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Cell Phones Aren't Killing Bees After All

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the most-reassuring dept.

Science 253

radioweather writes "A couple of weeks ago, there was a nutty idea discussed in The Independent that claimed the electromagnetic radiation from cell phones was causing bees to become disoriented, preventing them from returning to the hive. The flimsy cell phone argument was used to explain Colony Collapse Disorder. Today the LA Times reports that researchers at UC San Francisco have uncovered what they believe to be the real culprit: a parasitic fungus. Other researchers said Wednesday that they too had found the fungus, a single-celled parasite called Nosema ceranae, in affected hives from around the country."

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Nosema Ceranae? (-1, Offtopic)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904551)

Sounds more like Cyrano de Bergerac has been sticking his nose into beehives and spreading a fungus. At least it's not like those aussies coming here and killing off bees with their jars of Varroamite, or was that something else..

Well, back to using my mobile with a clear conscience it's not making the bees die off.

In Soviet Russia the Cagey Bee makes YOU disappear!

Re:Nosema Ceranae? (2, Insightful)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905361)

Sounds to me like they took a bunch of inconclusive findings, then made a sensationalist rebuttal to the cell phone argument to prevent problems in the market.

But the results are "highly preliminary" and are from only a few hives from Le Grand in Merced County, UCSF biochemist Joe DeRisi said. "We don't want to give anybody the impression that this thing has been solved."

N. ceranae is "one of many pathogens" in the bees, said entomologist Diana Cox-Foster of Pennsylvania State University. "By itself, it is probably not the culprit ... but it may be one of the key players."


This doesn't refute anything that was put forth before. It doesn't demonstrate any causality whatsoever.

Cellphone don't kill bees... (1, Funny)

kannibal_klown (531544) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904583)

Cellphones don't kill bees, Video games kill bees.

Honestly, until the other explanations started coming out I lost a LOT of faith in scientists and researchers. I mean, come on.

Re:Cellphone don't kill bees... (5, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904939)

Honestly, until the other explanations started coming out I lost a LOT of faith in scientists and researchers. I mean, come on.
Sorry to get on your case here, but this shit pisses me off. Some guy went and said something and some twit of a reporter who couldn't tell his ass from a hole in the ground reported it as being fact and now all scientists and researchers have lost your faith? Look man, it seems to me that you need to grow some common sense and the ability to distinguish between fact and fiction. Science is not the borg where once one scientist says something, all must agree and that this is now fact and written up in some book in an ivory tower somewhere. Science is done by real humans, some of whom are better than others but all of whom make mistakes from time to time. The reason why you can sometimes trust scientists over, say corporations, priests, or politicians is that 1) scientists have less motivations to lie (notice I didn't say no motivation), and 2) if they're good scientists, their assertions are testable hypotheses. That means that other scientists,who are real humans and have independent thoughts so may or may not agree with the 1st scientist, can do the same work and see if they come to the same conclusion. So stop believing everything you hear about some dimwit reporter reporting that one loony made an unfounded assertion and now "science" or "scientists" now all agreee on something.

P.S. Incidentally, this is why Exxon and the republicans can manipulate the debate on global climate change so easily, they prop up one loony with demonstratably false data or assertions and now global climate change is "in debate" when the reality is that the population, nor the reporters disseminating the falsity can be bothered to distinguish between good scientific work and bad.

Re:Cellphone don't kill bees... (3, Informative)

allanc (25681) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905345)

The guy didn't even say that cell phones caused it. The study in question was about cordless phone base stations. And the base station basically had to be right on top of the colony to have an effect. Reporter reported cordless as "mobile phones", that turned into "cell phones"

Re:Cellphone don't kill bees... (2, Insightful)

LurkerXXX (667952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905061)

Mites and fungi have been the prime suspects in this for well over a year now. One group in the past couple weeks who hypothesized it was cell phones, you read an article on that story since it was sensationalized, and that's all you've ever bothered to look at in the topic. So basically you are totally ignorant of what the status and consensus of research in the field is, and so you lost faith in scientists and researchers based on a hyped article by 1 group in the news. I think this says a lot more about you than it does about scientists.

