physical problems in magnetobiology, electromagnetobiology, and electromagnetic biophysics


General Physics Institute
Russian Academy of Sciences

V.N. Binhi, D.Sci. (Phys.Math.), Head
E.D. Kuznetsov, D.Sci. (Biol.), Senior Researcher
I.Ya. Belyaev, D.Sci. (Biol.), Leading Researcher
R.M. Sarimov, Ph.D., Researcher
A.V. Perlov, Junior Researcher
T.A. Matveyeva, Postgraduate Student
V. Arseniev, Student


Great differences in EM safety standards among different countries point to the lack of knowledge about the physics of magnetobiology. In addition, this relates to the low or rather specific reproducibility of EM biological effects. Up to a quarter of recent investigations reported a failure to observe MBEs. An experiment may well show no effect since the chain of processes involved in the transformation of an EMF signal into a measurable biological parameter is generally long and beyond control. The results observed in a separate laboratory for many years, are frequently difficult to validate in another laboratory. A common opinion of experts is that different physical conditions of the experiments are the reason for this. Essential parameters, besides temperature, pressure, humidity, and illumination, were experimentally and theoretically determined as follows: amplitude, frequency, and polarization parameters of EM fields, as well as directions and magnitudes of local static electric and magnetic fields. However, hitherto there has been no laboratory in the world that could fully control the physical and electromagnetic conditions at the location of the MBE observation.  In other words, the main problem is the lack of reproducibility of the biological effects of weak EM fields which do not cause tissue heating. Therefore, to determine and eliminate the physical causes of that non-reproducibility is a task of the utmost importance. It requires specialized physical equipment to be operated by experienced experts in physical institutes. The development of a reproducible and easy-to-observe MBE and of a relatively simple and easy-to-duplicate system for MBE demonstration would constitute important contribution for recognizing the existence of non-thermal EMF bio-effects.

Research facilities

(1) Computerized system for video-recording motile unicellular microorganisms and analysis of the statistics of their motion. Original software can, using the video records, calculate up to a dozen different motion characteristics (indexes) and their probability distributions. This allows one to search for a correlation both between different indexes and between indexes and external physical factors.
(2) Whole-body Helmholtz-like system 1x1x2.5 m3 for the exposure of a human organism to weak ELF magnetic fields and the complex of computerized psychological tests and eye-pupil video-recordings that provide the information about psycho-physiological state.
(3) New systems at The Scientific Clinical Center sized as 1.2x1.2x1.8 and 2.5x2.5x2.5 m3


The main results of our study with 30 subjects in 2004 and 44 subjects in 2005 are presented here as ppt (1 MB).
Publications here
Binhi V.N., Zarutskii A.A., Kapranov S.V., Kovalev Yu.M., Milyaev V.A., Tereschenko N.A. Computer-aided Assessment of Protozoan Motility Parameters from Video Data. Biophysics, 49(4)650-653, 2004

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