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Sci Adv. 2019 Jan 30;5(1):eaau7201. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau7201. eCollection 2019 Jan.

Weak magnetic fields alter stem cell-mediated growth.

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Department of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA.
Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309, USA.


Biological systems are constantly exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMFs) in the form of natural geomagnetic fields and EMFs emitted from technology. While strong magnetic fields are known to change chemical reaction rates and free radical concentrations, the debate remains about whether static weak magnetic fields (WMFs; <1 mT) also produce biological effects. Using the planarian regeneration model, we show that WMFs altered stem cell proliferation and subsequent differentiation via changes in reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation and downstream heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70) expression. These data reveal that on the basis of field strength, WMF exposure can increase or decrease new tissue formation in vivo, suggesting WMFs as a potential therapeutic tool to manipulate mitotic activity.

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