An experiment that tested the effects of mobile phone radiation conducted by 5 girls in a grade 9 class at Hjallerup School in North Jutland, Denmark has drawn acclaim and attention from numerous established researchers and scientists throughout Europe.
The girls, Lea Nielsen, Mathilde Nielsen, Signe Nielsen, Sisse Coltau and Rikke Holm, decided to conduct the experiment when they found that they were struggling to concentrate in class and having trouble sleeping and they wondered if this might have something to do with the fact that they slept with their mobile phones by their bedside. The school however, did not have the equipment to test the effects of radiation on the girls themselves, so the budding scientists chose a different subject – cress seeds.
They took 400 cress seeds and divided them into 12 trays, which were then placed in two different rooms at the same temperature. The girls made sure that the trays in both rooms had the same amount of sunlight and water and in one room, they used a router to expose the trays to the same amount of radiation that would be emitted from a standard cell phone.
The girls waited 12 days and then observed their results. The difference in the trays was both shocking and astounding. The cress that had not been exposed was green, luscious and healthy, whereas that which had been exposed had not grown at all, some had mutated and died.
One of the researchers, Lea Nielsen said,
It’s really frightening that there was such a big effect, and we were really struck by the results.
The experiment was so ingenious that it has drawn a great deal of attention from Europe’s leading biologists and radiation experts and it has secured the girls a place in the final of the “Young Researchers” competition. Researchers from the UK, Sweden and the Netherlands have also shown an interest in the girls’ experiment.
Professor Olle Johanson of Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm is one of those who was fascinated and intrigued by the experiment and is considering recreating it in a lab with research colleagues. Johanson said,
Within the limitations of their understanding and ability, the girls have carried out and documented a very elegant piece of work. The wealth of detail and precision is exemplary, the choice of the right cress is very intelligent, and I could go on.
Johanson also said that he hoped the girls pursued a career in research because they definitely showed an aptitude for it and added that he would love to have them in his team!!
The girls said that they were overwhelmed by the attention garnered by their experiment and that since they discovered the results they have all stopped sleeping with their mobile phones at their bedside!