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Identification of Research Needs Relating to Potential Biological or Adverse Health Effects of Wireless Communication Devices
only at very high field strengths. The minimum RF signal that can modify the transport of ions and molecules is an open question.
The basic question still under debate is whether there are other interaction mechanisms of low-intensity RF electromagnetic fields that could have health consequences. Of particular interest is the possible existence of health effects that occur due to the accumulation of multiple, long-term, low-intensity RF exposures.
Currently, the most appropriate ways to answer these basic questions include the use of biophysical4 (theoretical), biochemical, and biological approaches. At the physical and chemical levels, the prime goal is to identify a candidate mechanism that could overcome the various sources of “noise” in the biological system.
From the biochemical and biological perspective, two approaches were suggested at the workshop to identify mechanisms that may be operating at low exposures:
Successive- or multiple-hypothesis testing based on hazard mechanisms or stress responses that are relevant for cancer (Roti Roti 2007). The pitfall of this approach seems to be that the number of parameters to be tested is high and not all parameters are known.
The use of high-throughput screening methods (Leszczynski 2007) such as genomics,5 proteomics,6 metabolomics,7 and others not yet developed (the so called “-omics”). Such methods have already been used in EMF research programs. The pitfall of these methods is the very high number of reactions that might be detected. Many of those reactions might be of no relevance or be false positives. Thus all findings need to be validated using complementary methods.
From the biophysical perspective a series of mechanisms has been suggested by various investigators. Those mechanisms include but are not limited to:
A biophysical approach is one that applies physical principles and methods to biological problems.
Genomics is a branch of biotechnology concerned with applying the techniques of genetics and molecular biology to the genetic mapping and DNA sequencing of sets of genes or the complete genomes of selected organisms using high-speed methods.
Proteomics is a branch of biotechnology concerned with applying the techniques of molecular biology, biochemistry, and genetics to analyzing the structure, function, and interactions of the proteins produced by the genes of a particular cell, tissue, or organism, including the organization of the information in databases.
Metabolomics is the systematic study of the unique chemical fingerprints that specific cellular processes leave behind—specifically, the study of their small-molecule metabolite profiles.