Saturday February 24, 2018

Smartphone myths busted: It won’t give you brain cancer

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New Delhi: Smartphone users can take a deep breath now. All the studies claiming that the radiation emitted from cellphones can cause brain cancer while posing to be hazardous to health have turned into a myth.

According to health experts, radiations emitted from cellphones will not give you brain cancer but, yes, excessive cell phone use can lead to other health conditions, especially among children.

Some time back, the World Health Organisation’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified mobile phone use and other radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as a possible carcinogen but with a rider that there is no research to back the claim.

The study also revealed no evidence of increasing risk with progressively increasing number of calls, longer call time, or years since beginning cellphone use.

“Mobile phones don’t cause cancer or promote the accelerated growth of existing tumors. Although there have been some concerns that radiofrequency energy from cell phones held closely to the head may affect the brain and other tissues, but to date, there is no evidence from studies of cells, animals, or humans that radiofrequency energy can cause cancer,” explained Dr Indu Bansal Aggarwal, senior consultant (oncology) at Paras Hospitals.

Radiofrequency energy emanating from cellphones is a form of electromagnetic radiation that is non-ionizing.

No study or research about cancer has proved that non-ionising radiation causes cancer. If someone speaks on a mobile phone for a long time, it generates heat.

“The only known biological effect of radiofrequency energy is heating. Radiofrequency exposure from cellphone use does cause heating; however, it is not sufficient to measurably increase body temperature,” added Dr S Hukku, director (radiation oncology) at the BLK Super Specialty Hospital in the capital.

But when it comes to the excessive use of cellphones, there are health conditions that can affect people.

According to a report by networking giant Cisco, the number of mobile users in India is projected to grow 4.4 percent to 990.2 million by 2020 – covering about 71 percent of the country’s population.

Smartphone addiction can reduce melatonin hormone levels, which may lead to neuro-degenerative diseases later in life. Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland in the brain which helps regulate other hormones and maintains the body’s circadian rhythm.

“Impaired concentration, eye problems, increased stress and chronic pain, negative effect on emotions, heart disorders, decreased sperm count and decreased hearing are some major health issues arising out of the excessive use of cell phone,” Aggarwal said.

As for children, scientists have discovered that a mere two-minutes phone call can alter the electoral activity of their brain for up to an hour.

“The disturbed brain activity could impair children’s learning ability and lead to other behavioral problems,” Aggarwal told reporters.

To avoid this, keep phone calls short, use air tube headset for calls, avoid using a cellphone in an enclosed metal space such as an elevator and do not keep the mobile phone close to the body when switched on.

“Do not place your smartphone under a pillow and avoid calls when the signal strength is low to reduce the impact of cell phone radiation on health,” Hukku suggested.

Above all, spend some time with your family where the smartphone is not an invitee! (Somrita Ghosh, IANS)

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Huawei to showcase world’s 1st smartphone-driven car

Huawei will showcase its "RoadReader" project at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain on February 26-27

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During the test, the smartphone-driven car did not hit a real dog sitting right in the middle of the road and moved on from the side.
During the test, the smartphone-driven car did not hit a real dog sitting right in the middle of the road and moved on from the side. Pixabay

In a first, Huawei has unveiled a technology that uses Artificial Intelligence-enabled smartphone to drive a car that can not only identify objects on the road but make smart decisions to avoid collisions or hitting someone.

In a video released by the China-based technology giant, the driverless Porsche Panamera is controlled by Huawei’s flagship “Mate 10 Pro” smartphone that can “understand its surroundings”.

“Our smartphone is already outstanding at object recognition.

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We wanted to see it in a short space of time we could teach it to not only drive a car, but to use its AI capabilities to see certain objects, and be taught to avoid them,” said Andrew Garrihy, Chief Marketing Officer at Huawei Europe.

According to a report in theinquirer.net on Friday, Huawei’s ‘RoadReader’ project “pushed the boundaries of its object recognition technology and put the learning capabilities, speed and performance of its AI-powered devices to the test”.

Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. is a Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company.
Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd. is a Chinese multinational networking and telecommunications equipment and services company. Wikimedia Commons

During the test, the smartphone-driven car did not hit a real dog sitting right in the middle of the road and moved on from the side.

The camera app on the “Mate 10 Pro” can tell the difference between food, pets, landscapes and more.

Huawei will showcase its “RoadReader” project at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain on February 26-27. (IANS)

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