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Stimulation of the stress response by low-frequency electromagnetic fields: possibility of direct interaction with DNA

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2 Author(s)
Blank, M. ; Dept. of Physiol., Columbia Univ., New York, NY, USA ; Goodman, R.

This paper reviews research in our laboratories, which shows that 60-Hz electromagnetic fields stimulate the stress response at field strengths much lower than 0.1 mT (1 Gauss). While research on weak electromagnetic fields has been directed largely toward possible harmful effects, the stimulated expression of stress genes (i.e., synthesis of stress proteins) has many potential therapeutic applications in medicine. To gain insight into the molecular mechanism, we have studied the interactions of fields with well-characterized enzymes, and our findings suggest a coupling of the fields to biological charge transfer reactions. Since, synthesis of stress proteins requires activation of DNA, electromagnetic fields may achieve this by interacting directly with electron currents that flow through the stacked bases within the DNA. Such processes could explain the unusually low thresholds we observe and provide a basis for understanding biological effects of high-frequency electromagnetic fields

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Plasma Science, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:28 ,  Issue: 1 )