Re:Cellphone don't kill bees... (1)

sgt_doom (655561) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905139)

So, they're claiming that Nosema ceranae don't use cell phones????? Isn't that kind of ethnocentric thinking.....

Re:Cellphone don't kill bees... (1)

conteXXt (249905) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905229)

Wow!. That was both a funny comment and a great (albeit unintentional) troll.
Bravo Sir.
For the "scientists" above me, wow, you may have missed a half a sentence there.

I'll bold it for you:
Cellphones don't kill bees, Video games kill bees.
Ask Jack Thompson if you are unsure as to HOW video games kill bees
(or students for that matter)

Can't be right (0, Troll)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904595)

Technology must be blamed somehow! It's always technology's fault!

Re:Can't be right (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904625)

Technology must be blamed somehow! It's always technology's fault!

Gosh, I sure hope it doesn't adversely affect the africanised bees, aka killer bees.

Re:Can't be right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904915)

No, apparently they've already got immunity.

Yay.

Re:Can't be right (1)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904707)

Exactly :-)
Typical luddite reaction, it's New and Unknown, so it must be the one and only cause for any random issue. *cue twilight zone theme*

Re:Can't be right (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905401)

*cue twilight zone theme*

Afterwards, queue ball in the side pocket....

Re:Can't be right (5, Interesting)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904753)

It probably is technologies fault, in that the fungus is likely one that has been brought into an area filled with vulnerable bees from another area...Just another invasive species. Also, we've been encouraging a bit of a bee monoculture, and trucking hives all over the country, spreading the fungus.

Just a hazard of the modern world. Hopefully now that we've isolated the problem, we can go ahead and solve it with the application of still more technology! (Thereby creating strains of fungus resistant to whatever it was that we used to kill the fungus, yadda yadda yadda).

Re:Can't be right (1)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904971)

Do you have a Jump To Conclusions Mat? Are you privy to information not in the TFA? My comment was a bit of sarcasm directed towards reflexive luddites. Speak of the devil...

Re:Can't be right (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905215)

Yea, that's me, luddite to the core, nevermind my tech job, and my tech degree, and the basic pro-techness of almost every aspect of my life.

Technology causes problems; it's foolish to think otherwise. It also solves problems, which should evident to anyone who isn't hopelessly biased. Bit of a rat race, unfortunately. But fortunately our techno-rat is still in the lead, and hopefully he'll stay that way for a long time to come.

Re:Can't be right (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905457)

Do you have a Jump To Conclusions Mat?

No, but we do have an Over React Fred....

occam (2, Insightful)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904601)

It certainly seems a more plausible cause.

Why blame everything else? (5, Interesting)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904615)

I see more and more in common media that everybody tries to blame everything on new technology going from cancer to depression, blamed on cell phones to video games. Yet, they don't bother looking or trying to understand the deeper reasons like our old friends in the mushroom... euhm, fungi world.

Is it an artifact of ancient religion or superstition maybe? (Like the sun and moon worshipers, or offerers of livestock and enemies, witchhunting?)

Re:Why blame everything else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904749)

It's worse than that.

This is a complete fabrication of "news", based on something that's widely known and widely dealt with.

The media can't even admit it's wrong now... They annoucne "we found the cause, it's a fungus.. blah blah"

It's called foulbrood. It's what kills beehives. Any apiculturist (beekeeper) can tell you all about it.

The closest thing to a story written on this should have been (possibly) "higher rate of foulbrood this year" in some beekeepers trade magazine. I don't even know if the incidence is higher, or not. It's probably the same.

It's this knee-jerk environmentalism. Everyone was quick to blame cell phones, or some other junk science bullshit, for a problem that didn't exist.

Re:Why blame everything else? (1)

Tofystedeth (1076755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904863)

I was under the impression based on a posting by an apiculturist in the discussion on the cellphone article that foulbrood was one that did something along the lines of rotting the larvae. There was no mention of that in any of the articles on CCD that I've read. They only talk about workers not returning to the hive and dying, and the bees that depend on the workers dying as a result. Seems to me like this is a different fungus.

Re:Why blame everything else? (1)

natophonic (103088) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905149)

It's been many years since my dad and I kept a few beehives in the backyard for fun, but foulbrood == fungus didn't ring true with what I'd remembered... and it's not true [wikipedia.org] , foulbrood == baterica.

