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Meta-analysis claim: Cell phone use => reduced sperm motility/viability
June 22, 2014 4:28 PM   Subscribe

The claim is a little less than 10% for both reduced factors but still surprised they're seeing *any*. It's an Elsevier summary page but can find data other places.
posted by aleph (19 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: Maybe repost when the full article is available somewhere? -- mathowie

That's very convenient, since reduced motility/viability is all I've ever asked from my sperm.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:30 PM on June 22 [9 favorites]

*takes phone out of pocket*
posted by TwelveTwo at 4:31 PM on June 22

*sticks phone in pocket, pats it lovingly*
posted by Mars Saxman at 4:32 PM on June 22 [16 favorites]

I'm a little concerned that, if true, the motility/viability is just a "canary in the coal mine" for other, more serious, damage. The effect seems small but I'm hoping this is bogus for one reason or another since I can't think of why it hasn't been spotted before. In some version.
posted by aleph at 4:37 PM on June 22

Cell phones throw off heat, don't they? Could just having a hot computer near your junk explain the injured sperm?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:42 PM on June 22

Hot computer as in warm, not sexy.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 4:42 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]

The sperm actually just called and said it was just running late.
posted by srboisvert at 4:42 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]

A few years ago there was a study that showed that laptops with wifi might pose a problem too (as well as the heat from laptops).

I bought a nice comfy lap desk.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 4:45 PM on June 22

It's a meta-analysis? I'm skeptical.
posted by wittgenstein at 4:52 PM on June 22

A cell phone is basically idle when it's in your pocket, and not generating a noticeable amount of heat.

If heat was an issue, then heating pads and electric blankets would be too.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 4:55 PM on June 22

Meta analyses are especially vulnerable to publication bias (no result found, no publication).
posted by benzenedream at 4:56 PM on June 22 [3 favorites]

You're holding it wrong.
posted by fairmettle at 5:03 PM on June 22 [4 favorites]

I'm not seeing the down side to this.
posted by Faint of Butt at 5:07 PM on June 22 [1 favorite]

Meta-analyses are the CDOs of the research world. You can claim value you like without leaving your desk.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 5:32 PM on June 22

Where are these guys buying their pants? All mine have the pockets on the sides.
posted by mittens at 5:49 PM on June 22

There are methods to detect the file-cabinet bias and the publication bias, which they do not seem to have used.

Nevertheless, you cannot say that meta-analyses, done well, have no value. You cannot say that they have an epic amount of value, but they have value, because you aren't comparing them to doing no reviews at all - infeasible, in the current state of the deluge of scientific publications - but because you are comparing them to non-systematic reviews, which can very easily be shit. The Handbook of Research Synthesis has a good example of a medical MA which was very productive and useful epistemologically.

Nevertheless, someone should kick either the collective ass of the environmental journal literature, or these authors specifically, if they went over that many studies and so many were that methodologically shit. Their excuse for not doing a funnel plot and all that jazz to find publication bias was they didn't have enough studies.
posted by curuinor at 6:02 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]

Hot New Birth Control App Predicts When You'll Be Having Sex and Gently Irradiates Your Testicles For Several Hours Beforehand!
posted by mrjohnmuller at 6:06 PM on June 22 [6 favorites]

Just another way in which technological attainment in a species compromises evolution. We actually want the people capable of keeping their phone in their pants to reproduce successfully, not the ones who can't.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:29 PM on June 22

Where are these guys buying their pants? All mine have the pockets on the sides.

My pants(levi 511s) have the pockets sort of in the side-front. My phone basically sits on the top of my thigh, a little bit to the left.

if my phone ends up jammed in my pocket sort of diagonally or gets twisted sideways, the end of the phone will basically be overlapping the edge of my erm, masculine area.

A few years ago there was a study that showed that laptops with wifi might pose a problem too (as well as the heat from laptops).

I never believed there was anything to this but the heat. My current laptop is the first one i've owned that doesn't actually get more than barely lukewarm 99% of the time. Every one i had before it was easily capable of being a furnace, and most laptops still seem to be that way.

I've long been a vocal "RF signals don't do anything negative you contrail conspiracy dumbbutt" person whenever someone brings it up offline, so i'm hoping this turns out to be bunk because we will never hear the end of that shit from those irritating people if it's true. Irradiated nuts are fine, i just will not be able to stand those people smugly touting it.
posted by emptythought at 6:42 PM on June 22 [2 favorites]

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