Lea Nielsen, Mathilde Nielsen, Signe Nielsen, Sisse Coltau and Rikke Holm, all of whom go to Hjallerup School in North Jutland in Denmark, have just won themselves one thousand krone for a very ‘elegant’ bit of science….
Noticing that they all had difficulty in sleeping and concentrating on the nights when they slept with their phones by their heads, they devised a simple experiment to test whether the radiation from their phones could be the problem. Admittedly, extrapolating too much from an experiment on cress could be dodgy, but the result of their efforts have sufficiently impressed Professor Olle Johansson at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm that he is proposing to repeat their trial with Belgian research colleague, Professor Marie-Claire Cammaert at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.
All they did was to set up twelve trays with cress seeds and to put six into a room where there was no electromagnetic radiation and the other six in a room next to two routers, broadcasting the same level of radiation as an ordinary mobile phone. Twelve days later, this was the result: the trays in the radiation-free room had grown perfectly normally and had a good crop of healthy cress, the ones in the room with the routers just did not grow at all – indeed some of the seeds had mutated and some were just dead.
We will await the results of Profs Johansson and Cammaert’s rerun of the experiment – but meanwhile the girls now leave their phones outside their bedrooms and turned off when they go to bed!