Re:Why blame everything else? (5, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905199)

It's called foulbrood. It's what kills beehives. Any apiculturist (beekeeper) can tell you all about it.
And any beekeeper worth his salt would tell you that foulbrood is bacterial, not fungal, and is treated with tetracycline antibiotics -- Terramycin is what I used when I kept bees.

In addition, foulbrood exists in almost every hive -- it's hives that are weakened for other reasons that are really damaged by it. So, for example, a hive that did not have adequate food supplies (such as if bees didn't return to the hive with pollen) would be more likely to have a huge foulbrood problem.

It's this knee-jerk environmentalism. Everyone was quick to blame cell phones, or some other junk science bullshit, for a problem that didn't exist.
Yes, there was a lot of speculation that was evenutally found to be false. That's science for ya.

/Never mind the fact that several bee parasites are ravaging North American hives due to successive mild winters, which may or may not be due to anthropogenic environmental problems.

Re:Why blame everything else? (0, Offtopic)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904791)

Like this you mean?

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/skynews/20070427/tuk-warn ing-over-school-wi-fi-systems-45dbed5.html [yahoo.com]

Teachers are calling for a full scientific investigation into wireless computer systems, following reports of electromagnetic radiation among staff and students.

Re:Why blame everything else? (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904865)

Is it an artifact of ancient religion or superstition maybe?

I think it's human nature - when something bad happens, most people's first assumption is that it's related to something that changed recently. This is usually at least a good place to start, although obviously jumping to conclusions based on it is the wrong thing to do.

In this case, the cell phone argument at first seemed hokey to me, but then I thought of a way that it might not be completely ridiculous. Maybe some people with more than an amateur understanding of the topic can correct one or both of them.

The first thing I thought of was that bees probably aren't even big enough to pick up a 1.6GHz (highest cellphone frequency mentioned in the article I read) radio wave. IIRC, the wavelength is something like 6 inches, so even a quarter wave is longer than most bees.

Then I remembered reading somewhere that wax acts as a microwave lens. So I thought maybe it wasn't the bees, but their hives that were "picking up" the cell tower waves and maybe heating up parts of the hive to the point that the bees were compelled to leave?

Of course, a parasite or other biological cause makes much more sense.

Re:Why blame everything else? (2, Funny)

Chosen Reject (842143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905315)

You're wrong on all accounts. Obviously the cell phones are causing the parasite invasion.

Re:Why blame everything else? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904869)

Eh. Phones are such a good target. I mean, you set your phone on your desk, and you get speaker feedback every time it does discovery on a tower, and you think how often that happens when the damn thing is in your pants, and so it seems plausible whenever some group freaks out about this or that thing and blames it on cellphones, until it turns out that they have no fricking evidence, but by that point the idea of dangerous cellphones is even more firmly ingrained in peoples minds, thus making them more likely to believe the NEXT crazy thing that gets blamed on cellphones.

Admittedly the bee thing was a hilarious stretch. I mean, people would have noticed if, whenever you put up a cellphone tower, all bees in a 20 mile radius started crashing into things and dying, especially because towers are so often put up on or around farm land (because it's cheap), and a farmer would probably notice a massive decreased yield of whatever their crop was, and be super quick to blame it on cellphone towers, for the reasons stated above. //Is there an award for two longest run-on sentences in one post?

Don't think too hard ... (2, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905005)

I see more and more in common media that everybody tries to blame everything on new technology going from cancer to depression, blamed on cell phones to video games. Yet, they don't bother looking or trying to understand the deeper reasons like our old friends in the mushroom... euhm, fungi world. Is it an artifact of ancient religion or superstition maybe? (Like the sun and moon worshipers, or offerers of livestock and enemies, witchhunting?)

Did it occur to you that human stupidity has a lot to answer for? Individually we are quite clever animals, but we're also the only creature which will pollute our own drinking water, our own air and poison our own food.

We give the rule of unintended consequences meaning.

Re:Don't think too hard ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905429)

but we're also the only creature which will pollute our own drinking water, our own air and poison our own food

Did you make that up? I have several chickens and let me assure you that they are very thorough about polluting their food and water. I have to take great lengths, in fact, to try and prevent it.

