A mobile phone head case

January 16, 1998

SCIENTISTS are creating a life-size model of a human head to help assess the effect of mobile phones on the brain.

Teams from Bristol and Bradford universities are working with museum artists to construct a realistic head, complete with simulated brain, muscle, skin, eyes and skull. The work will feed into a European Union-sponsored project into mobile phone safety following fears that they can lead to brain tumours.

Researchers will insert probes into the fake head to measure how it absorbs microwaves from different types of cell phone.

Alan Preece, reader in medical physics at Bristol University, said construction of the head was difficult because the most effective modelling materials, such as rubbers and plastics, were poorly responsive to electrical charges.

An imitation brain, however, is relatively easy to develop, using a mixture of an antifreeze-type material, water, salt and polythene powder.

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