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Field effects: no membrane needed.

Pulsed magnetic fields can speed up protein synthesis even in cells stripped of their outer membranes, report biophysicists who demonstrated this effect with bacteria. The finding challenges the theory that the purported health risks of electromagnetic fields arise from changes in those membranes.

The researchers, led by Ben Greenebaum at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside in Kenosha, exposed membrane-lacking bacteria to a 10-gauss pulsed magnetic field for one hour. The stripped bacteria synthesized 22 to 55 percent more of a certain enzyme than did similar bacteria not exposed to the field.

"This is the first report of an in vitro electromagnetic field effect in the absence of an intact membrane," says Greenebaum. "It means that the models that depend on an intact membrane are incomplete."

Martin Blank, a biophysicist at Columbia University in New York City, calls the finding "intriguing." Blank is among those who propose that electromagnetic fields disrupt cell activity by perturbing molecules in cell membranes, potentially leading to cancer or other health problems.
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Title Annotation:pulsed magnetic fields can speed up protein synthesis even in cells without membranes
Author:Ezzell, Carol
Publication:Science News
Date:Jul 6, 1991
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