Perhaps it is more true that humans are the only creatures that will intentionally pollute.

Re:Why blame everything else? (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905081)

I agree, fungi parasites and disease have caused coloney collapse before. I do agree that they should have gone through all the claims such as cell phone usage to make sure they figured it out. I never believed that was the reason(this has happend in other years with less deaths) and I'm glad they found out what it was(I got the impression be farmers who have experianced this before figured it would be something like this). The media jumped on board with the cell phone usage and I think I read a couple articals on google news that even outright said it was cellphones.

Fact finding. Find a fact that you like run with it. Oh how I miss the day when they did research :(

Half the story (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905487)

It still leaves the question open as to why it appears more bees are dying from this parasitic fungus in recent times. Could be completely due to natural causes, but there is also speculation that certain insecticides are harming the bees, causing them to be more vulnerable to parasites, fungi and disease.

Re:Why blame everything else? (1)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905111)

'I see more and more in common media that everybody tries to blame everything on new technology'

That is fairly reasonable since this is a new problem it stands to reason that something new would be the cause. Most of the other things blamed on technology are old problems.

Re:Why blame everything else? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905625)

That is fairly reasonable since this is a new problem it stands to reason that something new would be the cause.

There are extremely numerous examples of old behavior whose results have finally stacked up sufficiently to cause a problem. Global warming is one of them. The destruction of the Southern coastline of the US, the destruction of the flora that causes drainage to work properly, and related issues made it possible for hurricane katrina to wipe new orleans mostly off the map. Mercury mining in Lake County, California, eventually (but not immediately) made it unsafe to eat fish or drink water from the lake. (This one's a local example, sorry.) Deforestation of the amazon has led to decreased rainfall - it's been going on for decades but it's only now that the amazon is in danger of drying up and going away.

Anyway, it's really not reasonable at all, it was a knee-jerk reaction from people who don't understand physics, just like my girlfriend won't let me put my microwave in the kitchen because she thinks that it's going to harm her somehow, even if it's never in use while she's in the room.

Re:Why blame everything else? (5, Insightful)

CODiNE (27417) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905243)

I don't think religion has anything to do with it. More likely it's confusion on the whole cause vs correlation thing. Hey even scientists sometimes confuse the two.

News: Bees are dying in great numbers!
Reaction: What's changed recently? Ahah! Global warming! Cell phones! VoIP! AppleTV!

It's really natural to think "What's different?" when something bad happens for the first time in memory. Even if the whole world was atheist I can't imagine things would be much different. Unless you assume everyone would automatically have an I.Q. of 150. Not all atheists are intelligent after all. ;-)

Re:Why blame everything else? (1)

Himring (646324) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905271)

I see more and more in common media that everybody tries to blame everything on new technology

The real problem is, and always has been, women....

Re:Why blame everything else? (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905313)

Well, to some degree being suspicious of novelty is a human trait.

But the real story here is how poorly the media are equipped to deal with science or technology stories. They don't have enough scientifically literate reporters. They apparently can't find any reporters who are even interested in science or technology.

Anybody who takes Science News, which every journalist should has been aware of the bee fungus story for years now. Stories about cell phone radiation have been around for decades.

But somehow, when it comes time to cover a story like this, the only people they can find to send are people whose familiarity with these issues is limited having heard that cell phones cause brain tumors from somebody they can't remember.

Re:Why blame everything else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905349)

No. It's because mushrooms look like small penises. Are you sure you want to explore that idea deeper?

I blame the bees... (5, Funny)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904627)

they shouldn't use cell phones while flying.

Re:I blame the bees... (1)

Cynox (322666) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905031)

No, the problem is:

1) Mobile phones
2) Lack of bee Telephone Sanitizers

which leads to

3) Lethal fungus

Simple and sad ...

Well, DUH (0)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904629)

I wonder which collection of deluded vegan hippies thought that 2-3GHz RF could disorient bees, seeing as how a housefly will gladly buzz around inside a running microwave oven as the fly is much smaller than the wavelength of the RF?

Re:Well, DUH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904803)

you gots some teensy flies in your house.

Re:Well, DUH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905007)

You've got some huge ones. The wavelength at that size is what, 12 cm?

