Scientists have uncovered a connection between atmospheric electromagnetic fields and electrical activity in the human body which could pave the way for revolutionary medical treatments in the future.
Scientists from Tel Aviv University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Alaska, have conducted a study that provides evidence for a direct link between electrical fields in the atmosphere and those found in human beings. This could pave the way for revolutionary medical treatments for conditions such as epilepsy and Parkinson’s, as they are related to abnormalities in the electrical activity of the body.
Most electrical activity in vertebrates and invertebrates occurs at extremely low frequencies, and the origin and medical potential of these frequencies have, until now, eluded scientists.
The study’s findings, published in the International Journal of Biometeorology, may change established notions about electrical activity in living organisms.
Electrical activity in living organisms
The electromagnetic resonant frequencies in the atmosphere which are generated by lightning activity across the planet have provided the background electric fields for the development of cellular electrical activity. This process has taken place as organisms evolved over billions of years.
Professor Colin Price, of TAU’s Porter School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, led the research for the study that found that, in some animals, the electrical spectrum is difficult to differentiate from the background atmospheric electric field produced by lightning.
He said: “Neither biologists nor doctors can explain why the frequencies in living organisms (0-50 Hz) are similar to those in the atmosphere caused by lightning. Most of them are not even aware of the similarity we presented in our paper.
“We show that the electrical activity in many living organisms, from zooplankton in the oceans, to sharks and even in our brains, is very similar to the electrical fields we measure and study in the atmosphere from global lightning activity.
“We hypothesise that over evolutionary timescales living organisms adapted and evolved to actually use the electricity in the environment – global lightning,” he continues. “This has likely not changed over billions of years and is similar to the evolution of our eyes, which evolved using the sunlight nature gave us.”
Revolutionary new medical treatments
The study comprised a retrospective review of previous studies on the link between lightning-related fields in the atmosphere and human and animal health.
“Our review of previous studies revealed that lightning-related fields may have positive medical applications related to our biological clock (circadian rhythms), spinal cord injuries and maybe other bodily functions related to electrical activity in our bodies,” says Professor Price.
“The connection between the ever-present electromagnetic fields, between lightning in the atmosphere and human health, may have huge implications in the future for various treatments related to electrical abnormalities in our bodies.”
“We collected many different studies over the years to build a clear picture of this link. Going forward, we need to design new experiments to see how these extremely low frequency fields from lightning may impact living organisms, and to investigate how these fields can be used to benefit us. One new experiment we are now planning is to see how these fields may impact the rate of photosynthesis in plants.”