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  # 959791 1-Jan-2014 09:06
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Adding to what Zenourn says...

zenourn: Although it is impossible to prove that WiFi doesn't increase the risk of cancer, the relative risk of brain cancer in humans given that you have been exposed to WiFi appears to be very close to 1.0 (i.e., at most only slightly increases/decreases cancer risk). Of course, given these results are based upon observational studies in humans and treatment studies in animals care is needed in interpretation. It isn't easy randomly assigning hundreds of thousands of children to control and 'treatment' groups where they receive different doses of WiFi radiation over several years and then compare their cancer incidence over the next 20 years. 
 

On the one hand, children are very susceptible to contaminants in the environment (e.g. lead, alcohol, drugs are all worse for kids than aduts). Cell biology and cancer biology are very complicated, and children's immune systems are not fully developed. Is it not unreasonable to believe that non-ionising radiation has some effect on cell biology that we don't understand yet, when all we know is what we learn from these observational studies?

On the other hand, the chance of getting cancer is based on an aggregate of probabilities from various risks/carcinogens. Not even all smokers get lung cancer (only most of them). An oncologist won't tell you that risk factors x, y, and/or z caused your cancer - they just don't know. (Unless you hare a smoker.) Removing a small risk from the environment will only reduce the probability of getting cancer by that small amount. 


What these parents need to realise is that brain cancer in children is relatively common, with an annual incidence around 3 per 100,000 children. Many children who develop cancer will have used WiFi devices but looking at all the cases of children who use WiFi and don't develop cancer shows that they are likely independent events. The combination of genes that the child gets from the parents plays a far greater role in the risk of the child developing brain cancer but it is much more satisfying to certain people to place blame on something life WiFi rather than the random combination of genes the child got from you.
 
 

The parents in the story believe that Wifi is an environmental factor that is within their control. I have two children, and I'd also like their risk of getting brain cancer to be as small as possible. However, the risk has to be (1) proven, (2) non-negligible and (3) not too inconvenient. All are subjective and need a judgement call (even (1) to a certain extent). Much better to stay healthy (strong immune system) and focus on the known, greater risks...


I wish people would focus their energy of things that actually have reasonable scientific evidence of influencing morbidity and mortality of children (vaccinations, sunburn, obesity, smoke exposure, prenatal alcohol and drug exposure, ...).


... though I wish you hadn't said vaccinations in that last sentence.

I have just noticed that there is a wireless AP about 1 metre from my son's head in bed at night, through the wall. I must go and move it.




 

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  # 959794 1-Jan-2014 09:33
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This can't be that hard to proof or disproof ?

Take a congested place with wifi everywhere sms I mean everywhere. measure the incidence of said condition and you have a correlation.

Singapore.




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


 
 
 
 


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  # 959799 1-Jan-2014 09:48
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joker97: This can't be that hard to proof or disproof ?

Take a congested place with wifi everywhere sms I mean everywhere. measure the incidence of said condition and you have a correlation.

Singapore.


Unfortunately it is not that easy. The problem with observational studies is that there may be lurking uncontrolled variables that explain any difference observed. For example, if comparing Singapore to another country any difference in the incidence of cancer could also be attributed to the genetic makeup of the population, diet, local weather, specific pathogens in the environment, etc.



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  # 959819 1-Jan-2014 10:44
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If they take away the WiFi the kids won't have a reason to go to school anymore.

I wonder if there are any of those free telecom hotspots in the area? What about the schools neighbors WiFi penetrating the school grounds? Are the kids banned from setting up WiFi hotspots on their mobiles too?


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  # 959821 1-Jan-2014 10:46
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Klipspringer: If they take away the WiFi the kids won't have a reason to go to school anymore.


Now, I ma not in favour of removing the WiFi because of pseudo-science.

But I thought the reason of going to school was to learn, not to leech WiFi. They do have very good reason to go to school. If parents can't put this in their heads, then it's a shame the future we expect in this country.






