Time-varying magnetic fields: effect on DNA synthesis

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Science  24 Feb 1984:
Vol. 223, Issue 4638, pp. 818-820
DOI: 10.1126/science.6695183


Human fibroblasts have exhibited enhanced DNA synthesis when exposed to sinusoidally varying magnetic fields for a wide range of frequencies (15 hertz to 4 kilohertz) and amplitudes (2.3 X 10(-6) to 5.6 X 10(-4) tesla). This effect, which is at maximum during the middle of the S phase of the cell cycle, appears to be independent of the time derivative of the magnetic field, suggesting an underlying mechanism other than Faraday's law. The threshold is estimated to be between 0.5 X 10(-5) and 2.5 X 10(-5) tesla per second. These results bring into question the allegedly specific magnetic wave shapes now used in therapeutic devices for bone nonunion. The range of magnetic field amplitudes tested encompass the geomagnetic field, suggesting the possibility of mutagenic interactions directly arising from short-term changes in the earth's field.

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