In this issue of the Biochemical Journal, Freidman et al. report the findings of a study to look at the potential of mobile phones to activate intracellular signalling cascades. They found that radio waves corresponding to the frequency commonly used by mobile phones are able to activate ERK1/2 (extracellular-signal-regulated kinases 1 and 2). This effect was observed even at intensities lower than those emitted by mobile phones that are unable to cause any measurable heating effects. This study provides evidence that radio waves induce ERK1/2 activation downstream of the EGF (epidermal growth factor) receptor, which is in turn activated by the release of reactive oxygen species.

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