Editor's note:  the website for the BEMS 2010 Seoul meeting is


The next annual meeting of the Bioelectromagnetics Society is just a few months away!  It is time to make plans.  Already more than 250 platform and poster sessions have been scheduled, and an exciting meeting is planned.  In addition to the scientific sessions, this is a good opportunity to meet with colleagues for collaborative discussions and to encounter new ideas and a new location!  Meeting organizers have incorporated the lessons learned from previous meetings (see article in this newsletter from the Meeting Quality Committee) in their efforts to make this the best annual meeting ever held by BEMS. 

On the website for the meeting, you'll find the preliminary schedule for the meeting, how to make travel plans and lodging arrangements, and additional information about the venue.  You'll also get a chance to learn a little about Seoul itself, a city that was recently cited by the New York Times as one of the top ten places to visit in 2010.

Note that the Board of Directors recently approved motions that impact the recording of material at the annual meeting:  Video and audio recording (including flash photography) of any presentation in any technical session is prohibited. No photography of poster or slides is permitted unless explicitly authorized beforehand by the presenter.  Access to scientific sessions by the media for the purposes of recording must be authorized in advance by the President of the Society.

For members unable to access information via the website, please contact the BEMS office (BEMSManagement@gmail.com) to obtain registration information and details about the meeting.

I've enjoyed the "Research Summary" component of the newsletter because of the broader perspective it brings to the scientific publications.  Often, there are clues that could help other investigators perform additional experiments to expand the knowledge base in the research area.  The summary published by Muehsam and Pilla in a recent issue of the newsletter (#211) has such potential, but their description of historical events and terminology in the second paragraph is not consistent with my understanding.  I commend the authors for their work, and hope I can clarify the historical record because it has bearing on the research being described.

As I recall, this line of research began with a report by Cyril Smith (Jafary-Asl et al. J.Biol.Phys. 11:15, 1983) describing biological measurements under magnetic resonance conditions.  Subsequently I reported at the 1984 BEMS annual meeting on a calcium ion efflux phenomenon that was both dependent on the frequency of the applied field and the strength of the earth's magnetic field.  In that presentation I suggested that it seemed consistent with either a cyclotron or magnetic resonance process because both the oscillating electric and magnetic components were perpendicular to the static magnetic field (MicrowaveNews, Sept 1984, Vol IV, No.7, page 2; Blackman et al., BEMS Vol. 6(1985):327). 

At the meeting, Abe Liboff became very excited by our presentation, in part because of work he published in the journal Science in 1984 on cell growth.  With my encouragement, he and his colleagues quickly developed a model that he called Ion Cyclotron Resonance, and supported it with a substantial data set. 

In 1992, Valery Lednev added an essential component to the model, namely, a model of the possible influence of the intensity of an AC magnetic field oriented parallel to the DC magnetic field, supplemented with experimental data to support the model predictions. Despite some initial skepticism, both Liboff’s ICR model and Lednev's model are widely recognized as landmark achievements in our society that initiated a wide range of work to extend each model to better understand observed experimental results.

One of the first of those efforts came a short time later, when Blanchard and Blackman developed extensive data to test the Lednev model and found it did not predict the details of their biological responses.  As a result they developed the Ion Parametric Resonance (IPR) model that did predict the experimental data (BEMS 15:217 and 239, 1994), and made further predictions about additional response that were subsequently confirmed experimentally (FASEB 9:547, 1995).  This included a resonance response when the exposure conditions were tuned just for hydrogen ions (Trillo et al., BEMS 17:10, 1996).  Subsequently Blackman and colleagues identified the bandwidth of the response for the single ion hydrogen resonance for the IPR model (BEMS 20:5, 1999).  Additional reports by Baureus-Koch et al. (BEMS 24:385, 2003) and Sarimov et al. (BEMS 26:631, 2005) independently demonstrated ionic and biological responses, respectively, consistent with the IPR model. 

Meanwhile, Lednev and his colleagues continued to successfully test the Lednev model, which they formally named the Parametric Resonance model (PRM) to distinguish it from the other proposed models. 

