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Medical/biological Study (experimental study)

The toxic effects of mobile phone radiofrequency (940 MHz) on the structure of calf thymus DNA. med./biol.

By: Hekmat A, Saboury AA, Moosavi-Movahedi AA
Published in: Ecotoxicol Environ Saf 2013; 88 : 35 - 41 ( open external web page PubMed Entry , open external web page Journal web site )

Aim of study (according to author)
To evaluate the possible biological effects of mobile phone exposure on the structure of calf thymus DNA immediately and 2 hours after 45 minutes exposure.
Background/further details:
All data are obtained from the means of respectively three independent measurements.


General category: mobile phone, radio frequency field

Field characteristicsParameters
940 MHz
exposure duration: continuous for 45 minutes
power: 1 W (input power)
SAR: 40 mW/kg (average inside the sample)
electric field strength: 15 V/m (average inside the sample)

FIELD View further expo parameters

Exposed system:
DNA/RNA (in vitro)

Endpoint/Measurement parameters/Methodology

investigated material: DNA/RNA (in vitro)

time of investigation: after exposure

Main outcome of study (according to author)
The UV-vis and circular dichroism experiments showed that the exposure caused disturbances on the structure of DNA (absorbance in the UV-vis spectrum was incremented and a shift in the maximum of the circular dichroism spectrum, as well as a decrease of the molar ellipticity in exposed DNA). In addition the exposed DNA samples were thermally more unstable than unexposed DNA (melting point decreased in exposed samples). Furthermore, the exposed DNA samples showed an increased fluorescence emission compared to the unexposed DNA samples, which may have occurred attributable to expansion of the exposed DNA (increased fluorescence intensity in exposed DNA incubated with berberine). The results of dynamic light scattering and zeta potential experiments demonstrated that the surface charge and the size of DNA was incremented in exposed samples compared to unexposed ones (hydrodynamic radius and zeta potential increased in exposed samples). The structure of the DNA examined immediately after the exposure is not significantly different from the DNA examined 2 h after the exposure.
Collectively, these experiments indicate that exposure to an electromagnetic radiofrequency field can alter the structure of DNA irreversibly.

(Study character: medical/biological study, experimental study, full/main study)

Study funded by

  • University of Tehran, Iran

Related articles i
Glossary: biological, circular dichroism, conformational, denaturation, DNA, double stranded, electric field strength, electromagnetic, emission, endpoint, exposed, exposure, fluorescence, fluorescence spectrometry, full/main study, genotoxicity, incubated, in vitro, light scattering, mobile phone, mutation, potential, power, probe, radiofrequency, RNA, SAR, significantly, spectrophotometry, spectroscopy, spectrum, thermal, thymus, UV
Exposure: mobile phone, radio frequency field

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