Mutagenic Effects of Magnetic Fields on Drosophila Melanogaster

  • T. R. Tegenkamp


There is evidence [Cox (1964); Harrison (1966); and Dalrymple (1968)] of several complete reversals of the earth’s magnetic field. The most recent and best documented event is the Olduvai which occurred about 2.0 to 1.9 × 106 years ago. The change in polarity is recorded in lava flows from Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, Victoria, Australia, and Cocos Island in the eastern Pacific Ocean. This suggests that organisms existing today have evolved under reversing magnetic field orientations. This reversing process should produce a null magnetic field for the earth for a period of time. Current evidence indicates that the earth has had its field reduced nearly 30% in the last 100 years. Due to the ever increasing possibility that man will be exposed to magnetic fields other than that of the earth, it becomes important to ascertain if those alterations may induce genetic changes. Obvious areas of differing exposures are associated with space travel. These areas may involve both null and high intensity fields. Radar, cyclotrons, etc., which have magnets as component parts or as shielding devices, are other hazard areas of our modern era.


Magnetic Field Mutagenic Effect Magnetic Treatment Null Field Magnetic Background 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1969

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. R. Tegenkamp
    • 1
  1. 1.Otterbein CollegeWestervilleUSA

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