A new study offers direction for those examining the illnesses of those working or living near large electrical facilities.
Exposure to light has been proven to inhibit the normal secretion of melatonin from the light-sensitive pineal gland. But light is only one part of the electromagnetic spectrum, occupying a wavelength between 730 and 400 nm. Because light is the only visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum, other wavelengths may also inhibit melatonin secretion, including the omnipresent magnetic fields generated by the production, transport, and distribution of electricity (50 Hz in Europe, 60 Hz in North America). These fields are encountered in most activities of daily life, from lighting to heating and other routine household applications of electricity.
Past experimental studies of rats exposed to electric or magnetic fields have found a diminution in melatonin secretion. The importance of the length of magnetic field exposure in this inhibitory effect suggests that the effect of these fields on pineal function may be cumulative, at least in rats. In fact, much of the evidence for the melatonin hypothesis is based on data for rodents. But humans and rodents differ with respect to melatonin secretion in two important ways: (1) rodents are nocturnally active, and they show differences in the anatomical location of the pineal gland; and (2) the geometry of the skull may cause stronger eddy currents in field-exposed animals.
Donna Krupa | American Physiological Society
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Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems Holding GmbH about commercial use of a multi-well tissue plate for automated and reliable tissue engineering & drug testing.
MBM ScienceBridge GmbH successfully negotiated a license agreement between University Medical Center Göttingen (UMG) and the biotech company Tissue Systems...
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