Researchers have swiftly debunked a scientific paper claiming 5G transmissions raise the risk of the novel coronavirus.
Earlier this month, an international team published a report on PubMed, a free life science and biomedical database, claiming the 5G (fifth-generation) mobile network triggered human cells to create the virus.
They claimed that our skin cells act as antennas and absorb the signal, which gets sent to the other cells, and the virus is subsequently produced.
But members of the scientific community were instantly suspicious.
The researchers had not performed any experiments and only included weirdly drawn figures and impressive-looking formulas that didn’t equate to anything.
What’s more, in the past, the team has conducted outlandish experiments such as decapitating hundreds of birds to demonstrate they can live without their heads.
On July 24, PubMed, the database on which the report was published, announced it was withdrawing the study.
A team published a study this month claiming human skin cells absorb 5G network waves and causes development of coronavirus. Pictured: Engineers scale a Swisscom AG telecommunication network mast to install a 5G apparatus in Hindelbank, Switzerland, 2019
This would mean countries with the highest 5G distribution would also have the highest number of coronavirus infections, but the US, which has the most cases, doesn’t have the highest distribution. Pictured: A healthcare worker tends to a patient in the COVID Unit at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, July 2
The original paper was written by researchers from Guglielmo Marconi University in Italy, Central Michigan University in the US and First Moscow State Medical University in Russia.
In the first sentence of their abstract, they claim 5G millimeter waves are ‘absorbed by dermatologic cells’ and ‘play the main role in producing coronaviruses’ in cells.
This would mean that countries with the highest 5G distribution would also have the highest number of coronavirus infections.
However, the US – the leader in cases with 4.2 million and counting – does not have the best 5G mmWave coverage.
A report in May found that 5G speeds are faster than local Wi-Fi averages in six countries before the US: Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Switzerland, Kuwait, Australia, Spain and the UK.
The worst outbreaks of the virus have been seen in cities, but this correlates with population density not the presence of 5G apparatuses.
The researchers also claim 5G frequencies ‘are above 24 GHz (gigahertz), reaching up to 72 GHz, which is above the extremely high frequency band’s lower boundary.’
But in the US, the bands that mmWave 5G deployments use range between 27.5 and 28.35 GHz, according to CPET. The highest recorded, in South Korean and Japan, is 29.5 GHz.
Dr Elisabeth Bik, a former Stanford University researcher who now identifies errors and manipulation in scientific publications, was one of the first to lambast the paper.
‘This paper made my jaw drop,’ she wrote in a blog post.
She pointed to one diagram the researchers include in which they wrote that 5G technology waves can lead production of COVID-19.
‘Note that they write that the waves lead to COVID-19 production,’ she wrote in a blog post. ‘They apparently confuse the disease with the virus.’
SARS-COV-2 is the name of the virus whole COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the virus, which cells cannot produce
The researchers had claimed cells can produce COVID-19, but this is the name of the disease caused by the virus not the virus itself (above)
No experiments were performed, only graphs and diagrams were included (above). After a wave of criticism, PubMed announced it was withdrawing the study from its database
‘I invite everyone to rip this piece apart,’ Bik tweeted. ‘And to urge NCBI to ban this journal to the far end of predatory territory.’
James Heather, a researcher at Northeastern University in Boston, tweeted: ‘You haven’t seen the stupidest published SARS-CoV-2 take yet. I PROMISE you. No matter what’s happened so far, no matter what you’ve seen, where you’ve looked, the best is yet to come.’
The authors of the study have also published questionable papers in the past.
One of them, Alireza Sepehri, has written several preprints and articles, including one in which he decapitated 400 birds to prove they can live without a head.
In another, Sepheri and another author, Massimo Fioranelli, published a paper in which they claim infecting pregnant women with the influenza virus can reveal the sex of the fetus.
In a third paper, the duo suggested cancer in men or women can be treated by using cells of the opposite sex
Although the paper has been withdrawn, Peter Grad of Medical Xpress said the initial publishing of the study has far-reaching implications.
He wrote that this leads to people who cannot tell the difference between legitimate news and conspiracy websites.
‘Such sites cast doubts on legitimate research and established facts, and spread malicious distortions of news events, science and health and create needless fear and doubt,’ Grad wrote.
‘Furthermore, by littering the global consciousness with yet more phony science, it makes it more challenging for the public to distinguish between propaganda and genuine research highlighting potentially risky developments in an era witnessing rapid growth of low-frequency electromagnetic wave transmission.’