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Am J Physiol. 1995 Apr;268(4 Pt 2):R1013-8.

Different outcomes in biological experiments involving weak EMFs: is chaos a possible explanation?

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Louisiana State University Medical Center, Shreveport 71130, USA.


Reports of biological effects induced by electromagnetic fields (EMFs) are sometimes not confirmed in subsequent similar studies. It is possible that the fields in these studies were actually transduced by the biological systems and that the pattern of apparently conflicting results is not a valid inference but arises from the conceptual framework. The question was studied in connection with effects of EMFs on body weight of animals. Previous studies revealed no consistent effect on mean body weight, but reexamination of the data suggested that variance in body weight was consistently altered after long-term exposure. In the present study, 0.5 kV/m, 60 Hz, was applied continuously from conception to maturity in successive generations of mice; as hypothesized, mean body weight was not consistently affected but variance in body weight was altered. The occurrence of transduction can therefore be inferred from the effect on variance despite the absence of a consistent effect on the mean. These results and those from previous similar studies support an interaction model in which the observability of posttransduction biological changes in the mean is strongly dependent on the initial conditions, in analogy with the importance of initial conditions in fixing the final state in deterministic chaos. Thus, at least with regard to EMF effects on body weight, a change from a linear (dose-effect) to a nonlinear paradigm is sufficient to explain the anomalous pattern of some reported studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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