Shallom JM, Di Carlo AL, Ko D, Penafiel LM, et al. (2002)

Shallom and colleagues at the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, exposed chick embryos to 915 MHz radiation at approximate SARs of 1.5 and 2.5 W/kg in different experiments. Levels of Hsp 70 were found to increase by approximately 30% compared to controls, with peak expression occurring by 3 hours from the start of exposure. Final temperatures, measured with thermocouples situated next to the embryos, did not exceed 38.8ºC. The authors did not feel that this temperature was the cause of the increased production of Hsp 70, since heating of the chick embryos to 39ºC did not produce an increase in Hsp 70 levels.

Experiments were also done in which chick embryos were exposed to similar microwave radiation for 30 minutes, 1 hour prior to being subjected to stress from reduced oxygen. The reduced oxygenation was continued for 2.5 to 3 hours. The exposed embryos had significantly better survival than non-exposed controls. The authors suggest that this increased survival may be due to Hsp production. They repeated the experiment with a 20-µT ELF-EM field superimposed, and found that there was no increased survival of the embryos. They deduced that the ELF-EM noise inhibition serves as a means of verifying that a particular response is caused by the EM field, and not by some other variable.

The SARs in the experiment were higher than are found in cellular phone use. As noted above, there was also a temperature increase in the experimental samples, although the authors did not feel that this accounted for the findings. The authors conclude that their study provides support for the hypothesis that "athermal EM field exposures induce Hsp 70 expression".

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