It is well known that many people are sensitive to electromagnetic pollution. Wi-fi gives them headaches. Being near high-voltage power lines can bring on migraines. Using a cell phone unleashes similar symptoms. Until recently, there was no medically-understood mechanism by which electromagnetic waves could be sensed by humans. But now, thanks to some fascinating science summarized here, that mystery may be closer to being solved.
Scientists from the University of Munich, led by geophysicist Michael Winklhofer, say they’ve located and identified “internal compass needles” in the noses of rainbow trout. These are called magnetosensory cells, and they turn out to be far more sensitive to magnetic fields than anyone previously thought.
As TGdaily.com reports: (http://www.tgdaily.com/general-sciences-features/64572-source-of-anim…)
The cells sense the field by means of micrometer-sized inclusions composed of magnetic crystals, probably made of magnetite. These inclusions are coupled to the cell membrane, changing the electrical potential across the membrane when the crystals realign in response to a change in the ambient magnetic field.
“This explains why low-frequency magnetic fields generated by powerlines disrupt navigation relative to the geomagnetic field and may induce other physiological effects,” said Winklhofer.
Electro-smog is getting worse by the day
While the study did not look for magnetosensory cells in humans, their identification in fish proves that biological systems can (and do!) create these highly sophisticated “instruments” which sense electromagnetic fields. As any physics student knows, electricity and magnetism are much the same thing: Rotate a coil of wire around a magnet and it produces electric current. High-voltage power lines, inversely, produce a magnetic field.
As the number of modern devices emitting electromagnetic fields continues to rise, people are becoming increasingly concerned about the cumulative effects on their mental and physical health. Some of the sources of electromagnetic pollution — sometimes called “electro-smog” — which exist right now include:
• Smart meters
• Mobile phones
• Wi-fi broadband
• Circuit breaker boxes
• Power supplies to computers and appliances
• Treadmills and exercise equipment
• Cell phone towers
• Commercial radio and TV transmissions
• Hair dryers, blenders and other high-amperage home appliances
While each device seem harmless on its own, the combined effects of them all may cross a threshold that theoretically could be sensed by humans who may also have magnetosensory cells.
Some humans also have an uncanny ability to always know which direction is North, even when lacking obvious environmental cues such as star configurations (at night) or patterns of sunlight (during the day). Is it possible that some humans possess magnetosensory cells and unknowingly use them to “feel” which way is North?
Magnetosensory cells already detected in rats
There appears to be evidence that these cells already exist in rats. A study published in Synapse in 2009 is entitled, “Magnetosensory function in rats: localization using positron emission tomography.” (http://www.emf-portal.de/viewer.php?l=e&aid=16758)
Exposure to the magnetic field stimulated cerebellar uptake of fluorodeoxyglucose compared to the sham exposure in the same animals. The activated region was located in the posterior central cerebellum. The results indicated that magnetosensory evoked potentials in rats were associated with increased glucose utilization in the cerebellum, thereby supporting earlier evidence that electromagnetic field transduction occurred in the brain.
So it’s not just fish and pigeons; it’s also rats and rabbits. This is strong evidence that magnetosensory cells are probably widely found across many species, possibly including humans. This may therefore explain why some people experience neurological disruption when in the presence of persistent electromagnetic fields.
The answer to all this? Move to the country, toss your cell phone, and get back to nature. Modern society is toxic to biology.