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Are Cell Phones Mutating the Shape of Our Bones?


By SunnyPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

Let's consider a hypothetical scenario where cellphones become so powerful that they have the potential to alter the shape of our bones. This is a novel and intriguing topic that has recently gained significant attention in the media. It originates from a scientific report that proposes the possibility of serious and long-term changes to our bodies as a result of using phones and tablets. However, these changes are not the typical ones we might expect.

In recent years, a study conducted by David Shahar and Mark Sayers, biomechanics specialists at Australia's University of the Sunshine Coast, has shed light on this matter. Biomechanics delves into the application of mechanical principles to living organisms, encompassing various aspects such as human running and insect wing flapping. Shahar and Sayers' research also incorporates the field of osteobiography.

This is a method used to ascertain an individual's lifestyle based on their skeletal remains. It is well-established that skeletons adapt to a person's lifestyle, and each set of bones narrates a unique story. For instance, exceptionally large skeletons were discovered on the Pacific island of Tinian in 1924. Stone structures near the skeletons provided an explanation for the substantial nature of the islanders' bones. Their regular work with heavy stones had naturally resulted in the development of larger arms, legs, and collarbones. Furthermore, in Australia, Shaw, Heart, and Sayers posit that contemporary technology is influencing the skeletal structures of young individuals.

I would like to discuss a fascinating anatomical feature known as the external occipital protuberance (EOP), which has garnered attention from experts and commentators alike. Some have described it vividly as a "foam ball" or even a "devil-like horn." In reality, the EOP is a bony growth located at the back of the skull, connected to the nuchal ligament. This crucial ligament plays a vital role in connecting the neck muscles to the skull. The EOP acts as an anchor point at the top of the nuchal ligament, creating a significant impact on its function.

Now, let's delve into the research conducted by a team of dedicated scientists. They meticulously analyzed chiropractic X-rays of individuals ranging in age from 18 to 86. Their primary objective was to gain contemporary insights into the intricate changes that occur within the human skeletal system as we age.

As a result of the prevalence of X-ray examinations for conditions such as neck pain, there is also an interest in understanding the potential health implications of these changes. Shahar Hasayers has observed a higher prevalence of EOP in young individuals. Based on this observation, they hypothesized that the posture adopted by young people while frequently using their phones and tablets is a significant contributing factor. During screen time, the neck naturally bends forward, potentially placing additional strain on the area where the skull meets the spine, leading to compensatory mechanisms.

The gradual elongation of the EOP, reaching several milliliters in volume, has garnered attention and is commonly referred to as "text neck." Recent findings indicate a higher prevalence of this condition among men. In 2016, Shah Harden Sayers reported a significantly larger EOP in 67% of men compared to only 20% of women, based on a study involving 218 individuals. By 2018, the research expanded to include 1200 participants, revealing that males were approximately five times more likely to develop pronounced text necks. While concerns regarding the potential health hazards associated with phone radiation, particularly its link to cancer, have been widely discussed, this new report has reignited debates on the broader impact of mobile device usage on human health.

As the first instance of experts explicitly detailing the physical effects of technology, Shahar & Sayers described the elongated styloid processes as a degenerative condition, suggesting a worsening situation for young people who continue using their devices. Additionally, there is a condition known as "text thumb" or "thumb arthritis," where the thumb can develop severe issues similar to carpal tunnel syndrome. However, the study of elongated styloid processes and their reference to them as "horns" or "spikes" has faced criticism in the media. Experts emphasize that the report is not definitive and, like any scientific paper, makes assumptions. Furthermore, archeologists indicate that longer skull bones are not a new phenomenon and are particularly common in males.

In reference to recent studies, critics argue that there is insufficient concrete evidence to support the claim that cell phone usage transforms individuals into a "Hellboy" figure. It is essential to determine whether Shahar and Sayers have accurately interpreted established facts or merely tailored them to fit their own narrative. Regardless, the profound impact of technology on our lives cannot be denied. The notion that constant interaction with devices is altering future generations poses a serious concern that demands attention. Ultimately, it will be future archaeologists who will make the definitive judgment, potentially revealing physical changes resulting from technology use. Therefore, it is advisable to strike a balance between embracing technology and engaging in outdoor activities to mitigate potential adverse effects.

fact or fictionscience

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Comments (1)

  • Esala Gunathilake2 months ago

    Oh! What a fantastic mutation!

SWritten by Sunny

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