Re:Well, DUH (1)

50000BTU_barbecue (588132) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905057)

Frequency of microwave oven as stamped on the back of the unit: 2.5GHz Wavelength of said frequency in air: About 1 foot Yes, flies in my house are smaller than one foot. Are you a deluded brainless cretin as well, or simply unable to master grade-school math? Never mind the fact that the energy levels of cell phone signals away from the tower are about a billion times lower than what's in my oven, or that in the oven you are in the near-field with electric field gradients of the order of a 100V/m... It simply could never, ever have had *anything* to do with cell phones, no matter how many "geeks" and "scientists" thought so. Cretins all of them. I think a rant is appropriate when the levels of ignorance and stupidity are this high.

Re:Well, DUH (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905335)

Frequency of microwave oven as stamped on the back of the unit: 2.5GHz Wavelength of said frequency in air: About 1 foot ... Are you a deluded brainless cretin as well, or simply unable to master grade-school math?
You should try some of that grade-school math (hint: units matter). The wavelength of a 2.5GHz signal is about 12cm, not 12". Also, by your reasoning, a microwave oven could never cook (or even affect) anything smaller than 12cm, which is certainly not true. I suggest you read up on how microwave ovens work.

Re:Well, DUH (1)

PTBarnum (233319) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905123)

3 GHz = 10 cm wavelength. Where I live, most of the flies are significantly shorter than 10 cm. If things are different where you live, remind me to stay away.

Re:Well, DUH (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904857)

Actually, it was a bunch of deluded geeks and nerds (scientists), not deluded vegan hippies. But why spoil a nice rant, right?

Re:Well, DUH (2, Insightful)

theelectron (973857) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905255)

I've known some vegan hippie computer scientists. The two groups are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Well, DUH (2, Insightful)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905051)

A. Flies do not "happily" buzz around inside running microwaves. Not for long anyways.

B. Do not lump "vegans" in with "deluded hippies." It is not our fault PETA paid some assclown to burn down animal testing facilities and spray paint VEGAN POWER on the ashes. The majority of vegans are not stupid protest mongering hippies.

Re:Well, DUH (1)

LGagnon (762015) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905223)

This is modded Insightful? How about Troll? Honestly, you complain about people blaming the wrong source on the one hand and blame "vegan hippies" on the other with no proof that vegans are responsible for the claims.

Re:Well, DUH (1)

discord5 (798235) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905331)

how a housefly will gladly buzz around inside a running microwave oven as the fly is much smaller than the wavelength of the RF?

From experience I can tell you that flies do not buzz around inside running microwave ovens for long, and rest assured that the end product smells awful.

For what it's worth, it didn't suffer long

Re:Well, DUH (1)

inode_buddha (576844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905481)

"...how a housefly will gladly buzz around inside a running microwave oven as the fly is much smaller than the wavelength of the RF?

From experience I can tell you that flies do not buzz around inside running microwave ovens for long, and rest assured that the end product smells awful.

For what it's worth, it didn't suffer long"

Yeah but did it taste good?

yay! (1)

isieo (1049808) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904635)

so its safe to give my little Bee a cell phone!

BZZZZzzzzzzt!. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904673)

Wrong answer!!! I knew it was the work of the evil banana phone!!

What's the Buzz about anyway? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904679)

I hope that there is a good solution, I don't want to have to manually pollinate, plus mead is good stuff!

Let me be the first to say (3, Funny)

davidwr (791652) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904683)

"I think there is a fungus among us."

Everyone repeat after me: (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904685)

"Correlation does not necessarily equate to causality"

Repeat 100x.

Apply to all the other dumbass pop-sci suburban "crises". Cell phones cause brain cancer. MMR vaccine and autism. Etc.

That is correct (2, Informative)

Cracked Pottery (947450) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904925)

Correlation does not prove causality, it doesn't disprove it either. Enough anecdotal evidence can justify reasonable suspicion. E.g. brain cancer on the side of the head of people who heavily use cell phones, or children who become autistic within weeks of a vaccination. I don't think anybody with any sense believed the cell phone - bee dying association, since cell phones represent only a small slice of the EMR that is ubiquitous.

