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Is there a reason we’ve always been told not to stand too close to the microwave oven? If you can’t remember the reason, it may be because you’re using your cell phone too much. Scientists at the Division of Neurosurgery, Lund University, in Sweden Nittby studied rats that were exposed to mobile phone radiation for two hours a week for more than a year. They concluded that these rats had poorer results on a memory test than rats that had not been exposed to radiation. The radiation caused brain damage in the rats resulting in memory loss.

Researchers Henrietta Nittby and Professor Leif Salford believe that microwave radiation from cell phones can affect the so-called blood-brain barrier. This is a barrier that protects the brain by preventing substances circulating in the blood from penetrating into the brain tissue and damaging nerve cells. Professor Salford previously found that albumin, a protein that functions as a transport molecule in the blood, leaks into brain tissue when laboratory animals are exposed to mobile phone radiation.

The research team also found certain nerve damage in the form of damaged nerve cells in the cerebral cortex and in the hippocampus, the memory center of the brain. Albumin leakage occurs directly after radiation, while the nerve damage occurs only later, after four to eight weeks. Moreover, they have discovered alterations in the activity of a large number of genes, not in individual genes but in groups that are functionally related.

Henrietta Nittby never holds her cell phone to her ear, using hands-free equipment instead. This is probably a good practice for all consumers to follow. These findings could mean trouble for the mobile phone industry.

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