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    Cellphones are dangerous / not dangerous: cancer experts say 'What, me worry?'

    Amar Toor, @amartoo

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    If you haven't already gotten whiplash from the ongoing cellphone-cancer debate, a freshly released scientific review might just do the trick. In the paper, published Friday, a panel of experts from Britain, Sweden and the US conducted a thorough survey of previous studies, before concluding that existing literature is "increasingly against" the theory that cellphone use causes brain tumors in adults. The researchers also questioned the biological mechanisms underpinning this hypothesis, while acknowledging some lingering uncertainties, since data on childhood tumors and longer-term research are still lacking.

    The results come just a few weeks after the World Health Organization released its own literature review, in which it claimed that cell phones should be considered "potentially carcinogenic." But Anthony Swerdlow, a professor at Britain's Institute of Cancer Research and leader of the most recent investigation, said his group's work doesn't necessarily contradict the WHO, since the latter was simply seeking to evaluate cancer risks according to its own "pre-set classification system" -- under which things like pickled vegetables and coffee are also considered "potentially carcinogenic." Unfortunately, this doesn't mean that the debate will die down anytime soon, though Swerdlow expects more definitive conclusions within the next few years -- assuming, of course, that all of our brains haven't turned to oatmeal by then.

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