| submitted by jorgenvonstrangle420
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| submitted by Mad4Reddit
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I’m Paul Héroux, a Professor of Toxicology and Health Effects of Electromagnetism at the Faculty of Medicine, McGill University, in Montreal, Canada. Recent work in my laboratory has uncovered a mechanism by which extra-low-frequency magnetic fields interact with unstable molecular structures such as hydrogen bridges, altering the ability of protons to tunnel from one molecule to another. How this plays out in practice is that the reaction rates of certain enzymes can be altered by magnetic fields at very low intensities such as 25 nT, comfortably within the range of everyday exposures. This has not been found out until now mainly because the effect, although disruptive to the cell, does not increase quickly with field intensity, and drives an adaptation of the cell to the radiation. Metabolism is altered because one enzyme, ATP Synthase, is particularly vulnerable: the ratio between glycolysis and redox metabolism is changed. The mechanism we uncovered is likely to act not only at low frequencies, but also extending to microwave frequencies, implicating all broadcasting and radiating telecommunications systems. So, electromagnetic radiation may impact chronic disease rates such as cancer, diabetes and neurological disorders.
I will be back at 1 pm EDT to answer questions, AMA!
[Edit]: Oh how we wish we could stay and answer all of your questions. We had a lot of fun, but we all need to head off to talk about Europa later this afternoon on Capitol Hill (no livestream, unfortunately, but The Planetary Society will post a video).
And go Europa!
Hey there, Reddit. We’re here to answer anything about Europa—the moon of Jupiter that probably has more liquid water than all the Earth’s oceans combined.
Europa also seems likely to have heat energy and nutrients. Combine those all together and you’re looking at a place that could be habitable for life at this very moment. It’s like having our own little goldilocks-zone exoplanet in our cosmic backyard.
Why are we doing this? Fundamentally we all love Europa and the mysteries associated with it. What, if anything, can be found in the great oceans of Europa? How could NASA look for life? What would it mean to discover life or even to discover that there is no life there? These are compelling questions, and we’re talking about them today in a special event in D.C. We had such a strong response, we decided to talk about it on Reddit, too.
Some good Europa resources:
How big is Europa? Here is a comparison of surface areas of bodies in the solar system from Randall Monroe at xkcd