Brief Communications

Nature 405, 417-418 (25 May 2000) | doi:10.1038/35013144

There is a Retraction (23 March 2006) associated with this document.

Cell biology: Non-thermal heat-shock response to microwaves

David de Pomerai1, Clare Daniells1, Helen David1, Joanna Allan1, Ian Duce1, Mohammed Mutwakil1, David Thomas2, Phillip Sewell2, John Tattersall3, Don Jones4 & Peter Candido4

Exposure limits set for microwave radiation assume that any biological effects result from tissue heating1: non-thermal effects have been reported but remain controversial. We show here that prolonged exposure to low-intensity microwave fields can induce heat-shock responses in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. This effect appears to be non-thermal, suggesting that current exposure limits set for microwave equipment may need to be reconsidered.

  1. Molecular Toxicology Division, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
  2. School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
  3. Medical Countermeasures, CBD Porton Down, Salisbury, Wiltshire SP4 0JQ, UK
  4. Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of British Columbia, 2146 Health Sciences Mall, Vancouver V6T 1Z3, Canada