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The possible detrimental health effects of electromagnetic fields emitted by telecommunication devices
Slovakia (SloMSA) - Comenius University Martin, Bratislava
Biophysics and Medical Physics
Department of Medical Biophysics
Prof. Jan Jakus, MD, PhD, DSc.
Prof. Jan Jakus, MD, PhD, DSc.
Type of Research Project
- Basic science
What is the background of the project?
Long-term exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) is a significant environmental factor for possible negative health effects for humans and animals. There are still sparse information on EMF levels and clearly defined risks in relation to radiofrequency (RF) EM exposure. Scanty scientific evidences are also available on non-thermal effects of long-term exposure to low-energy EMF. The early symptoms caused by EMF exposure are nonspecific (like symptoms of flu) and strongly dependent on a number of the physical and biological variables. Long-term exposition to RF EMF may result in an increase risk of brain cancer (glioblastoma, neuroma) in humans and animals, also to induction of neurobehavioral disorders, especially in children. The inhibitory or stimulatory effect of selective EMF frequencies on bacterial growth – possible bactericidal or the bacteriostatic effects- are not yet clear and must be determined
What is the aim of the project?
The project proposes a scientific approach to reveal the mechanisms and suggestions for detection and prevention of a possible harmful effects of mobile devices on humans and animals.
What techniques and methods are used?
The main subject of our research will be the non-thermal effects of EMF- electromagnetic fields on experimental animals (rabbit, rat), iron (ferritin) accumulation and other biogenic elements in the CNS- central nervous system investigated by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). Measurement of the amount and distribution of non-heme iron in the body will allow a better understanding of biological effects of EMF Using selective microbial cultured media, selected strains of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria suitable for the experiment will be isolated looking for the effect of EMF (electromagnetic fields) on the growth and resistance of bacteria to antibiotics. A novel exposure system for the mobile communication bands using real telecommunication (e.g. GSM-global system for mobile communication, UMTS- universal mobile telecommunications system, WiFi-wireless fidelity etc.) signals will be utilized to approach the goal. The basic statistical software used for our purposes is GraphPad. Student will be ask to get use to it.
What is the role of the student?
- The student will mainly observe
- The student will observe the practical experiments but will be highly involved in the analysis of the results
- The tasks will be done under supervision
What are the tasks expected to be accomplished by the student?
The student will be expected to: - read a literature to get into the problematics - learn how to operate the lab equipment, how the measuring devices work, how to use the exposure system - assist in practical tasks in the laboratory. Prior to experimental procedures, it will be necessary to setup correct exposure levels, which should be experimentally verified by the broadband meters. - assist in the experimental procedures. Student will be ask to participate on the surgical procedures on the animals (e.g. arterial/venous catheters, tracheal cannula), monitoring of an animal during experiments (monitoring of the body temperature, ETCO2, PaO2 etc.), monitoring of the EM field levels etc. - analyze the collected data (do the statistics, draw the graphs etc..). Usually only basic statistics is done (pair test, student´s t-test etc.). - assist with possible paper writing. If the whole part of the experiments or set of the animals will be done during the study stay, a student will be ask to participate on writing of a scientific paper to a journal.
Will there be any theoretical teaching provided (preliminary readings, lectures, courses, seminars etc)
The students should study some material by their own. Highly recommended are papers registered in Web of science or PubMed.
What is expected from the student at the end of the research exchange? What will be the general outcome of the student?
- No specific outcome is expected
What skills are required of the student? Is there any special knowledge or a certain level of studies needed?
Basic knowledge regarding the bioelectromagnetism, cell phones and physiology of body functions.
Are there any legal limitations in the student’s involvement
Type of students accepted
This project accepts: - Medical students - Students in biomedical fields
- Misek J.; Belyaev I.; Jakusova V.; Tonhajzerova I.; Barabas J.; Jakus J. 2018. Heart rate variability affected by radiofrequency electromagnetic field in adolescent students. Bioelectromagnetics; 39(4): 277-288.
- Kopani M.; Filova B.; Sevcik P.; Kosnac D.; Misek J.; Polak S.; Kohan M.; Major J.; Zdimalova M.; Jakus J. 2017. Iron deposition in rabbit cerebellum after exposure to generated and mobile GSM electromagnetic fields. Bratisl Med J; 118(10):575 – 579.
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