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  # 959823 1-Jan-2014 10:54
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jpoc:
Goosey: This guy is local from NZ and had completed a huge amount of research piror to his death.
Experts say that if he was still alive… the theory would have been proven and published by now…

http://www.neilcherry.com



So that link takes you to a page that asserts that all EM radiation is bad and causes cancer and allsorts and then invites you to pay to read the full reports.


I looked closer. The page asserts that there is strong and robust scientific evidence for an effect.

Payment is no longer required for the papers. They are now full papers not just an abstract.

jpoc:Is this real science or just another way to extract money from gullible people?


No, it is real science. The guy was a genuine NZ scientist working in his area of expertise. It is not some opinionated drivel.

The work deserves to be taken seriously as science and any criticisms should be addressed on that basis. Personally I am not qualified to do so and it will take me some some to digest even one of those papers.

http://www.neilcherry.com/documents.php

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  # 959824 1-Jan-2014 11:01
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freitasm:
Klipspringer: If they take away the WiFi the kids won't have a reason to go to school anymore.


Now, I ma not in favour of removing the WiFi because of pseudo-science.

But I thought the reason of going to school was to learn, not to leech WiFi. They do have very good reason to go to school. If parents can't put this in their heads, then it's a shame the future we expect in this country.




hehe was a joke.

But I can just picture the disappointment of the kids.

I wonder whats worse.

Having a Wifi network at school or walking around with a wifi tethered phone in your pants pocket all day.


 
 
 
 


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  # 959828 1-Jan-2014 11:23
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No, it is real science. The guy was a genuine NZ scientist working in his area of expertise. It is not some opinionated drivel.

The work deserves to be taken seriously as science and any criticisms should be addressed on that basis. Personally I am not qualified to do so and it will take me some some to digest even one of those papers.

http://www.neilcherry.com/documents.php



Reading some of these documents is causing my bad-science detector to go to high alert. My area of expertise is developing models of predictive risk in neurodegenerative disorders (I have a PhD in Medicine, BSc Hons in Mathematics) so work on similar things.

As one example take a look at this paragraph from http://www.neilcherry.com/documents/90_p1_EMR_Epidemiological_Principles_for_EMF_and_EMR_Studies.pdf:

"Strength can be indicated by two factors, the size of the Relative Risk and the p-value. A very large and/or very significant RR value (p<0.01) can be assessed as causal. If the p-value is p<0.005 or even p<0.001 then the strength of the relationship is classically causal. "

This is absolute rubbish. All a significant p-value tells you is the probability of observing data as extreme as this given that the null hypothesis is zero. It tells you absolutely nothing about causal relationships. Being able to infer causal relationships relies on your experimental design and proper analysis.

Unfortunately, the documents are full of such basic errors that nothing in them can be relied upon.

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  # 959830 1-Jan-2014 11:26
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johnr: Bet they watch TV and use a microwave over


Or walk past some Vodafone Cell tower. Even that live within coverage.

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  # 960064 1-Jan-2014 19:05
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<<It is like trying to argue with people who don't vaccinate (who are doing so despite comprehensive scientific proof and usually based on an autism scare that has been thoroughly disproved). >>   Actually, it's not like that at all. You'd lose that argument [with the right person though admittedly many anti-vaccinators are as ignorant as the anti-microwave people]. You'd lose both arguments, though the cellphone/wifi risk is vastly lower than the vaccination risks, which are very high.

The risk from modern cellphones held right by the head is so close to zero that it can be ignored compared with a huge array of actual high-risk activities that people do or have inflicted on them. But it is not zero.

Epidemiological studies of acoustic neuromas on ear nerves to the brain show that the risk is below the level of their study, but within the studies, there is enough hint of risk that it's above zero.

Rather than observing results, we can also estimate risk.

