A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

  New Light on Electrosensitivity

October 19, 2011
Last updated 
October 20, 2011

Cornell biologists may have made a breakthrough in understanding why some people are electrosensitive. They report in Nature Communications that humans as well as many other species descended from a type of fish that lived some 500 million years ago which had a "well developed electroreceptive system." A possible implication is that some of us, like sharks and rays, may be able to detect very weak electric fields and perhaps a subset has an electroreceptive system that has gone awry.

The editors at the New York Times offer a sympathetic viewpoint: "One thing is certain. If we had the electrical sensitivity of that ancient aquatic ancestor or the paddlefish, we would find the world we live in now, which roars with electrical current, deeply inhospitable."

See also the Cornell University press release.