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Links With Your Coffee - Friday

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The antivax bullshit stresses me out every time. I want to know about it, but I know if I read it (especially the super stupid, super entitled comments of antivaxers) I'm gonna be completely annoyed for a while. These are the posts that generate the most comments at BA, and Respectful Insolence. Even PZ gets them. gah!

[...]several observational studies in humans linked a possible increased risk of Alzheimer's with "low-frequency" electromagnetic exposure -- like the energy waves generated by power and telephone lines. However, cell phones emit "high-frequency" electromagnetic waves, which are very different because they can have beneficial effects on brain cell function, such as increasing brain cell activity[...]

Ok, now I'm really confused. I was under the impression that cellphones emitted signals in the microwave spectrum. What exactly is being defined as "low-" and "high-frequency" here? Also, the influence on brain temperature and blood flow being described here seem to me to be hallmarks of rotational excitation, caused by "low-frequency" EM radiation. X-rays ("high-frequency") and such are certainly not beneficial to human tissue as far as I am aware. What does the guy mean by this?

That confusion aside, this study looks pretty cool, and could prove quite promising for Alzheimer's patients if the same effects occur in humans. I suppose some fairly substantial investigation remains to be done to understand the mechanism, though.

I'm just as skeptical about this report as I was about the reports claiming that cell phones were harmful – this just smells very bad. You are right about the frequencies (energies) involved - at the very low end of molecular rotational energies and overlapping the frequencies of some NMR spectrometers. I'll take bets on this turning out to be irreproducible bullshit.

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