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Biological effects of the hypomagnetic field: An analytical review of experiments and theories.

ABSTRACT: During interplanetary flights in the near future, a human organism will be exposed to prolonged periods of a hypomagnetic field that is 10,000 times weaker than that of Earth's. Attenuation of the geomagnetic field occurs in buildings with steel walls and in buildings with steel reinforcement. It cannot be ruled out also that a zero magnetic field might be interesting in biomedical studies and therapy. Further research in the area of hypomagnetic field effects, as shown in this article, is capable of shedding light on a fundamental problem in biophysics-the problem of primary magnetoreception. This review contains, currently, the most extensive bibliography on the biological effects of hypomagnetic field. This includes both a review of known experimental results and the putative mechanisms of magnetoreception and their explanatory power with respect to the hypomagnetic field effects. We show that the measured correlations of the HMF effect with HMF magnitude and inhomogeneity and type and duration of exposure are statistically absent. This suggests that there is no general biophysical MF target similar for different organisms. This also suggests that magnetoreception is not necessarily associated with evolutionary developed specific magnetoreceptors in migrating animals and magnetotactic bacteria. Independently, there is nonspecific magnetoreception that is common for all organisms, manifests itself in very different biological observables as mostly random reactions, and is a result of MF interaction with magnetic moments at a physical level-moments that are present everywhere in macromolecules and proteins and can sometimes transfer the magnetic signal at the level of downstream biochemical events. The corresponding universal mechanism of magnetoreception that has been given further theoretical analysis allows one to determine the parameters of magnetic moments involved in magnetoreception-their gyromagnetic ratio and thermal relaxation time-and so to better understand the nature of MF targets in organisms.


PROVIDER: S-EPMC5487043 | BioStudies | 2017-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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