Monday, June 28, 2004

Sperm in the news
Most of the mainstream news sites I went to this morning had these two stories on the same page, yet none of the sites thought to link them. How often do a problem and a solution appear together like this?

First, the problem:
LONDON (Reuters) - Mobile phones may damage men's sperm, Hungarian scientists say, in a study that fertility experts dismissed Monday as inconclusive.

Carrying a mobile in hip pockets or a holster on the waist could cut sperm count by nearly 30 percent, according to the research.

"The prolonged use of cell phones may have a negative effect on (sperm production) and male fertility," Dr. Imre Fejes, of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Szeged said in a summary of the study.

So we are looking at a future in which there will only be Luddites, curmudgeons, and Raelians (oh yeah, and a few billion people too poor to afford cell phones). Well, that could be a bummer. But wait, here’s the solution:
BERLIN (Reuters) - Men trying to boost their fertility may soon receive help from an unusual source--a plant grown for centuries in East Africa and the Middle East.

The leaves of the khat plant, which is also known as qat, are chewed for the feeling of euphoria they produce. But scientists at King's College London have discovered that they also contain chemicals that help sperm mature and fertilize an egg.

If you are a male who uses a cell phone and wants to have children, you must stay stoned all the time. If you are a woman--well, neither article said you couldn’t stay stoned, too.

Free Tommy Chong.

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