In time, other models were also developed by Zhadin, by Fesenko, by Binhi, and by others (see my memorium for Professor Lednev in NL #206, p6).  Obviously, the efforts by so many scientists to develop predictive models indicate there is a great unresolved mystery in this area of weak EMF-induced biological effects.  To date, as Muehsam and Pilla emphasize in their summary, no one has found the grand unifying theory in bioelectromagnetics.  That is, to date no model developed completely describes the results that have been reported over the entire parameter space that has been tested.  This tells us that care must be taken in over-generalizing any model until more is known.  But each model contributes an important part of the puzzle if it is supported by experimental data.

Personally, I would like to see a further development of the Meuhsam and Pilla model to provide insight into the experimental results we published in 1996 (Biochem Biophys Res Comm 220:807) showing different biological responses in the same biological system using different orientations from parallel to perpendicular of the AC and Static magnetic fields.  I hope their research and that of others continues to help the broader scientific community understand the mechanisms behind the observed biological responses to low intensity electromagnetic fields that have been tantalizing the BEMS scientific community since the late 1960s.  

Have you renewed your BEMS membership yet?  The Bioelectromagnetics Society's Executive Director, Gloria Parsley, reported recently that 2010 membership dues are still being received by the office.  As of February 3, 2010, only 107 renewals have been processed.  In comparison, by February 2, 2009, 242 renewals had been received.

She noted that in 2009, there were 11 charter members, 230 full members, 61 associate members, 44 student members, 31 emeritus members, and 4 retired associate members.  Membership classifications were pending for 13 members.  The membership is widely located:  in 2009, the 394 members came from North America (USA 152, Canada 22, Mexico 1), Europe (145), and the Austral-asian corridor (Japan 64, Australia 10, Korea 9, China 5, other 6), with ten members from other countries not represented by these categories.

In order to operate effectively, BEMS relies on membership fees.  If you haven't yet sent in your membership renewal, please do so today!

BEMS is truly an international society and the research to be presented at this year's annual meeting will show research from literally around the world.  Of the 266 abstracts accepted for the upcoming BEMS annual meeting in Seoul, 100 are from Asia (Japanese scientists submitted 43, scientists from the Republic of Korea submitted  35, Chinese scientists submitted 27, and there was one submission from Taiwan).  At the same time, Europeans submitted 103 of the abstracts (France 24, Switzerland 21, Italy 15, Germany 10, Finland 7, with between one and four submission(s) from each of the following countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Portugal, Belgium, Netherlands, Austria, Slovenia, Poland, Hungary, and UK.  Forty-five reports come from the United States and Canada.  The remaining abstracts come from Australia, New Zealand, Israel, South Africa, the Russian Federation, Georgia, Bulgaria, and South Africa.

These abstracts cover a wide range of topics including dosimetry (66), in vitro studies (41), animal studies (35), epidemiology (23), risk, safety standards and public policy (23), instrumentation and methodology (20), human studies (13), theoretical and practical modeling (12), mechanisms of interaction (11), medical application studies (9), pulsed electric fields (7), and electroporation (6).

Published on: Mar 09, 2010

For many years, BEMS annual meetings were evaluated via paper cards distributed during the meeting. The evaluation focused on the different sessions and speakers, but also questions about other items such as the social event, meeting management, etc. Last year, in Davos, Switzerland, the traditional meeting evaluation cards were replaced by an online questionnaire that was sent to participants after the meeting. This questionnaire focused on questions about the meeting organization and about the expectations of its attendees.  In all cases, the goal was to identify what worked and what didn’t:  in short, how to improve future meetings.

So, what did we learn?  First:  meeting attendees are eager to participate in these questionnaires.  The number of participants who answered this online questionnaire was quite impressive: 254 persons attended the survey, and a lot of very helpful comments were given. We understand that the questionnaire’s format created some difficulties for responders because it inadvertently required non-presenters to mark something about abstract submission, or for non-members to answer membership questions (these will be changed in future surveys).  Despite this, we think some very useful information came from this survey.

The Davos meeting seems to have attracted a wide range of scientists:  one third of the attendees were new to BEMS meetings, 35% had visited more than 3 previous BEMS meetings. About 28% of the respondents considered Davos better than other BEMS meetings compared with only 8% who thought it was worse. About 37% found that Davos provided good value, 35% voted for “average”, and only 6% answered with a clear “no”. Frequent reasons cited for good value were good organization, the program, good quality.  Davos, the meeting location 2009, was described as a nice venue, but difficult to reach because of the long distance between airport or other arrival station and the meeting facility. Despite this, 76% of the survey participants scored Davos overall as “excellent” or “good”.