We know that ionizing radiation damages dna and causes cancer [with various probabilities and whatnot]. We know that 2GHz is not ionizing [and neither is lower frequency spectrum].  http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/ionize_nonionize.html  
We also know that 2GHz is absorbed in brain tissue to some extent.
And that photons are wave functions which interfere with each other causing patterns in the aether like various size waves on the ocean interfere with each other, causing bigger peaks, or cancellation, with some combining to form freak waves which sink boats.
So, if a 2GHz and almost ionizing photons combine together just at the point of absorption into brain tissue, the combination goes from not ionizing, to ionizing. Hey presto, two non-ionizing wave functions cause ionizing DNA damage and probabilistic cancer of the brain.
Throw into the soup a handy chemical carcinogen at the site and the probability of cancer rises some more.

2GHz is such a low energy photon that the number of extra incidents of ionizing or chemical boosting would be minuscule and not worth looking for. But it should not be dismissed out of hand because for the 1 in 100,000 person [or maybe it's 1:10 million] who might get brain cancer from it, it's the end of the world. Of course that person has a 1:3 chance of getting some other cancer, such as from the sausage they ate [contains nitrites which cause nitrosamines in the stomach when combined with some amine, and thereby cancer], or the bread crusts [browning of foods causes polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to form some of which are carcinogenic, same as in tobacco smoke and diesel exhaust].

The parents of the children at school are sure to be feeding them "food" which is vastly more harmful than the infinitesimal theoretical risk of cellphone and wifi radiation which huge epidemiological studies have not been able to demonstrate. Admittedly, I have not checked epidemiological studies in several years.

Disclosure of interests - I'm a shareholder in Qualcomm Incorporated and Zenbu Networks Ltd [which both supply equipment using 2GHz microwaves]. I was also a BP Oil International technical/marketing employee, hence my interest in chemical carcinogens and risk in general. Lead in petrol was a major disaster. Worrying about cellphone and wifi radiation seems absurd.






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  # 960078 1-Jan-2014 19:26
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Regarding the anti-vaccine crowd.

First, the Lancet has retracted the original article which created this monster:


The study itself has not stood the test of time. The results could not be replicated by other labs. A decade of subsequent research has sufficiently cleared the MMR vaccine of any connection to ASD. The lab used to search for measles virus in the guts of the study subjects has been shown to have used flawed techniques, resulting in false positives (from the Autism Omnibus testimony, and here is a quick summary). There does not appear to be any association between autism and a GI disorder.

But it’s OK to be wrong in science. There is no expectation that every potential finding will turn out to be true – in fact it is expected that most new finding will eventually be found to be false. That’s the nature of investigating the unknown. No harm no foul.

Andrew Wakefield, however, was apparently guilty of more than just getting it wrong, or even of being a sloppy scientist. He has been the subject of an ethics investigation by the General Medical Council who recently concluded that:

The General Medical Council ruled he had acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in doing his research.

What is also at issue, however, is the integrity of the published peer-reviewed medical research. Again – there is not the expectation that peer-reviewed research will always get the answer right. In fact, the published research stands as an important record of error – the blind alleys, red herrings, false correlations, and erroneous conclusions that are part of the history of science.

However, error should not include scientific fraud, or science that is thoroughly misrepresented. One aspect of the transparency demanded by science, and increasingly an issue, is disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. This is the issue that first got Wakefield in hot water with the Lancet – the journal that published his original research. Wakefield was being paid as an expert by lawyers who were suing over alleged vaccine injury. In fact some of the children in the study were the children of parents who were suing. This is a massive conflict of interest.


Another day I was listening to a friend (mother) telling other friends (mothers) to be careful with vaccines because "a judge ruled that vaccines are linked to autism". I didn't say anything because I was going get mobbed there (being the only father in the room), but in reality that "court rulings don't confirm autism-vaccine link".

So many things are spread like this...




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  # 960079 1-Jan-2014 19:31
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freitasm: Regarding the anti-vaccine crowd.

