Watch blood cells clump together during a mobile phone call
6th January 2011
We recently re-discovered this video that was first made available in August 2009, and we were so intrigued we decided to share it with those of you who may not have seen it the first time around.
The video was recorded by Arjen Witzel in the Netherlands, and is about 6 minutes long (edited from an original 34 minute video), showing the effects of a continuous mobile phone call on blood cells in the ear, showing increasing 'clumping' resulting in reduced movement by the cells. The video clips show effects at 6 minutes (0.13 secs into the video), 17 minutes (0.50 secs) and 29 minutes (4.33 minutes) after the beginning of the phone call. After 17 minutes the blood can be compared with someone with severe flu and fever.
If anyone has seen a replication of this, or has any comments on the medical implications, please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
We include below an excerpt from our free article "Mobile Phones 4 - Biological control systems, cells and blood".
As early as 1927, Ernst Muth first discovered that red blood cells exposed to radio frequency waves at levels far less powerful than permitted today line up in chains resembling strings of pearls. In 2002, Bo Sernelius, a physicist at Linkoping University in Sweden, calculated what effect EMFs created by different frequencies would have on van der Waals forces, the attractive forces between cells. According to Sernelius' figures, in fields of 850 MHz, the attractive forces appear to leap to micronewton strength. That is a huge jump of around 11 orders of magnitude, and completely unexpected, says Sernelius. If the effect could be confirmed experimentally, it could form the basis of an explanation for tissue damage: stronger attractive forces might make them clump together, for example, or cause blood vessels to contract.
Two students of the gymnasium high school in Spaichingen in Germany in 2005 got their fellow pupils to use a mobile phone for 20 seconds and tested the red blood cells The cells lumped together in 'rolls of coins' immediately after. Ten minutes later the effect could still be seen.
For German-speaking readers, see also this article. Cells which clump together take up less oxygen and also raise the risk of thrombosis.