Malkemper EP, Eder SH, Begall S, Phillips JB, Winklhofer M, Hart V, Burda H. Magnetoreception in the wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus): influence of weak frequency-modulated radio frequency fields. Sci Rep. 2015 Apr 29;4:9917. doi: 10.1038/srep09917.
Open Access Paper: http://bit.ly/1zh1J91
In sum, we show that wood mice possess a magnetic sense that they use to position their nests along the NNE-SSW axis relative to the magnetic field. The NNE-SSW preference was not altered by RF fields delivered at the Larmor frequency, but was shifted by approximately 90° by a RF frequency sweep (0.9–5 MHz repeated at 1 kHz) at an intensity of only ~5% that of the Larmor frequency stimulus. The results point to the involvement of a radical pair mechanism, the first such evidence for a mammal, although further research is needed to provide a more thorough characterization of the underlying mechanism. Finally and importantly, it should be noted, that the RF magnetic fields applied here have peak intensities below the ICNIRP guidelines for general public exposure (63, i.e., Brms = 0.92 µT/f [MHz], or Bpeak = 1.30 µT/f [MHz]) considered as harmless for human health. Yet, we show that they are sufficient to affect behaviour in a mammal.
Joel M. Moskowitz, Ph.D., Director
Center for Family and Community Health
School of Public Health
University of California, Berkeley
Electromagnetic Radiation Safety
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