Cell phones and cancer - unraveling the data

So, we've been busy with mythbusting medical studies, haven't we?  You've probably seen the news about another study linking cell phones and cancer.  Well, this one has major issues that the press is also missing.  Here is a great (somewhat long, but very well done) article really crunching the data and raising serious questions about the accuracy of the study.  It's worth a read, but a few bullet points are:

  • it was done in rats (which is fine, but some of the news articles didn't even mention it)
  • they didn't use enough rats in each group (or in stat lingo, the study was "underpowered")
  • they were exposed in utero through two years of life (fetuses don't use cell phones), virtually all day every day (also not replicating real world cell phone use)
  • there was no dose response (more radiation should have caused more cancer if they are truly linked)
  • the control (not radiated) group lived SHORTER than the radiation group (so do cell phones extend life?)
  • the control group got NO cancers (you'd expect a few even in unexposed rats)
  • the effect was only in females

This also was published in an online repository, meant for quicker release to other researchers, but that means it didn't go through the usual outside review process that medical journals put studies through.  It also means the media is free to jump on it and make their own conclusions without actual scientific input.  Food for thought....