Mobile Radiation Experiment by High School Girls — Experiment with cress in 9th grade class awakens international attention

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Researchers from England, Holland and Sweden have shown great interest for the biology experiment made by the five girls. Photo: By the girls from 9.b By Mathias Bohn

Take 400 cress seeds and distribute them in 12 trays. Then you place 6 trays in 2 rooms with the same temperature. You give the trays the same amount of water and sunlight over 12 days and remember that the 6 trays in one room is also exposed to mobile radiation.

This is the recipe for a biology experiment så genious, that it has created international sensation among recognised biologists and radiation experts. Behind the experiment are five girls from 9.b in Hjallerup school in northern Jutland in Denmark, and it all started with these girls noticing that they had problems with focus and concentration in the school:

– We all felt that we had experienced concentration problems in the school if we had been sleeping with the mobile phone next to our heads and sometimes it was difficult to sleep, explains Lea Nielsen, who is one of the ‘sprouting’ researchers.

The experiment

The school did not have equipment to test the effect of mobile radiation on themselves, but that was probably good as the girls had to find an alternative. And the answer was cress seeds.

Six trays with seeds were put in a room without radiation and six trays were put in another room next to two routers. Such a device emits just about the same type of radiation as a completely normal mobile telephone.

The reactions

The experiment gave the girls a place in the final of the competition “Young Researchers”, but this was only the beginning. Renowned researchers from both England, Holland and Sweden has since shown great interest in the girls project so far.

The renowned professor from ‘Karolinska Instituttet’ in Stockholm, Olle Johanson, is one of the impressed researchers. He will now repeat the experiment with a research colleague from Belgium, professor Marie-Claire Cammaert from ‘Université libre de Bruxelles’, because he thinks the experiment is genius:

– The girls have, within there framework of knowledge and abilities completed and prepared a very elegant job. The big amount of details and precision is exemplary, the choice of the right cress is very intelligent and I could go on, he says.

And he does not hesitate in sending the girls an invitation along the way:

– I really hope that they will use their future worklife in the area of research, because I certainly think that they have a natural talent for doing research. Personally I would love to see these people in my team!

cress girls

No mobile near the bed

The five girls from Northern Jutland has not yet decided anything about their futures carriers. They are still much surprised by all this attention.

– It gives such a constant buzz in the stomach. I just can’t understand all that is happening now, says Lea Nielsen.

And Mathilde Nielsen cuts in:

– It is so overwhelming and exiting. This is not something you experience every day.

But there have also been other consequences of the cress experiment of more low practical character.

– None of us sleeps with the mobile near our beds anymore. Either we put far away or we put it in another room. And we always remember to shut down the computer, says Lea Nielsen.


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