In the last years an intense debate has arisen regarding the existence of non-thermal effects of electro-magnetic fields (EMF) on biological systems, i.e. effects due to a direct interaction between fields and matter without energy exchange. Up to now, the literature is controversial in this sense and no clear and systematic experimental evidences are present. For this reason it is necessary to perform experiments that use simple protocols and study simple model organisms, so that many measurements can be performed easily under biologically and technically well controlled conditions. We have performed measurement on a simple mono-cellular biological system, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisae representative of eukaryote cells. The yeasts were continuously submitted to static or AC magnetic fields for 6 hours, corresponding to 3 duplication times, and the cell proliferation of the exposed and the sham samples was checked. In particular the samples were exposed to static magnetic fields (MF) of 1G, 10G, 100G, 1000G and AC magnetic fields of 5G-50Hz, 5G-16Hz, 5G-8Hz. Great attention was devoted to design a simple and repeatable experimental procedure and to reduce as much as possible the experimental errors. Moreover, a careful evaluation of the errors involved in each step of the measure was done. The results show the importance of the modulation of the magnetic fields. Indeed, a similar effect for S. cerevisiae exposed to a very high static magnetic field (1000 G) and to a lower value of magnetic field modulated at frequency of 50 Hz (5G-50Hz) was found. In both cases a decrease of about 12% in the cell concentration is detected with a confidence level of 2%. No effect is detected for all the other exposure conditions.
To explain the controversial results shown in literature about the effects of CEM on biological systems, one possibility is the interaction between the CEM and the nervous system that produces different effects for different subjects. It is than important to study the possible effects of CEM on nervous cells. In collaboration with the Pharmacy Department measurements are in progress to study the effect of CEM of 900 MHz , 1V/m on mouse astrocyte. Preliminary results have shown the Importance of modulation of CEM. Indeed, no effects were detected without modulation of the CEM while a difference in the cells vitality is present if the CEM is modulated.