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Cell and the Electric Field

  1. Jan 23, 2005 #1
    What happens if one applies an electric field across a live cell ??
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2005 #2
    This would be a relatively easy experiment to try. One could measure the reproductivity rate vs electric field strength or frequency. I'm curious...
     
  4. Jan 23, 2005 #3

    iansmith

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  5. Jan 24, 2005 #4
    is that the only effect due of field ??
     
  6. Jan 24, 2005 #5

    DocToxyn

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    I'm not sure if this is what you're looking for, but electromagnetic fields and their potential effects on cells and whole animals have been studied for years. A PubMed search for "electromagnetic field" brings up about 8000 articles.

    If you can refine your question to the strength of the electric field put across it, we may be able to better address the issue. Very small changes in electric potential are used regularly by cells to signal events such as nerve terminal depolarization. Such events can be re-created using electrophysiological equipment, then the processes can be studied under controlled conditions. Extreme electrical fields will do what you would expect and lead to damage and loss of viability.
     
  7. Jan 24, 2005 #6

    Moonbear

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    Translated into English, that means you'll kill the cells if you zap them with too much electricity!
     
  8. Jan 24, 2005 #7

    DocToxyn

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    Sorry...I've been writing an article for publication all day. It's hard to get out of that mode.
     
  9. Jan 24, 2005 #8

    Moonbear

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    No problem. I should have tossed in a smiley to show it was meant in good humor. :biggrin: <-- There, now there's a smiley.
     
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