Can WiFi kill your house plants?

Don't look now, but your seemingly harmless wireless router could be slowly killing your houseplants, an experiment by high school students in Denmark has suggested.

The students' biology experiment used 400 cress seeds and exposed half of them to sunlight, and half to mobile phone radiation.

“We all thought we experienced concentration problems in school if we slept with our mobile phones at the bedside, and sometimes we also found it difficult sleeping,” said Lea Nielsen, one of the five researchers.

Following the experiment, the five girls from North Jutland no longer sleep with their mobile phones at their bedsides.

“None of us sleep with our mobile phones at our bedside any more. Either we keep them at a distance or in another room. And we always turn off the computer,” she said.

In the experiment, the students took 400 seeds and placed them in 12 trays in two rooms at the same temperature, six in each room.

The seeds were given the same amount of water and sunlight over 12 days, but six of the trays were exposed to mobile phone radiation.

After the 12 days, the girls observed and took photos of the seeds: those exposed to radiation from the WiFi routers did not grow, and some even died.

“It’s really frightening that there was such a big effect, and we were really struck by the results,” said Nielsen.

With their experiment, the girls earned a place in the final of the “Young Researchers” competition.

Not only that: researchers from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden have shown great interest in the project.

"Within the limitations of their understanding and ability, the girls have carried out and documented a very elegant piece of work. The wealth of detail and precision is exemplary, the choice of the right cress is very intelligent, and I could go on," said Professor Olle Johanson of Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.

Tested twice

A separate article on The Daily Dot quoted teacher Kim Horsevad as saying her students did the test twice with the same results.

“Some of the local debate has been whether the effects were due the cress seeds drying up because of heat from the computers or Access Points used in the experiment, which is a suggestion I can thoroughly refute,” Horsevad said.

But she said the students were "painstakingly careful in keeping the conditions for both groups similar."

The Daily Dot also said the students were awarded for their experiment at the Danish national science fair. — TJD, GMA News

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