The information for this blog post is from a GQ article written by Christopher Ketcham in 2010 called “Warning: Your Cell Phone May Be Hazardous to Your Health.” It is beautifully written (very clear prose) and I am closely paraphrasing and quoting directly.
What do they Mean by Modulation?
In this article Ketcham in his discussion of neuroscientist’s Allen Frey’s work explains what “modulation” is. This is important to know because this term is used in other scientific studies and discussions on low frequency radiation. For example, I have heard scientists say it is the “modulation” of the radiation which is what has an impact (and also that waves which carry data can be dangerous), but I haven’t quite understood what that means. Ketchum explains that microwaves can be divided into two parts: what is called a carrier wave and then the data or information which the carrier wave carries. That data—words, sounds, pictures—Ketcham says, is a second frequency and is called “modulation.
“Frey observed two factors in how microwaves at low power could affect living systems. First, there was the carrier wave: a frequency of 1,900 megahertz, for example, the same frequency of many cell phones today. Then there was the data placed on the carrier wave—in the case of cell phones, this would be the sounds, words, and pictures that travel along it. When you add information to a carrier wave, it embeds a second signal—a second frequency—within the carrier wave. This is known as modulation. A carrier wave can support any number of modulations, even those that match the extra-low frequencies at which the brain operates (between eight and twenty hertz). It was modulation, Frey discovered, that induced the widest variety of biological effects. But how this happened, on a neuronal level, he didn’t yet understand.”
Here Ketcham describes how Frey discovered that “microwaves pulsed at certain modulations” could breach the blood brain barrier:
“In a study published in 1975 in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, Frey reported that microwaves pulsed at certain modulations could induce “leakage” in the barrier between the circulatory system and the brain. Breaching the blood-brain barrier is a serious matter: It means the brain’s environment, which needs to be extremely stable for nerve cells to function properly, can be perturbed in all kinds of dangerous ways. Frey’s method was rather simple: He injected a fluorescent dye into the circulatory system of white rats, then swept the microwave frequencies across their bodies. In a matter of minutes, the dye had leached into the confines of the rats’ brains.”
The question we don’t know about Smart Meter pulsed radiation (and that radiation is also going to be controlled remotely, turned on and off, by a utility company) is what effect its unique modulation is having on our bodies.
Says Frey in regards to cell phones:
“it just so happens. .. that the frequencies and modulations of our cell phones seem to be the frequencies that humans are particularly sensitive to. If we had looked into it a little more, if we had done the real science, we could have allocated spectrums that the body can’t feel. . .The public should know if they are taking a risk with cell phones. What we are doing is a grand world experiment without informed consent.”
Ditto for Smart Meters.