About 71% of the participants chose “excellent” or “good” for congress center in general, although the noise from nearby construction was criticized.  Within the congress center, the distance between the two meeting rooms where the platform presentations took place was criticized, because it took some time to switch between the parallel sessions.

The congress website appeared to be very useful for attendees:  it got very favorable  reviews (“best website ever”; “a must have for future meetings”). Only about 7% of the survey attendees considered the website to be confusing or lacking important information.  The main problem noted was that meeting registration and hotel reservations were separated, creating some confusion.

Additional points noted by responders about the presentations included:

  • A preference that presentations also be available online (at least keynote/ plenary presentations). Because many of these presentations include unpublished data, if this option in included in the future, authors should be able to select between these options regarding their presentations: not available/ available/ edited version available.
  • A desire for better coordination of sessions (strict adherence to published time schedules) so that attendees can move more easily between presentations of interest.  Extended discussions are fine and even encouraged, but should be scheduled after all the scheduled presentations or during coffee breaks.   One option proposed was a chaired public discussion session held during coffee breaks.
  • A need to limit the time for each comment or question made during the discussions:  the goal is to allow lively discussions and effective exchange of information related to the presentation just made rather than a secondary forum for opinions/ viewpoints and co-talks from the audience.

More than 85% of the survey participants were happy with the number of speakers in the plenary, topic in focus, and tutorial sessions.  By contrast, only about 65% thought that the duration or number of poster sessions were appropriate and 26% wanted to have more time or sessions for posters. This has already been implemented in the plans for our upcoming annual meeting this year in Seoul.

Overall, BEMS meeting attendees want scientific presentations of good quality followed by scientific and fair discussions afterwards and noted that:

  • interdisciplinary sessions with experts/ scientists holding different points of view or plenary sessions with controversial topics because these result in what are perceived as exciting, scientific, and fair discussions.
  • interdisciplinary sessions about gaps in knowledge, political & social implications, and public health concerns.
  • sessions not divided by methodology (in vivo/ in vitro/ human studies/ epidemiology/ dosimetry) but instead focusing on a single hot topic, interesting question, or problem with presentations from the different subjects/ disciplines. Thus, scientists in a session could compare results from the various methods, discuss advantages/ disadvantages, and clarify similarities, differences of results, and maybe fix hidden or yet unknown problems.

What do meeting attendees expect from BEMS?  The resounding answer was that BEMS should provide a variety of scientific platforms providing both information and possibilities for interactions by newsletter, website, annual meetings, and the journal. In addition to this, they noted a continuing need for more basic information for new members, more information about topic-related congresses and other intensive training opportunities, more online-services, and the promotion of young scientists and students.

Many thanks to Joachim Schüz, who brought up the idea of an online survey and helped a lot by thinking about the questions and to Niels Kuster - together with his coworkers, who was helpful with questions and provided great support to enhance the online appearance and evaluation of the questionnaire. And thanks to all the people who discussed details and gave comments to the test trials.

The outcome of this survey is invaluable to the technical program chairs of future BEMS meetings, the BEMS board of directors, and of course, to future meeting attendees.  The meeting quality committee sincerely appreciates all the survey respondents for your input and comments.  We hope that you will be pleased to see your suggestions implemented in our upcoming annual meeting in Seoul!

-- Maren Fedrowitz, Chair of the Meeting Quality Committee

Fourth course of the “Alessandro Chiabrera” EBEA School of Bioelectromagnetism (director Prof. F.Bersani)
Date: March 26 to April 2, 2008
Location: E. Majorana Foundation and Centre for Scientific Culture (Erice, Trapani, Italy).
Deadline for participation requests: February 15, 2008
Contact: Susanna Lagorio (Tel: +39 (0)6 49904304; Fax: +39 (0)6 49904305; email: susanna.lagorio@iss.it) or Joachim Schüz (Tel: +45 3525 7655; Fax: + 45 3525 7731; email: joachim@cancer.dk)

10th International Congress of Hyperthermic Oncology
Date: April 9th to April 12th, 2008.
Location: Campus of the “Klinikum Grosshadern”, one of Europe’s largest university hospitals in Munich [Germany]
Notes: Recent results of randomised phase II and III studies as well as ongoing basic research activities have firmly established hyperthermia as a treatment option in conjunction with standard regimens in the field of oncology. Constantly increasing insight into the molecular principles and clinical applications require more than ever an interdisciplinary and international exchange of ideas.
Further information: http://www.icho2008.org/highlights_program.php

