M. Blankenburg, L. Haberland, H.-D. Elvers, C. Tannert and B. Jandrig Pages 86 - 92 ( 7 )
The mode of action of a huge amount of agents on biological systems is still unknown. One example where more questions than answers exist is covered by the term electromagnetic fields (EMF). Use of wireless communication, e.g. mobile phones, has been escalated in the last few years. Due to this fact, a lot of discussions dealt with health consequences of EMF emitted by these devices and led to an increased investigation of their effects to biological systems, mainly by using traditional methods. Omics technologies have the advantage to contain methods for investigations on DNA-, RNA- and protein level as well as changes in the metabolism. This literature survey is an overview of the available scientific publications regarding biological and health effects of EMF and the application of new high-throughput technologies. The aim of the study was to analyse the amount and the distribution of these technologies and to evaluate their relevance to the risk analysis of EMF. At present, only transcriptomics is able to analyse almost all of the specific molecules. In comparison to ionising radiation, fewer articles dealt with health effects of EMF. Interestingly, most of the EMF articles came from European institutions. Although omics techniques allow exact and simultaneous examinations of thousands of genes, proteins and metabolites in high-throughput technologies, it will be an absolute prerequisite to use standardised protocols and to independently validate the results for comparability and eventually for sound standing statements concerning possible effects of agents like EMF on biological systems.
RF-EMF, omics, transcriptomics, ionising radiation
Department of Bioethics&Science Communication, Max-Delbruck-Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch, 13092 Berlin, Germany.