High school students discover plants don't grow near Wi-Fi routers

By Shawn Knight ยท 41 replies
Dec 18, 2013
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  1. Wireless routers are an undeniable convenience for millions across the globe, but at what impact on our health? There have been multiple studies in the past suggesting the negative impact they may have on humans but the latest research could...

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    ravisunny2 likes this.
  2. Amigosdefox

    Amigosdefox TS Booster Posts: 100   +10

    Please Techspot, you are better than this.
    H3llion, insect and hellokitty[hk] like this.
  3. howzz1854

    howzz1854 TS Evangelist Posts: 611   +94

    Wow... this is really interesting. never mind Amigosdefox, this is a really helpful piece of info and great for those kids.
    psycros likes this.
  4. Burty117

    Burty117 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,150   +915

    Hhhmmm, I would like to know the other variables though? The cress that didn't grow properly looks more like they were killed by heat, Were the rooms the same temperature? how close to the routers? And were the routers in use? Those 3 factors alone could change the outcome considerably and meant it wasn't radiation but heat? I'm not doubting their findings, just saying, It would have been nice to know the details :)
  5. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,198   +593

    Yea because I want to know whats happening to my body while im watching videos wirelessly.

    I dont know though, theres alot of factors that could be taken into account on something like this because like @Burty117 said heat could be an issue as well.
  6. There's something called science. Non-ionizing radiation is non-ionizing. I doubt these kids have upended years of data saying the opposite, that there's zero impact.

    This is in the same category as vaccines and GMO food. Vast amounts of public paranoia, based on no solid science.
  7. OliTheG

    OliTheG TS Member Posts: 61   +27

    Well, I'm calling straight out shennanigans.

    First of all, let's approach this from a SCIENTIFIC (not TV science, or throw in the word scientific to sound better) approach.

    - No repeats. The results are therefore almost automatically invalidated.
    - We don't know if the same bag of seeds were used
    - We don't know if watering, etc was identical.
    - We don't know who had access to both rooms
    - We don't know about THE LIGHT CONDITIONS IN EACH ROOM. Artificial light =/= Sunlight. Plants won't grow under light bulbs!
    - Seeds also contain an amount of energy within them that allow them to initially sprout. How are the wifi ones dead without germinating? It's almost as if something killed them. And no, not "radiation." If WAVES, of a wavelength comparable to IR waves, could kill cells, we would all be dead. That would imply that somebody who used a remote control would suffer from things such as slower growth, or potentially cancer caused by mutations (tomorrow's headline in the daily mail: remotes give you cancer :p) caused by the waves.

    It's just rubbish. Techspot, start posting actual articles. PLEASE!
  8. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 719   +236

    Actually he's prolly referring to this: http://www.pepijnvanerp.nl/2013/05/...and-garden-cress-good-example-of-bad-science/

    Also look at: http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/ionize_nonionize.html
    To do any real kind of damage you need the ionizing type of radiation, the lower frequency stuff can heat things up when you apply enough focus and wattage like a microwave thats 600+Watt's. A router operates at milliwatts exactly for that reason, maybe the sprouting cress seeds are very vulnerable but trying to link this directly to saying that it's bad for people is a tad far fetched.
    hellokitty[hk] likes this.

  9. LOL Plants will most certainly grow under light bulbs... not sure where you get your information from.....
  10. metalSHOCK

    metalSHOCK TS Rookie

    How many routers did they hook up in the room? Sounds like over 9000!
    hammer2085 likes this.
  11. I disagree with the study made by those students. I've planted some wheat seeds into a bowl with cotton wool and they have grown normally, tall, green etc. These seed have stayed next to my RT-N66U router at a distance of aprox. 15cm for about 15hours during winter nights. The rest of 9 hours (day time) I kept them in the same room with the router but on the window sill. The watering however is another story, I've poured water in the bowl enough so that the cotton wool to be moist but not kill the plants by flooding them. Also as they grew bigger I had to pour water more often, and they are still growing and they are still next to the router.
    Conclusion: The study is irrelevant or rather inaccurate, there are too many variables. How, when and how much you water them, then there's the water quality, it they had kept the plants more on natural light or artificial light, the temperature of the room, not to mention the quality of the seeds counts as well.
  12. mizkitty

    mizkitty TS Enthusiast Posts: 44   +11

    Yeah...right...Concentrating in school was a problem long before Wi-Fi showed up in teenager's homes.

