Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Mobile Phone and Brain Tumour

I have never explained my assignment which kept me awake for three nights... It should be one of my favourite subjects, being statistics, maths and all, but I find that I was not very inspired throughout the process. Laziness and procrastination overrides interest, I guess.

Oh ya, talk about the assignment... We were supposed to write a 2500-word essay regarding epidemiological study. Basically, epidemiology study is a process in which the relationship between an exposure and an outcome is determined through statistical means. For example, you can recruit 10000 smokers and 10000 non-smokers, and then wait for 20 years and see which group has more cases of lung cancers. So say we have 2000 cases in the smokers group and 150 cases in the non-smokers group, we can be pretty confident that smoking is related to a higher risk of getting lung cancer.

Of course, in our assignment we were not asked to conduct an epidemiological study by ourselves. Instead, they are actually asking us to write a proposal about an epidemiological study, which aims to determine whether the use of mobile phones increases the risk of brain tumour.

Oh well, it was actually a crazy task. We had only 3 lectures on all those study designs and they expected us to know everything. Well, let's put a mathematican on an architecture crash course and write about the appreciation of Gothic architectural style. Haha, just in case, Eric, I am not referring to you, but just trying to show how hard it had been for us to write and appreciate and explain everything within 3 weeks.

I wouldn't go into the details of our study designs, as I would not be as cruel as forcing everyone to tread my path again. However, for those who are interested in what I actually wrote, here is my final write-up regarding the topic.

The reasons I put this up is because I just read a news article regarding the very topic I wrote about. There have actually been lots of researches done regarding this issue, and most of the findings showed that there were no increased risk for brain tumour among mobile phone users. However, the most recent study has showed a substantial increased risk for a heavy user (defined as more than 2000 hour life-time use). Here are the links to the original published research (pdf file), the news article in Reuters Science, and the discussions going on in Slashdot.

Thinking of abandoning mobile phones? I won't.


Eric Fu said...
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Eric Fu said...

Well, I guess life is too short to abandon cell phones for brain tumor. =) By the way, there is a typo - mathematician, not mathematican.

jasmine said...

wow, eric is particular about spelling.=P

anyway we did data logging in school the other day..measured radiation from our phones (when taking a call, making a call, and smsing).

the nokia phones tested had the lowest radiation, followed by samsung and finally sonic erikson (err, wrong spelling?).

but maybe it isn't directly related to tumours.

day-dreamer said...

Jasmine, Eric being particular about spelling is just so him. Ha ha!

Hmm... I don't think I will abandon my handphone for health reasons. After all, are there any studies which 101% prove that you won't get brain tumor if you don't use handphones? No right?