Re:Everyone repeat after me: (4, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904975)

Oh, I'm pretty sure it does. Everybody knows that umbrellas make it rain. It's just common sense. But I guess you elite Harvard liberals wouldn't know much about that. /end sarcasm

Re:Everyone repeat after me: (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905119)

I would like to draw your attention to this highly relevant graph on Global Warming. [perpetualocean.com]

Re:Everyone repeat after me: (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905517)

So true. Someone told me that breathing leads to death. His empirical data showed that everything that breathes eventually dies.

I get it now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904711)

Cell phones are causing the fungus to grow!

Concider this (4, Insightful)

Handbrewer (817519) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904713)

Its always easier to blame it on something that people don't really understand and/or already fear. Remember the fear of brain tumors from cell phones? Now when a Journalist or whatever hears bees cant find their way home, they obviously feel compelled to link it to the fearsome x-rays (I call them x-rays in the sense that x is unknown and scary rays of course). Surely, such "news" - "sell" more than some boring research into fungi. Nobody, cares about fungus. They care about scary invisible rays.

Cancer and cell phones: new study results (1, Informative)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905393)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/ne ws/2007/01/25/nmobile25.xml [telegraph.co.uk]

Long-term users of mobile phones are significantly more likely to develop a certain type of brain tumour on the side of the head where they hold their handsets, according to new research.

Mobile phone use linked to tumours
The results seem to suggest health risks in people who have regularly used mobiles for over 10 years

A large-scale study found that those who had regularly used mobiles for longer than 10 years were almost 40 per cent more likely to develop nervous system tumours called gliomas near to where they hold their phones.

The new research, to be published later this year in the International Journal of Cancer, is the second study to suggest increased risks of specific types of brain tumours in regions close to where mobile phone emissions enter the head.

There IS a fungus among us? (1)

Wandering Wombat (531833) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904719)

I thought my mom was just being goofy....

Confusion... (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904729)

Organism or Phone. What's the difference, the both are 'cell' based.

Re:Confusion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905427)

The real confusion is whether your brain or butt is doing your thinking!

Well then it's gotta be... (1)

Steve--Balllmer (1070854) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904765)

cell phones that are causing an increase in the fungus. I mean, after all, something bad that happens in nature has to be the fault of humans or technology somehow....

Fungi (4, Interesting)

uab21 (951482) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904789)

...can do weird things - The Jungle episode of Planet Earth the other week showed fungi infecting insects, *making them seek higher ground*, and then growing out of their dead bodies to spore anew. The behavior controlling bit was the freakiest to me - might explain the mass evacuations if it is something similar to that. I also seem to recall something a while back on /. linking to a study showing parasites 'remote controlling' host insects...

Re:Fungi (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905353)

Holy crap that was messed up! I sat there watching that with my jaw dropped open, thinking, "Who the hell needs horror movies, when you've got the rainforest? Stop it before it kills again!"

I like that the ants had developed a response, which was basically to pick up the sick guy, and dump him as far away from the hive as possible. That's a pretty sophisticated response. If the bees picked up on that one, this bee problem wouldn't be a problem any more (assuming that it really is the fungus).

Re:Fungi (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905473)

Also they found the cat shit worms (I forget the name) cause women to be promiscuousand men reclusive. More disturbing because it is people.

here [blogspot.com]

Re:Fungi (4, Interesting)

jdunn14 (455930) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905591)

If you find this stuff interesting, check out a book called Parasite Rex. It has all the gory details of these and a bunch of other parasites. For example, there's a fluke that lives in a snail, but needs to enter a bird to complete it's life cycle. It actually pushes the snail's eyestalk out and waves around to get the attention of predators.

Damn bees (2, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904793)

Stop making phone calls all the time, bees! I see people driving around in cars with those stupid things stuck to their faces all the time. It's a wonder they can concentrate enough to find their way back home. You, being insects, have small brains and could never carry on a simultaneous phone call conversation without losing track of what you're doing and losing the hive. I mean, it's no wonder cellphones are giving bees so much trouble. Turn off the phones, bees, fly back to your hives, puke up our honey, and fly out with new instructions. Stop being lazy and using cellphones.

You know those phones are sold with that fungus on them, bees.