First, the Lancet has retracted the original article which created this monster:


The study itself has not stood the test of time. The results could not be replicated by other labs. A decade of subsequent research has sufficiently cleared the MMR vaccine of any connection to ASD. The lab used to search for measles virus in the guts of the study subjects has been shown to have used flawed techniques, resulting in false positives (from the Autism Omnibus testimony, and here is a quick summary). There does not appear to be any association between autism and a GI disorder.

But it’s OK to be wrong in science. There is no expectation that every potential finding will turn out to be true – in fact it is expected that most new finding will eventually be found to be false. That’s the nature of investigating the unknown. No harm no foul.

Andrew Wakefield, however, was apparently guilty of more than just getting it wrong, or even of being a sloppy scientist. He has been the subject of an ethics investigation by the General Medical Council who recently concluded that:

The General Medical Council ruled he had acted “dishonestly and irresponsibly” in doing his research.

What is also at issue, however, is the integrity of the published peer-reviewed medical research. Again – there is not the expectation that peer-reviewed research will always get the answer right. In fact, the published research stands as an important record of error – the blind alleys, red herrings, false correlations, and erroneous conclusions that are part of the history of science.

However, error should not include scientific fraud, or science that is thoroughly misrepresented. One aspect of the transparency demanded by science, and increasingly an issue, is disclosure of potential conflicts of interest. This is the issue that first got Wakefield in hot water with the Lancet – the journal that published his original research. Wakefield was being paid as an expert by lawyers who were suing over alleged vaccine injury. In fact some of the children in the study were the children of parents who were suing. This is a massive conflict of interest.


Another day I was listening to a friend (mother) telling other friends (mothers) to be careful with vaccines because "a judge ruled that vaccines are linked to autism". I didn't say anything because I was going get mobbed there (being the only father in the room), but in reality that "court rulings don't confirm autism-vaccine link".

So many things are spread like this...


They are usually spread by fiction sites such as Stuff




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

Using empathy takes no energy and can gain so much. Try it.

 

 


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  # 960100 1-Jan-2014 20:39
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zenourn:
joker97: This can't be that hard to proof or disproof ?

Take a congested place with wifi everywhere sms I mean everywhere. measure the incidence of said condition and you have a correlation.

Singapore.


Unfortunately it is not that easy. The problem with observational studies is that there may be lurking uncontrolled variables that explain any difference observed. For example, if comparing Singapore to another country any difference in the incidence of cancer could also be attributed to the genetic makeup of the population, diet, local weather, specific pathogens in the environment, etc.




It is that simple. If there is no difference there is no difference. If there is a difference an observational study cannot infer causation. But if there is no difference then there is no difference. Easy.




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 960113 1-Jan-2014 20:56
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Vaccines is even easier.

Without vaccines childhood death rates are sky high. Vaccines save lives. I won't go any further in case it comes out wrong.

It's like if you wear seat belts you could hurt your skin and internal organs if you don't wear a seat belt you become sushi in a crash.

In fact I heard the NHS has changed its diagnostic criteria of autism because it is costing them too much money (sorry no link I'm on my phone)

Edit not nhs the Americans theconversation.com/redefining-autism-in-the-dsm-5-6385




Swype on iOS is detrimental to accurate typing. Apologies in advance.


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  # 960118 1-Jan-2014 21:36
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It is that simple. If there is no difference there is no difference. If there is a difference an observational study cannot infer causation. But if there is no difference then there is no difference. Easy.


If there is no difference between the two populations in an observational study still can't say that there is no effect of WiFi on cancer rates. Lets assume that baseline population rate of brain cancer is 3 in 100,000 and that there really is an effect of high-exposure to WiFi as observed in Singapore (but not NZ) with an increase of 1 in 100,000. Lets also assume that in Singapore that their unique diet offers a cancer suppressing effect which reduces brain cancer by 1 in 100,000.

In NZ we observe a rate of 3 in 100,000. In Singapore we observe a rate of 3 + 1 - 1 = 3 in 100,000. Thus there is no observed difference but (by construction) there really is an effect of high-exposure to WiFi on cancer rates.


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