Sunday, May 27, 2007

Must Avoid Electromagnetism... Brain Getting Duller...

The latest technology scare being pushed by various people and credulous news media is wi-fi sensitivity (mobile phone sensitivity seems to have been fairly quietly dropped by the majority of alties - perhaps because there's been sufficient time to determine that there's no observable health problem with their use).

Many think that this is jumping the gun, rather like promoting mercury as the cause of autism. It also seems somewhat less than reliable to claim wi-fi as the cause of various health problems when there is no proof other than some people claiming "it works for me". Such people try to avoid wi-fi (but not radio and television waves and, probably, televisions, refrigerators, washing machines, house wiring, clock radios, stereos, DVD players, computers, heaters, iPods, cars, telephones etc).

Yet, perhaps, there is something in this. Could the fact that people making and supporting these claims do not seem to be functioning with all their faculties be meaningful? Could it be that magnetism doesn't make you duller, but the opposite?

COULD magnets make the mind grow stronger? In mice at least, stimulating the brain with a magnetic coil appears to promote the growth of new neurons in areas associated with learning and memory. If the effect is confirmed in humans, it might open up new ways of treating age-related memory decline and diseases like Alzheimer's.

Does this mean that people avoiding electromagnetism are making themselves duller intellectually? Of course, one would first have to separate cause and effect.

And if you really believe that such forces are inimical, it might be hard for the alties to find anywhere in the universe to hide.

We aren't even sure such things exist. But that hasn't stopped two cosmologists from proposing that huge magnetic fields spanning the great voids of the universe could explain where dark energy comes from.

1 comment:

  1. And then of course there's tinfoil hats. Although there's always the question of whether or not you can make a Faraday cage out of aluminium foil...


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