WiFi Kills Sperm?

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Just don't download with the laptop on your lap. Solved.

Wifi-enabled laptops may be nuking sperm

The digital age has left men's nether parts in a squeeze, if you believe the latest science on semen, laptops and wireless connections.

In a report in the venerable medical journal Fertility and Sterility, Argentinian scientists describe how they got semen samples from 29 healthy men, placed a few drops under a laptop connected to the Internet via Wi-Fi and then hit download.

Four hours later, the semen was, eh, well-done.

A quarter of the sperm were no longer swimming around, for instance, compared to just 14 percent from semen samples stored at the same temperature away from the computer. And nine percent of the sperm showed DNA damage, three-fold more than the comparison samples.

The culprit? Electromagnetic radiation generated during wireless communication, say Conrado Avendano of Nascentis Medicina Reproductiva in Cordoba and colleagues.

"Our data suggest that the use of a laptop computer wirelessly connected to the internet and positioned near the male reproductive organs may decrease human sperm quality," they write in their report.

"At present we do not know whether this effect is induced by all laptop computers connected by Wi-Fi to the internet or what use conditions heighten this effect."

A separate test with a laptop that was on, but not wirelessly connected, found negligible EM radiation from the machine alone. The findings fuel concerns raised by a few other research teams.

Some have found that radiation from cell phones creates feeble sperm in the lab, for example. And last year urologists described how a man's sitting with a laptop balanced on his knees can crank up the temperature of his scrotum to levels that aren't good for sperm.

So between the heat and the radiation from today's electronic devices, testicles would seem to be hard-pressed.

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This page contains a single entry by cul published on November 28, 2011 9:53 PM.

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