More proof of global warming (4, Funny)

lessthan0 (176618) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904845)

Of course, it is global warming. Both directly and indirectly making the bad fungus thrive this far north of the equator. All problems are related to global warming. No need to study anything anymore.

while not proof, it may be evidence (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905205)

  1. It does come from the equator area and did not thrive in the cold (until recently).
  2. Or it could be that W's terrorist put it here and we have tenet and the democrats to blame for it all.
  3. Or it could be that it was carried over by China's rockets flying overhead, destroying a fake weather sat. and the parts rained down on us, where actually coated in it.

Or who knows. It is possible that it simple mutated and it could be that it is simply being spread by mankind's transports.
Occams solves this.

Re:More proof of global warming (1)

exp(pi*sqrt(163)) (613870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905261)

Every time I see seomthing really witty I think to myself "there's no way someone can come up with a post that's funnier than this". And then you just came along.

Article doesn't claim cause found (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904851)

This headline and summary are so misleading as to seemingly be an intentional fabrication.

"Uncovered...the real culprit." Oh, really? From TFA:

"But the results are 'highly preliminary' and are from only a few hives from Le Grand in Merced County, UCSF biochemist Joe DeRisi said. 'We don't want to give anybody the impression that this thing has been solved.' "

So basically there's as much evidence in support of this fungus theory as the cell-phone theory.

Criminy, sensationalize much?

Re:Article doesn't claim cause found (1)

markjo (977895) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905093)

You do realize that Nosema is pretty easy to find by examining the dead bees, don't you?

My father used to have a few bee hives some years ago, but they kept getting wiped out by tracheal mites. Except for Nosema and tracheal mites, bees generally don't live long enough to get any other diseases. However, Nosema and tracheal mites can wipe out a lot of hives in no time at all.

We should do research before we blame something. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904861)

We got to get off of the "blame something or someone" attitude until we get our facts straight. I seen enough times we were wrong the first thing that comes to our mind for some problem we faced. It is so stupid that after all this time we go back to our unproven instincts to blame something or someone for a problem. We living in the 21st century now but it feels like we are still dark ages with how we go about blaming some superstitious things for our ills.
Bee were being killed by other things other than this fungus. In the early 1990s there we another diseases that were killing bee also and those were mites but no one ever got into the "blame the technology" witch hunt back then.
Please our proven scientific methods before we going on our witch hunts.

Nosema fits the CCD profile. (3, Interesting)

xC0000005 (715810) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904871)

Now we've been dealing with normal nosema for a while. Nosema weakens bees. Imagine if a dozen roaches crawled into your lungs and lived there, multiplying. You'd have trouble breathing, and so do the bees. Nosema leaves the bees barely able to crawl in some cases, so here's how CCD could play out:

Bees get Nosema in the fall. It weakens them greatly. In the spring as the hive turns the corner to build up, the foragers start taking cleansing flights (hell, the house bees do it too. Anything alive long enought o harden the wings probably takes a flight or two). Nosema leaves them weak, so they fall to the ground on their flight and die of exposure. House bees are held in their position by the presence of foragers but the hive's trying to build up. Soon house bees are pressed into foraging. These are infected too. Now the nurse bees are left. The ones older than five days take a few orienting flights and go at it. Nosema's a pain, so they die. What do you have left? Basically the CCD profile - a queen, the capped brood and a few dozen nurse bees in her retinue.

You want to know how cell phones kill bees? When you set the phone down on top of one.

Re:Nosema fits the CCD profile. (1)

Chaymus (697182) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905347)

"Now we've been dealing with normal nosema for a while. Nosema weakens bees. Imagine if a dozen roaches crawled into your lungs and lived there, multiplying. You'd have trouble breathing, and so do the bees. Nosema leaves the bees barely able to crawl in some cases[...]" So what you're saying is this fungus is a cigarette? I think I've found a much cheaper way to stop exercising.

Global Swarming (2, Funny)

rodney dill (631059) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904895)

Does this mean Al Gore won't be able to plug Global Swarming as a problem?

Re:Global Swarming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905421)

Don't forget, Algore invented Global Swarming!

A simple solution - make them stronger by... (5, Funny)

csoto (220540) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904923)

...mating them with heartier wild bees from... AFRICA! Yeah! That'll do it!