    I wonder why the tree farms in my area make use of the strips of land under Hydro lines...if nothing grows there...
  13. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Fear mongering+sensational journalism.
  14. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,744   +3,710

    I think they need a little Flower Power, to understand where they went wrong.

  15. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,671   +1,961

    You want to find the culprit, an elephant in a today's IT room?

    - That's the chair and the way you seat on it, nothing causes as many health problems as the wrong posture. Most health problems are back-related. Also, the filthiest known object in an IT office, one that carries most bacteria is your keyboard.

    These two are much more harmful to your health than anything else around!
  16. AnonymousSurfer

    AnonymousSurfer TS Guru Posts: 452   +40

    I wonder how close they had them to the routers
  17. insect

    insect TS Evangelist Posts: 349   +132

    ^ + all the other "this is not science" posts here.
  18. Next game on mobiles: "Plants vs. Wifi routers"... LoL
  19. Wow, so many rational reponses to this article.

    +1 Internet
    -1 Techspot for questionable journalism
  20. TheBigFatClown

    TheBigFatClown TS Guru Posts: 684   +254

    The "all" or "nothing" attitude you express is why there is so much confusion on these issues. You speak as though "all" vaccinnes are harmless and no one should ever question them. How about examing each individually and judging it on it's own record? Same with GMO foods. Collapsing bee colonies in recent years aren't conspiracy paranoia. It's a fact. GMO foods with "baked-in" pesticides sounds as reasonable to me as any other theory. What do you propose is killing all the bees?


    I suppose you wanna classify anyone who says anything negative about vaccinnes or GMO foods as "tin foil hat" people who just sit around thinking up conspiracy theories. Crazy ones at that like, I think my government is reading my emails. Crazy **** like that.
    psycros likes this.
  21. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,352   +293

    Well, it was a nice little school science experiment, with shaky results that are being thrown around the interwebz as proof that technology is killing us... (I wonder how many who read and believe that are hypocritically reading the news from a wireless signal?)

    The last sentence in the article sums it up for me. An actual institute will do a real scientifically controlled study, where they can do all of the potential environment and parameter variations (and double-blind tests to prevent bias). When we get results from THAT test, then it's worth a world wide web feeding frenzy, not until then.
    CorvusCorax likes this.
  22. @TheBigFatClown

    Thanks for helping prove the point by linking to an environmentalist website which itself links no peer reviewed research. Fail.

    There appears to be several reasons for colony collapse, but no research thats been able to hold together under peer review thats linked it to GMO. Just things anti-corporate neo-Marxists can't get excited about, such as US Navy research (don't ask why they look in to ag issues, I have no idea) suggesting parasites -- in some cases, they found.

    Here's a page that references and sums up quite a bit of, you know, actual science. My apologies if it doesn't fit your pre-determined agenda:


    As for vaccines, please, lets not pretend there was ever any science involved in that paranoia. There's many pages that detail its history, and it was all started with one bunk report that people seized upon, then a celebrity jumped on the bandwagon, and next thing you know children are suffering from whooping cough and doctors for the first time in generations are worried about herd immunity.

    The right wing has climate change deniers, the left has GMO, vaccines (actually a little overlap on the anti-vax front) and CCD. Sad, but both sides utterly disregard science when it doesn't fit.

    As far as I've ever noticed though, at least the wireless fearmongering hasn't been political, just the typical low-level Luddite fear of new technology thats constant in society and history. Which is a relief, sadly.
  23. Good job, kids!

    In my mind, it's great that kids are actually interested. Sure, what they did wasn't rocket science, but it's a START.

    Maybe now they'll continue on and do a more controlled experiment...and maybe develop their interests and knowledge in science more.

    Sure beats video games on the couch.
    psycros likes this.
  24. They forgot to turn ON the power of the router.
    thats why the seeds grew.....
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,744   +3,710

    Yeah, about that. I can't help but wonder if it has anything to do with all the chemicals we spray on our crops. After all those chemicals are pesticides, meant to kill.

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