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Human responses to weak EMF are biologically plausible because “ordinary” electrically excitable channels can account for an extreme sensitivity to electric fields in sharks and related species

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3 Author(s)
H. Wachtel ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Colorado Univ., Boulder, CO, USA ; D. Beeman ; J. Pottenger

The possibility that humans could respond to weak electric or magnetic fields (EMF) is often dismissed on the basis that our species does not have the type of cellular or molecular apparatus that enables other animals to be “hypersensitive” to electric fields. In this paper we examine the proposition that extreme electrical hypersensitivity in sharks and similar species could be accomplished using rather “ordinary” ionic channels arranged in favorable geometries so as to produce an avalanching response. In particular, we have used GENESIS programs to model shark electroreceptor cells with a variety of calcium channels and realistic geometries. We have found that certain of these arrangements allow the model cell to be almost as electrosensitive as are the real cells. Among other things, these results imply that human cells having similar “ordinary” channels could have architectures that make them responsive to fairly weak EMF

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, 1998. Proceedings of the 20th Annual International Conference of the IEEE  (Volume:6 )

Date of Conference:

29 Oct-1 Nov 1998