing, or not so funny, is the farmer continued to live in the house, constantly bombarded by HF radiation (The signals were ship to shore teletype with many channels so it never stopped).

    I sometimes wonder what effects he and his family must have suffered. I'm betting he never had any grandchildren. I still have a photograph of the house somewhere.

  26. Local Group

    an idea whose time has come

    Why not manufacture rigid but wobblesome, Calvin Klein lead briefs? Self-protecting and self-promoting.

    A 'Nadpiece. With anti-WiFi properties.

  27. Robert Knight

    The facts will come out in due course.........

    Well if pulsed microwaves are so safe, why has:

    1. WHO elevated Mobile Phone emissions to probably cancer causing - we've been told for yiers that they are safe......

    2. European Coucil have passed resolution 1815 requiring member states to minimise exposure to EM - this is a precautionary measure due to the mounting evidence that EM does in fact cause issues from symtoms such as sleep disturbance to actually causing harm

    3. Current guidance for shool children is to use mobile phones in an emergency only - why if pulsed microwaves are so safe?

    4. Other European countries have lower EM radiation exposure levels than the UK/international standards

    5. Studies in Germany showed that large percentages of a research group had a range of symptoms when radition levels were increased to well below the internationally 'safe' levels - these are based on warming of tissue samples rather than the effects on a living organism

    6. Scientific studies have show pulsed microwaves interfere with cellular membranes which results in inability to absorb certain salts

    7. Why do you think the bees are disappearing?

    8. Have you noticed how we see hardly any birds anymore?

    Clearly there is too much money in the industry (in the same way that the likes of MMR which contains Mercury is 'so safe' - the pharma companies would loose too much money.......) - therefore any bit of scientific study ahowing any evidence of any harm, however small, will naturally be undermined by the's like cigarettes!

    It's all down to electromagnetic radiation/smog - it's on the increase.........

    1. Swarthy Silver badge


      I may be feeding a troll here, but:

      1) "Possibly" Cancerous, like coffee, wood smoke and other "dangerous" chemicals. Someone got their panties in a bunch, and the research can't show that there is no risk of cancer (because you can't prove a negative) and they don't want to get sued/pilloried if a link is ever discovered.

      2) See above: It's bureaucratic arse-covering.

      3) Erm, could that be because children given carte-blanche w/ a cell phone will text/talk incessantly with no regard for the appropriateness of said actions? Like in school, while driving/walking along a road, when their parents/teachers are trying to get their attention? Never mind the whole texting/data/apps costs that "school children" don't think about ahead of time/

      4) I am not sure what your point is on that one.

      5) I won't refute studies without more understanding of them; would you happen to have a link to these, or even an article about them?

      6) Good thing we are covered w/ dead cells to act as an absorption layer for these nasty wavelengths and protect our sensitive cells.

      7) That's a very good question. I have heard several theories, including EMI, Global Warming, and a shift in the Snark/Boojum ratios.

      8) No, no I haven't. There are still quite a few of them, and I have noticed no decrease, other than it's currently winter here.

      It's all down to hysteria/propoganda - it's on the increase.........

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I've used up all the sperm I need to produce children. I may or not be shooting blanks and don't care any more.

    Gettin' old I guess.

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