Body's Ability To Emit Light Arouses New Fears On Radiation From Mobile Phones

July 28, 1998

New research by University of Warwick physicist Dr Gerard Hyland on the human body's own electromagnetic radiation, raises a host of new concerns and possibilities as to the effect of microwave radiation (such as that generated by mobile phones, radar or microwave ovens) on the human body.

This summer Dr Hyland will give two papers at international conferences outlining his research into the phenomenon that biological systems, including the human body generate and emit extremely low intensity radiation in the form of photons (a microscopic packet of light energy), and that these photon emissions are not random but display coherence (similar to that possessed by the much more intense light generated by a laser).

Dr Hyland believes that the origin of this coherence stems from the body's own metabolism which generates its own coherent electromagnetic field, which imposes the observed coherence on the emitted photons, the very weak emission of which can be viewed as an outward sign of an orderly functioning metabolism. If this is the case then serious questions arise about the effect of external sources of microwave radiation on living tissue and its own electromagnetic patterns.

For instance, much is known about how external microwaves can have a heating effect on living tissue and other substances. There are strict regulations and restrictions on the operation of things that could generate such a heating or thermal effect -- mobile phones and their masts, microwave ovens etc, but few have considered the possibility that these microwave sources could also have a non thermal effect on the bodies own microwave activity.

If, by unlucky chance, one of these microwave pollutants matched one of the key microwave patterns of the human body the resultant resonance effect may be quite dangerous. In Russia, where this knowledge of biophysics is more widely known, manufacturers of microwave emitting devices (such as leaking microwave ovens) have safety precautions 1000 times more stringent than those in the UK and US -- just in case such an effect could occur.

If we understood more of how this electromagnetic activity biosytems operated we could perhaps use external microwaves therapeutically to cause beneficial effects in the human body. Russian scientists are already experimenting with a form of electromagnetic acupuncture -- applying microwave radiation to acupuncture points in an attempt to treat medical conditions, and they claim they are having some considerable success.

Dr Hyland postulates many other applications for his research. Sensors could be developed to measure the ripeness and freshness of food by measuring the amount and coherence of its light emission. Medical conditions could be diagnosed non-invasively, and a new understanding of how consciousness operates at a quantum level might even emerge.

One of the applications most recently to be considered is the use of resonant microwave radiation to awaken dormant phages within bacteria which then kill them; this alternative electromagnetic therapy could be particularly welcome given the increasing immunity of certain strains of bacteria to conventional antibiotics.

Note for editors: Much of the early work on this area of research was first carried out by the late Professor Herbert Fröhlich FRS of Liverpool University. Dr Hyland was his last PhD student.

University of Warwick

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