Not to be too dramatic, but we couldn’t live without our Wi-Fi connections. That could be our downfall, because as it turns out, future generations of young geeks may not be able to live
our Wi-Fi connections. While the proliferation of wireless hot spots is generally regarded as a Very Good Thing overall, a new study suggests that "a laptop connected wirelessly to the Internet on the lap near the testes may result in decreased male fertility." Basically, guys, all that YouTube browsing could be killing off your little soldiers.
A team of Argentine scientists plopped some sperm underneath a Wi-Fi-running laptop for four full hours,
. After that time, the Wi-Fi’d sperm showed significantly higher damage and death rates than the sperm in a control sample stored in similar atmospheric conditions – minus the Wi-Fi-rocking laptop, of course. Sperm plopped near a notebook that wasn’t connected to a Wi-Fi network weren’t damaged, either.
The scientists say the “Electromagnetic radiation generated during wireless communication” caused the spermicide. Now, the study may be nerve-wracking, but don’t rush off to build a tinfoil loincloth just yet: the test was conducted with collected sperm, and not with in-body samples. The extra shielding the human body provides could change those results entirely, one critic says.
"This is not real-life biology, this is a completely artificial setting,” Robert Oates, the president of the Society for Male Reproduction and Urology, told Reuters. “It is scientifically interesting, but to me it doesn't have any human biological relevance."