Drosophila oogenesis as a bio-marker responding to EMF sources

Electromagn Biol Med. 2014 Sep;33(3):165-89. doi: 10.3109/15368378.2013.800102. Epub 2013 Aug 5.


The model biological organisms Drosophila melanogaster and Drosophila virilis have been utilized to assess effects on apoptotic cell death of follicles during oogenesis and reproductive capacity (fecundity) decline. A total of 280 different experiments were performed using newly emerged flies exposed for short time daily for 3-7 d to various EMF sources including: GSM 900/1800 MHz mobile phone, 1880-1900 MHz DECT wireless base, DECT wireless handset, mobile phone-DECT handset combination, 2.44 GHz wireless network (Wi-Fi), 2.44 GHz blue tooth, 92.8 MHz FM generator, 27.15 MHz baby monitor, 900 MHz CW RF generator and microwave oven's 2.44 GHz RF and magnetic field components. Mobile phone was used as a reference exposure system for evaluating factors considered very important in dosimetry extending our published work with D. melanogaster to the insect D. virilis. Distance from the emitting source, the exposure duration and the repeatability were examined. All EMF sources used created statistically significant effects regarding fecundity and cell death-apoptosis induction, even at very low intensity levels (0.3 V/m blue tooth radiation), well below ICNIRP's guidelines, suggesting that Drosophila oogenesis system is suitable to be used as a biomarker for exploring potential EMF bioactivity. Also, there is no linear cumulative effect when increasing the duration of exposure or using one EMF source after the other (i.e. mobile phone and DECT handset) at the specific conditions used. The role of the average versus the peak E-field values as measured by spectrum analyzers on the final effects is discussed.

Keywords: Apoptosis; DECT base; DECT handset; Drosophila; EMFs; MW oven; Wi-Fi; baby monitor; blue tooth; mobile phones; reproduction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis / radiation effects
  • Biomarkers
  • Cell Phone / instrumentation
  • Drosophila melanogaster / cytology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / physiology*
  • Drosophila melanogaster / radiation effects*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Environmental Exposure / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Microwaves
  • Oogenesis / radiation effects*
  • Ovarian Follicle / cytology
  • Ovarian Follicle / physiology
  • Ovarian Follicle / radiation effects
  • Pupa / physiology
  • Pupa / radiation effects
  • Radiation Protection / instrumentation
  • Radio / instrumentation
  • Wireless Technology / instrumentation


  • Biomarkers