Another Pointless Study Parroted by the Media

The media loves to run headlines that sound shocking and a majority of people seem unwilling to read the actual content of articles meaning baseless information becomes widely circulated. Take this article titled Wi-Fi Near Testes Could Decrease Male Fertility: Study. After reading the headline many people probably go, “Gosh Wi-Fi is killing my sperm, we need to ban it!” Truth be told the study is meaningless because of the following fact:

A team of Argentine scientists placed healthy sperm under a laptop running a Wi-Fi connection. After four hours, the Wi-Fi-exposed sperm showed signs of damage including slowed motility and increased DNA fragmentation, the researchers found. Healthy sperm stored for the same time and temperature away from the computer didn’t show the damage.

Sounds like a pretty solid method so long as you ignore this tidbit towards the end:

The study, however, is far from conclusive on the effect of Wi-Fi on male fertility, mostly because the study was done with in vitro (out of the body) sperm. To continue to advance knowledge in this area, the authors of the paper suggested further in vivo (in organism) studies.

So the study didn’t test sperm in testicles, which is very important because the type of radiation emitted at the power levels we use for our wireless devices (Wi-Fi and cell phones for instance) don’t penetrate skin all that well. This study would be akin to demonstrating ultraviolet radiation kills sperm when they’re outside of a body. Being one purpose of skin is to protect the internal organs from ultraviolet radiation this is one of those no-shit-sherlock results.

This study is nothing more than sensationalist bullshit meant to generate scary headlines to up newspaper sales and page hits. People who read articles before parroting what the headline states need not worry about these traps but it appears as though a large portion of our population does not do this.