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Bioelectromagnetics is the study of how electromagnetic fields interact with and influence biological processes; almost the same as radiobiology of non-ionizing radiation. Common areas of investigation include the mechanism of animal migration and navigation using the geomagnetic field, studying the potential effects of man-made sources of electromagnetic fields, such as those produced by the power distribution system and mobile phones, and developing novel therapies to treat various conditions. While several treatments based on the use of magnetic fields have been reported in peer-reviewed journals, the only ones that have been approved by the FDA are the use of pulsed magnetic fields to aid non-union bone fractures. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is currently under active study in multiple research centres, and will likely become an approved therapy in the future. Bioelectromagnetics is not to be confused with bioelectromagnetism, which deals with the ability of life to produce its own electromagnetism.
Bioelectromagnetism (sometimes equated with bioelectricity) refers to the electrical, magnetic or electromagnetic fields produced by living cells, tissues or organisms. Examples include the cell membrane potential and the electric currents that flow in nerves and muscles, as a result of action potentials. It is not to be confused with bioelectromagnetics, which deals with the effect on life from external electromagnetism.
Biological cells use bioelectricity to store metabolic energy, to do work or trigger internal changes, and to signal one another. Bioelectromagnetism is the electric current produced by action potentials along with the magnetic fields they generate through the phenomenon of electromagnetism. Bioelectromagnetism is studied primarily through the techniques of electrophysiology. In the late eighteenth century, the Italian physician and physicist Luigi Galvani first recorded the phenomenon while dissecting a frog at a table where he had been conducting experiments with static electricity. Galvani coined the term animal electricity to describe the phenomenon, while contemporaries labeled it galvanism. Galvani and contemporaries regarded muscle activation as resulting from an electrical fluid or substance in the nerves. Bioelectromagnetism is an aspect of all living things, including all plants and animals. Some animals have acute bioelectric sensors, and others, such as migratory birds, are believed to navigate in part by orienting with respect to the Earth's magnetic field. Also, sharks are more sensitive to local interaction in electromagnetic fields than most humans. Other animals, such as the electric eel, are able to generate large electric fields outside their bodies. In the life sciences, biomedical engineering uses concepts of circuit theory, molecular biology, pharmacology, and bioelectricity. Bioelectromagnetism is associated with biorhythms and chronobiology. Biofeedback is used in physiology and psychology to monitor rhythmic cycles of physical, mental, and emotional characteristics and as a technique for teaching the control of bioelectric functions. Bioelectromagnetism involves the interaction of ions. Bioelectromagnetism is sometimes difficult to understand because of the differing types of bioelectricity, such as brainwaves, myoelectricity (e.g., heart-muscle phenomena), and other related subdivisions of the same general bioelectromagnetic phenomena. One such phenomenon is a brainwave, which neurophysiology studies, where bioelectromagnetic fluctuations of voltage between parts of the cerebral cortex are detectable with an electroencephalograph. This is primarily studied in the brain by way of electroencephalograms.
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Magnetic Minds article from 1993 wrote:THE ABILITY of homing pigeons to fly home and of honeybees to make beelines for the hive probably has something to do with their ability to synthesize crystals of magnetite, a strongly magnetic mineral. The crystals seem to act as internal compasses to help these creatures, along with such others as bacteria and whales, navigate from place to place. Until this spring, though, no one knew that humans also make internal magnets in their brains. The discovery probably won't make road maps obsolete, but it may provide a long-sought link between electromagnetic fields and disease.... "Magnetite is the first permanent magnet to be discovered in human tissue, and it has new and novel physical properties." Kirschvink found the magnetic crystals using a fairly simple technique. In a magnetically shielded and dust-free "clean room," Kirschvink and his colleagues dissolved brain tissue in vials sealed by fingerlike glass caps that contained a strong magnet and extended down into the thick solution. Over the course of a week the magnetite crystals in the dissolved brain tissue slowly migrated through the solution to the glass wall surrounding the caps' magnets. When the researchers used a high-resolution transmission electron microscope to examine the crystals that clung to the caps, they found that a thimbleful of brain tissue contains about 5 million magnetite crystals, most of which are about a millionth of an inch long. The crystals are strikingly similar to crystals some bacteria use to tell up from down. The researchers sampled magnetite from different areas of the brain and learned that the crystals were consistent in size, shape, and distribution, suggesting that they have some biological function. But no one knows where the tiny magnets are located in intact cells. One possibility is that the crystals could be coupled to ion channels that regulate the flow of materials in and out of cells. When exposed to strong electric fields, the tiny magnets could reorient themselves and either open the channels or slam them shut. That would affect a cell's health or its rate of activity. findarticles.com... ... i_13670068
Originally posted by seagrassWhat do you think of the pyramid structures in the brain?