A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

Abe Liboff: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )

August 27, 2017

Today is Abe Liboff’s 90th birthday. Liboff is a physicist —he was the chairman of the physics department at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, for many years, and, before that, a professor at NYU. He used to be a coeditor of the journal, Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine.

As long as I have known him, Liboff has been asking questions about the world he sees all around. When possible, he runs experiments to test out his ideas. He continues to have a lively correspondence with those who share his interests in electromagnetic field effects, especially the role of the Earth’s magnetic field.

Back in 1984 when I first got to know him, Liboff had recently completed a two-year fellowship at the Naval Medical Research Institute in Bethesda, Maryland. He was back at Oakland but continued to collaborate with a psychologist at NMRI, John Thomas, who was doing research for the New York Power Line Project.

Liboff’s work at NMRI led to two startling experimental findings.

April 12, 2016

The latest paper from Abe Liboff in which he examines the hypothesis that “consciousness is a manifestation of the EM field,” based on evidence that “living tissue is ultrasensitive to ultrasmall (1-100 nT) [0.01-1 mG] ELF fields.”

January 7, 2014

When asked what he had learned about God from his studies of evolutionary biology, J.B.S. Haldane replied that the Creator has “an inordinate fondness of beetles” — after all, there are 400,000 different species of beetles and only 8,000 species of mammals. Take a look at this video and you might wonder whether red foxes are another of God’s favorite creatures. (Be sure to watch the clip in full screen mode.)

The red fox hunts by jumping up in the air and diving for its prey. As the narrator tells us, the fox can locate a mouse even when hidden under a deep pile of snow. It’s tempting to attribute a fox’s success to a keen sense of hearing or smell, but it turns out to be more complicated than that. A German-Czech team of researchers has found that red foxes have an added advantage: They can use the Earth’s magnetic field to home in on their target.

August 12, 2013

“[W]e speculate that the widely observed weak-field [~50 nT] biomagnetic responses typified … stem from early evolutionary recognition of the diurnal change in the [geomagnetic field] as a precise zeitgeber; indeed one that outperforms the sun itself, in that it happens independently of cloudy skies.”

March 12, 2013

Lucas Portelli just ran over the Cheshire cat. He didn't know it was there. He's too young to appreciate how this fictional feline has held sway in the EMF-health controversy.

A little background for newcomers: the Cheshire cat is a metaphor for the lack of reproduciblity of EMF effects observed in some laboratories —but not others. It’s a favorite of those who see the study of EMFs as pathological science. The effects come and go, like the Cheshire Cat. Sometimes you see them, sometimes you don’t. EMF effects are not thought as being robust. Or more plainly, they are not to be believed.

But what if there was an unregognized confounding factor that was playing havoc with the EMF experiments? Portelli may well have found such a confounder.

September 27, 2012

Paul Héroux has a problem. He believes he has identified a way to control the growth of cancer cells, but he can't get his ideas into print. "We think we have the Rosetta Stone that will allow us to unravel the intricacies of cancer physiology," says Héroux, a professor at McGill University in Montreal.  Yet, one scientific journal after another has refused to publish what he has found.

Part of Héroux's problem is that his argument is based on an even more controversial proposition than a possible cure for cancer: That extremely weak magnetic fields can bring about major changes in DNA. That is a tough sell. Héroux ups the ante another notch by claiming to show that those changes are so easy to spot that you don't need hi-tech instruments to see them, just a standard issue microscope. All you have to do is count chromosomes, admittedly with close attention to detail.

And that's not all. Héroux says he has pinpointed where and how the magnetic field acts on the cell.

May 28, 2008

Robert O. Becker, a towering figure in bioelectromagnetics, died on May 14 due to complications from pneumonia. He was 84 and had been ailing for some time. Becker, best known for his research on "currents of injury" and the role they play in regeneration, made significant contributions to many areas of electrobiology. He was later drawn into public controversies over health effects — Becker is credited as the first to use the term "electromagnetic pollution"— and in the end paid dearly for speaking out.

"Bob Becker's passing marks the end of an era in bioelectromagnetics, that time when very few scientists believed that non-thermal electromagnetic exposures were biologically significant," said Abe Liboff, a physicist and the co-editor of Electromagnetic Biology and Medicine. "All the work on applying electromagnetic fields to bone repair is attributable to Becker's reinterpretation of Carlo Matteucci's discovery of currents of injury," he said.

June 15, 2007

It’s become axiomatic that wide acceptance of non-thermal effects will come from developing biomedical therapies rather than from studying potential hazards. The health effects work is mostly sponsored by those who don't want to find any. And they usually don't (cf: the USAF, EPRI, CTIA, FGF, MMF, etc.) So no one should be surprised that the latest advance comes from a small high-tech Israeli company, Novocure, which is looking for innovative ways to treat cancer. It's a breakthrough —most likely a major breakthrough.

Novocure uses weak 100-200 kHz electric fields —the company calls them tumor treating fields or TTFields— to stunt the growth of cancer cells, either by slowing down their proliferation or by killing them off entirely. The company has now demonstrated this in four different cancer cell lines. Even more impressive is that tumor growth has been curtailed in mice, rats and, in a small pilot project, ten human patients with recurrent brain tumors (glioblastoma).

Subscribe to Abe Liboff: Microwave News Article Archive (2004 - )