A Report on Non-Ionizing Radiation

DNA Breaks: The Controversy Continues

January 30, 2004

The ability of ELF magnetic fields to damage DNA may be getting clearer (see item below) —but not so for microwaves. Over the last ten years, the battle of the Washington universities has been raging, with Joseph Roti Roti of Washington University in St. Louis at odds with Henry Lai and N.P. Singh of the University of Washington, Seattle.

Roti Roti is now claiming the upper hand in the February issue of Radiation Research. (This is his tenth paper on microwaves and DNA to appear in Radiation Research alone.) Isabelle Lagroye of Bernard Veyret’s group at the University of Bordeaux, and Graham Hook, who used to work with George Carlo at Wireless Technology Research, helped Roti Roti run these new experiments. According to Roti Roti, the results imply that “CW 2450 MHz microwaves cannot produce genotoxic effects by directly causing DNA damage.”

Still to be answered, however, are the findings of Elisabeth Diem and Hugo Rüdiger of the University of Vienna, members of the European REFLEX project, who reported early last year that microwaves can indeed cause DNA breaks (see MWN, M/A03, p.7). The Washington University group does not cite this Austrian work, which has yet to be published....And in his 11th paper in Radiation Research, which is also in the February 2004 issue, Roti Roti says that his group has been unable to repeat Jerry Phillips’s RF-DNA studies (see MWN, J/F98, p.1 and p.13). Motorola, which has long supported Roti Roti’s RF research, paid for these two new studies as well.