Thursday, November 09, 2006
New Medical discoveries are often found by accident

By Dr. Anthony Policastro

Male cell phone users might want to limit their daily cell phone use

Many medical discoveries are accidental. The best-known one is the discovery of penicillin. A plate of bacteria grew a fungus. The area around the fungus showed no bacterial growth. The fungus was producing penicillin. Another example is how we treat jaundiced babies. We use fluorescent lights to act like sunlight. This was based upon a nursery that noted the babies on the sunny side of the room did not get jaundiced. Babies on the dark side of the room did get jaundiced. A similar kind of discovery was made recently. It was reported at a medical meeting in New Orleans. The meeting was the annual meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. A group of researchers at a fertility clinic in Cleveland were studying men who had decreased fertility. They looked at a variety of factors. They looked at 361 men from their clinic. The average age was 31 years. They divided them into four groups. Forty of the men did not use a cell phone. Another 107 used a cell phone for less than two hours a day. An additional 100 used a cell phone for 2-4 hours per day. The remaining 114 used a cell phone for more than four hours a day. They compared the no use group with the greater than four hour group. They looked at total sperm counts. The no use group showed 72 percent higher counts. They looked at movement. The no use group had 50 percent higher movement. They looked at life span. The no use group had 70 percent better life span. They looked at normal appearance. The no use group had twice the number with normal appearance. It was not clear as to what caused the differences. It could have been the electromagnetic waves. There is good evidence that electromagnetic waves affect male animals in this way. It could have been related to increase heat. It could have been related to other factors. The group has decided to look at these other factors. They will look at the type of cell phone. They will look at where it is carried in the body. There might be a difference between carrying it in the shirt pocket or on the waist or in the pants pocket. There will be more information on this to come. In the meantime, male cell phone users might want to limit their daily cell phone use. You never know where the next scientific finding is going to come from.

Dr. Anthony Policastro is medical director at Nanticoke Memorial Hospital.

Health Bulletins

Public Health flu vaccination Delaware's Division of Public Health announces its influenza vaccination schedule for Delawareans without a healthcare provider or whose insurance does not cover flu shots. While many DPH adult clinics accept walk in clients, DPH will vaccinate children by appointment only on scheduled days. Medicare Part B and donations are accepted. Sussex County adult clinics Nov. 14, Tuesday, Laurel Fire Hall, 205 West 10th St., Laurel, 4-7 p.m. Walk In Nov. 16, Thursday, Laurel Fire Hall, 205 West 10th St., Laurel, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Walk In Nov. 28, Tuesday Blades Fire Hall, 200 East 5th St., Blades, 4-7 p.m. Walk In Dec. 7, Thursday, Blades Fire Hall, 200 East 5th St., Blades, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Walk In Children under the age of 18 will be seen by appointment only at the DPH Clinics and State Service Centers. Parents or guardians interested in making appointments for flu shots may call one of these DPH clinics. ¥ Sussex County, Georgetown State Service Center, 856-5213 ¥ Sussex County, Shipley State Service Center, 628-2006 For more about flu clinic locations and dates, go to

Reversing aging Biomarkers A health seminar will be held on November 9, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at St. John's United Methodist Church, Seaford. Participant's will learn how to slow down the aging process and delay the "disability zone" at the end of life using scientifically validated health principles. Question & answer time will follow. For more information call 302-875-1292.