I don't know what I hate more... (1)

AbsoluteXyro (1048620) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904967)

I don't know what I hate more... People who take advantage of eye-catching events in order to push their own agenda without bothering to research and check facts....

Or bees.

Queen bee (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 7 years ago | (#18904979)

Q: What did one Queen bee say to the other?

A: Mind your own beeswax!

A game of Tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18904995)

So what happened to Slashdot's tagging system? Why the sudden rash of stories tagged "undefined"; is this evidence of censorship or a bug in the system or just the latest fad?

Remember all the articles tagged "mafiaa"? At time of writing there's one left [slashdot.org] . But why that one?

I seem to remember this being launched as being "our" tagging system for the readers to use. Did that change? Is it just another way of listing the official section headers now with the odd token exception? Are we going to be told?

Actually, (2, Funny)

EinZweiDrei (955497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905029)

...there's just a massive apiary chondroitin deficiency -- it's the bee's knees.

Duh. (1)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905141)

Who would have guessed it was a disease and not cell phones? I was so sure, I already threw mine away.

Change the headline (3, Informative)

shaitand (626655) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905161)

There isn't one word in that article for or against cellular signals disrupting bee navigation systems.

The article is about one common factor that has been found in many of the hives. The researchers stress that this is only a small sample of the hives and that they don't think this fungus alone could cause the problem.

Its also depressing because if the fungus is central to the problem there MIGHT be an untested chemical that COULD have some detrimental affect on the fungus... MAYBE.

Re:Change the headline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905573)

Agreed. The title is misleading - No conclusions have been made, the case is NOT closed.

Amazing how everybody is so quick to jump to conclusions about what is, or is not, or might/might not be causing CCD.

Seems to me like a lot of the geeks here don't want to admit that there might be unintended consequences of saturating the environment with RF, and are jumping to conclusions about Nosema being the cause.

This news is encouraging, however, in as much as it will likely be easier to control a pathogen, than it will be to get the telecom industry to change its pratices, based on something as tenuous and difficult to prove as RF disorienting the bees.

I'll be damned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905169)

My startup was just about to unveil a new type of cell phone safe for bees based on the single-celled parasite Nosema ceranae instead of EM radiation.

Maybe it's time... (1)

robinsonne (952701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905259)

..we learned that humans are not the source of all the changes that take place in nature. The world will go on, with or without our intervention.

Can't it be both? (1)

mrdrivel (742076) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905273)

Just because a fungal parasite is infesting the bee colonies, it doesn't rule out the possibility that EMF is impacting the bees' navigation.

Killer of Bees (1)

C_Kode (102755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905279)

Today the LA Times reports that researchers at UC San Francisco have uncovered what they believe to be the real culprit: a parasitic fungus.

What they failed to mention was that this parasitic fungus thrives on electromagnetic radiation from cell phones... :P

Fantastic news for the bees... (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905307)

Today the LA Times reports that researchers at UC San Francisco have uncovered what they believe to be the real culprit: a parasitic fungus.

      So now all they have to do is get the fungus to stop using cell phones, and everything should be fine.

Moving bees the problem (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18905363)

Interesting if they find the fungus everywhere. The previous articles talked about how bees are trucked all over the country for jobs. Gee, do you think maybe this might have spread the fungus and hence it is a problem everywhere?

UR ALL WRONG.... (1)

ScottyMcScott (1003155) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905377)

the bees didnt have unlimited nights and weekends and had to go into hiding.

Monsanto's fault (1, Insightful)

Damek (515688) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905461)

Yup, it's gotta be the parasites. But why are they suddenly killing off all the bees?

Some are saying [zmag.org] (not me, I don't know enough about it) it could be genetically modified food crops.

The rationale being that genes have been demonstrated to jump species, specifically, even, from crops into microbes in the guts of bees (RTFA).

Just posting this because I heard about it and it sounds somewhat reasonable, not because I'm advocating against genetic modification of anything.

what about the killer bees (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 7 years ago | (#18905571)

So has the threat from those Killer bees that were supposed to doom us all for the last 20 years been eliminated now? Gypsy Moths and Killer Bees are passe now so I guess it on to the threat of Fungi.
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