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Study to examine effect mobile phone use on children

The world's biggest investigation into the effects of mobile phones on the developing brains of children has been commissioned by the Department of Health.

Scientists have launched the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (Scamp) will focus on mental functions such as memory and attention which continue to develop into the teenage years.

About 2,500 school children will be tested. Credit: Thomas Eisenhuth/DPA/Press Association Image

About 2,500 school children will be tested at age 11 and 12 and undergo a further assessment two years later. Most children start to own a mobile phone at around 11 or 12.

Invitations have been sent out to more than 160 secondary schools in the outer London area to enrol pupils into the study.

Phone study will 'provide evidence base for policy'

A Government study into the effect mobiles have on a child's brain will "provide the evidence base with which to inform policy", the investigation's chief said.

Scamp's principal investigator Dr Mireille Toledano, from Imperial College London, explained:

As mobile phones are a new and widespread technology central to our lives, carrying out the Scamp study is important in order to provide the evidence base with which to inform policy and through which parents and their children can make informed life choices.

By assessing the children in year seven and again in year nine we will be able to see how their cognitive abilities develop in relation to changing use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies.

– Dr Mireille Toledano

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'Biggest investigation' launched into effects of mobiles

The "world's biggest investigation" into the effects on the developing brains of children has been launched, the Department of Health has announced.

Scientists picked children aged 11 to 12 because that is the most common age for children to first get a phone. Credit: PA

An estimated 2,500 school children will take part in the Study of Cognition, Adolescents and Mobile Phones (Scamp) as they have functions like memory and attention span tested.

Children aged between 11 and 12 will take part in an initial series of tests before being examined again two years later.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) ranked forward-looking studies of the effects of mobile phones on children and adolescents as a "highest priority research need".

More than 70% would 'give up dessert' for battery life

Almost half of those surveyed said that if their mobile phone died they would only be able to remember three phone numbers - and more than 70% said they would give up having pudding after a meal in order to have a fully charged smartphone for a month.

Kevin Malinowski, a spokesman for mophie, said:

Millions of people rely on their smartphones daily to stay in touch with loved ones and do work on the move.

But all of these activities hinge on a single factor: having enough juice to keep the phones running.

– mophie

Dead phone batteries 'causing stress' for millions

A dead battery in a smartphone would cause more stress for nine out of 10 Britons, as daily activities hinge on a single factor "having enough juice to keep the phones running," says a report by smartphone case maker mophie.

Experts suggest people should resist the urge to go to bed with their phones. Credit: Dominic Lipinski /PA Wire

According to the research, 92% of British people would feel stressed if the battery in their smartphone ran out, 61% said they would become frustrated, with 25% saying they would feel panicked.

Experts have suggested people should resist the urge of taking their devices to bed, and try to have set unplugged periods during the week.

'Switch off phones and social media' video goes viral

A video that calls on people to switch off their mobile phones and reduce their use of social media has gone viral. The five-minute film, called ‘Look Up’ was posted on YouTube on April 25 and already has more than 22 million views.

The film was created by Gary Turk who called it “a spoken word film for an online generation”. It aims to show how overusing phones and social media are having a negative effect on personal relationships.

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New mobile payments service for 30 million people

A new payment service has been launched that could eventually link every current account with a phone number.

Paym - pronounced 'pay em' - will be available for 30 million bank customers who will be able to transfer money using their mobile number.

Banks signing up to the new service include Barclays, Halifax, Lloyds and HSBC.

Once more banks register for the scheme later in the year around 40 million people should have access to Paym.

Gang jailed for hijacking phones to call premium lines

A gang of four who hijacked mobile phones to defraud Vodafone customers of £2.8 million by making calls to premium rate numbers have been jailed.

The men obtained customer details from data management firms and linked mobile numbers to SIM cards by posing as legitimate account holders.

The gang called premium rate lines. Credit: Edward Smith/EMPICS Entertainment

They then used the cards to repeatedly make calls to premium rate lines they had purchased, with connection charges of around £2.50 each time.

Around 1,500 accounts were hijacked, costing Vodafone in excess of £1 million.

Kaleem Hussain, 30, was jailed for 38 months, Nadeem Ali, 26, got 21 months, Waseem Rashid, 26, got 30 months. All were from Rotherham.

Imran Rasab, 35, from Mexborough in south Yorkshire, received a four year sentence.

'Gremlins in the system' causes EE network outage

Mobile network EE has apologised after some customers were left with 'no service' and unable to make calls.

On its Twitter account, the network explained there was "gremlins in the system" and they were working to fix the problem.

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