A new study finds protective effect of lightning on physiological cell activity

The study led by Prof. Colin Price points to a surprising beneficial effect of ELF electromagnetic fields on the resistance of living cells such as myocardial cells to stress conditions

A new study finds protective effect of lightning on physiological cell activity

A new study at the Porter School for the Environment and Earth Sciences found that low-frequency electromagnetive fields, such as those created in the atmosphere by lightning storms across the world, have a beneficial effect on the physiological function of body tissues, especially on myocardial cells -  a protective effect that reduces reactions to stress such as oxygen deficiency. This effect expired about 30 minutes after the magnetic field was terminated.


The study was conducted by PhD candidate Gal Elhalal and Prof. Colin Price of the Porter School for the Environment and Earth Sciences at Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with Prof. Asher Sheinberg and Prof. Dror Fiksler of Bar-Ilan University. Its purpose was to study how lightning may have affected the development of life on Earth, since lightning storms occurred throughout the evolution of life. Could there have been an effect of lightning phenomena on the development of life and the adaptations of living organisms, similar to the effect of visible light radiation on many biological processes.


In the atmosphere, there is a presence of low frequency electromagnetic radiation (ELF), which is the result of lightning activity around the world. The electromagnetic waves are returned after they hit the ionosphere at a heaigh of approx. 100 km and dissipate in the atmosphere at low frequencies, peaking at frequencies of 7.8 Hz, 13.9 Hz, and 20 Hz. This background radiation, known as Schumann Resonances, operates at a frequency very similar to that generated by the electrical activity of cells in the bodies of living organisms.


The beneficial effect on the biochemical activity of the cells was detected only in the frequency range of 7.6-8.0 Hz and especially when a magnetic field was activated at 7.8 Hz and at a 90 nT intensity that corresponds to the range created in the contraction of myocardial cells Of mice. These results indicate that electromagnetic energy in the atmosphere, which is caused by lightning storms, has a beneficial effect on biological activity. It increases the ability of cells to cope with stress conditions.


This is the first study to show a link between the activity of lightning around the world and the function of living cells.


To read the scientific publication:


G. Elhalel, C. Price, D. Fixler & A. Shainberg (2019), Cardioprotection from stress conditions by weak magnetic fields in the Schumann Resonance band, Scientific Reports, volume 9, Article 1645, DOI: 10.1038 / s41598-018- 36341-z, https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-018-36341-z


For further reading of articles in the press about this study:


Researchers are trying to crack the electric frequency of life on Earth - Haaretz (Hebrew)


- Lightning May Actually Protect Living Organisms - Interesting Engineering


- Lightning Phenomena Protect Life on Earth, A New Study Suggests - Advocator.ca

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