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How Cell Phones Affect Brain Cells
This Is Bristol
March 19, 2003

Part of a major research programme into the effects of mobile phones on the brain is set to be implemented by Bristol scientists this summer. Professor Alan Preece, head of Biophysics Group of the Department of Medical Physics at the Bristol Oncology Centre, and his colleague Dr Stuart Butler, director of the Burden Neurological Institute at Frenchay Hospital, are to conduct the two-year study.

They are currently awaiting highly-specialised equipment to use in the research, which will involve more than 30 people over a range of ages.

The pair, along with a team of researchers, will look into the electrical interference on the brain and any neurological patterns and responses they create.

Professor Preece has been looking into the effects of mobile phones for years and released a study which conclusively found that mobile-phone radiation does disturb brain patterns in 1999.

He said: "We are looking forward to starting the research, which has been in the pipelines for some time now. But the regulations of the equipment are proving tricky to meet, because there are many parts to this study and we all must be working from the same level."

The UK-wide study has cost 7.3 million to implement and all the phones being made by companies have to adhere to the exact same standards, output and technical ingredient.

Phones will have no logos or identifiable markings on them, but will carry only a code so that they can be sufficiently recorded by each group of researchers.

Monitoring used must also be extremely similar or exactly the same so that no results can be played off against each other.

This will enable the findings to be regarded as a solid body of information, even though they are being carried out by numerous groups of scientists.

Prof Preece said: "It is unfortunate that we would like to have all the answers now as more and more people are taking up using mobiles, but the tests must be exact and so the preparation will take a long time.

"Even at the end of the results we will still have a long way to go before we are able to answer certain questions which are commonly raised by the public."

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