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Biogenic magnetite in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans

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  • Charles G. Cranfield
  • Adam Dawe
  • Vassil Karloukovski
  • Rafal E. Dunin-Borkowski
  • David De Pomerai
  • Jon Dobson
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>7/12/2004
<mark>Journal</mark>Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
Number of pages4
Pages (from-to)S436-S439
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is widely used as a model system in biological research. Recently, examination of the production of heat-shock proteins in this organism in response to mobile phone-type electromagnetic field exposure produced the most robust demonstration to date of a non-thermal, deleterious biological effect. Though these results appear to be a sound demonstration of non-thermal bioeffects, to our knowledge, no mechanism has been proposed to explain them. We show, apparently for the first time, that biogenic magnetite, a ferrimagnetic iron oxide, is present in C. elegans. Its presence may have confounding effects on experiments involving electromagnetic fields as well as implications for the use of this nematode as a model system for iron biomineralization in multi-cellular organisms.