By Noel Murphy
THE HUMAN brain is said to be the greatest sexual aphrodisiac of all but mobile phones might be changing that, a Geelong scientist has warned.
Neuroscientist Sarah Loughran said that friendly buzz in Aussie blokes’ pockets might be damaging their sperm.
The same phone might be responsible for unknown changes in brain activity that researchers around the world are trying to fathom.
Doctor Loughran, home after five years research in Zurich, Switzerland, said too many questions had been raised about the effect of mobiles on sperm shape and movement for the matter to be ignored. Likewise on changes recorded in brain activity.
The jury’s out, Dr Loughran said, but studies she’s undertaking with University of Wollongong might provide new insights into just what phones really do, or don’t do, to humans.
“The brain shows small changes, a fast burst of activity, you don’t have when you’re awake,’’ Dr Loughran said of research in which participants had phones placed over the right temporal region.
The questions are just what this activity might mean, whether it affects sleep or other biological functions and whether more far-reaching effects might be linked to mobile phones.
Dr Loughran said widespread concerns had been raised about cancer links to phones but reproductive functions were also a concern because of their sensitivity to heat and the heat generated by mobile phones.
Phones might affect sperm motility, the ability of sperm cells to move forward, she said. They might also affect sperm morphology, the shape of sperm cells.
“Everything that radiates has the possibility of heating,’’ Dr Loughran said.
“It’s the extent of heating we’re talking about.
“There have been quite a lot of studies internationally that suggest motility and morphology can be decreased, and also sperm concentration.’’
Further research was needed because of the inconclusive nature of the studies, Dr Loughran said.
By Noel Murphy