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Wifi cards linked to sperm damage

29th November 2011

The wireless interface card on a person's laptop can damage human sperm, according to a recent Argentinian study.


The researchers found that the wireless connection not only killed sperm, but also damaged the sperm's DNA.

If wireless connections are damaging human sperm all the time, that would raise the probability that a pair of parents would give birth to a child with birth defects.

Lead researcher Conrado Avendano, of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba, Argentina, wrote that using a computer connected to a wireless interface, especially if the computer was placed near the genitals, could damage human sperm and weaken male fertility.

He said that he and his colleagues did not know whether or not the effect was caused by all laptops.

For the study, the researchers simply observed the effects of the electromagnetic radiation generated by all wireless network cards.

Compared to sperm that was not exposed to such electromagnetic radiation, sperm put next to a laptop connected to the internet was three times more likely to have DNA damage.

Laptops that were not connected to the internet were also tested, but seemed to generate too little electromagnetic radiation to be an issue.

In previous studies, some researchers have found that mobile phones electromagnetic radiation also creates feeble sperm in laboratories.

Other studies have suggested that heat generated by laptops can be bad for the temperature management of the scrotum.

Some experts disagreed that the finding could be applied to male biology, however.

Robert Oates, president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, said that the study did not represent real-life biology, since it was set completely artificially.

He said that he believed the study would only create anxiety for people, and that people should focus on staying healthy and exercising.

A report released several weeks ago showed that men who eat a diet rich in fruit and grains and low in red meat, alcohol, and coffee had a better chance of being fertile.

However, since the 29 study subjects were all healthy men who had passed the semen donor screening process, more research will be needed to prove or disprove the researchers' conclusions.

Oates said that, while he found the recent study interesting scientifically, he did not believe it had any human biological relevance.


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