International Workshop on Risk Factors to Childhood Leukemia
Date: May 5 to 7, 2008
Location: Berlin, Germany
Notes: see article in this newsletter, page 9
Further information: http://www.icnirp.org/WChildhoodLeukemia.htm

Asia-Pacific EMC Week and Technical Exhibition
Date: May 19-23, 2008
Location: Singapore
Notes: The 1st Asia-Pacific Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility and the 19th International Zurich Symposium and Technical Exhibition on EMC will be held jointly in Singapore from Monday, May 19 to Friday, May 23, 2008. The symposium will cover the entire scope of electromagnetic compatibility. Prospective authors are invited to submit original papers on their latest research results. We also solicit industrial forum contributions as well as proposals for special sessions, topical meetings, workshops and tutorials.
www.emc-zurich.org www.apemc2008.org

The Bioelectromagnetics Society 30th Annual Meeting
Date: June 8–12, 2008
Location: Town & Country Resort, San Diego, CA, USA
Note: BEMS’ block of sleeping rooms is contracted at the prevailing US Government per diem rate which is currently $131+ tax single plus $20 per additional guest in room.
Contact: Technical Program Chair: Michael McLean (michael.mclean@vanderbilt.edu); Vice Chair: Bob Cleveland (rfcjr23@yahoo.com)

Gordon Research Conference in Biochemistry
Date: July 20-25, 2008
Location: University of New England, Biddeford, ME
Details: see September/October BEMS newsletter, page 2

XXIXth URSI General Assembly
Date: August 9-16, 2008
Location: Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel on the Riverwalk,151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
Notes: see article in this newsletter, page 11
Further information: http://www.ece.uic.edu/2008ursiga/

12th International Conference, International Radiation Protection Association, IRPA 12
Date: October 19-24, 2008.
Location: Buenos Aires, ARGENTINA.
Focus: 1. Epistemology of radiation: Methods, current knowledge of physical and biological sciences in relation to effects of radiation exposure. 2. Radiation Protection of people 3. Practice of radiation protection by practitioners and industries.
Contact: Maximo D.Rudelli, Organising Committee, irpa12.committee@gmail.com

Published on: Mar 09, 2010

The Bioelectromagnetics Society recently implemented a "Best Paper" award for the journal.  While not directly connected with that award, several recently published authors have submitted summaries of their work for publication in the newsletter (see also newsletter number 207, 208, 210, and 211).  We publish these summaries in the order received, as space is available.  By providing additional focus on the reported research, it is our hope that communication within the Society is enhanced across disciplines and interest areas.

We invite all authors of recently published full research articles in the Bioelectromagnetics Journal to provide a short summary of the background and context of the research documented in their articles.  For copyright reasons, these summaries are different from the abstracts and other text published in the journal.  Send summaries for publication in this newsletter to bemsnewsletter@gmail.com.

A new study completed by the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) on effects of the mobile phone radiation on human skin strengthens the results of the human cell line analyses by directly showing that living tissue responds to mobile phone radiation. STUK’s new study is globally unique, because for the first time it has examined whether a local exposure of human skin to RF-EMF will cause changes in protein expression in living people.


The study report is available in final format on BMC Genomics web (http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1471-2164-9-77.pdf)

Study author Dariusz Leszczynski notes that this report attracted much attention in the science media when it was selected as the Featured Article on the BMC Genomics home page and became the most viewed article in February and the second most viewed article of the year (http://www.biomedcentral.com/bmcgenomics/mostviewedbyyear/).

After related stories were published in New Scientist (UK)

and Science Daily (USA)

it also became a featured story in ProteoMonitor http://www.proteomonitor.com/issues/8_9/

URSI announces next General Assembly meeting

XXIXth URSI General Assembly will be held 9-16 August 2008 in Chicago, Illinois, USA at the Hyatt Regency Chicago Hotel on the Riverwalk,151 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, Illinois, USA. For further information, go to http://www.ece.uic.edu/2008ursiga/ .

URSI Commission K, chaired by Dr. Frank Prato, has a full program scheduled, including sessions on Modelling of interactions between EMF and biosystems; Biological effects of EMF: antenna interactions with the human body with emphasis on implanted systems; Biological effects of EMF: molecular, cellular, animal; Biological effects of EMF: imaging the human response; Wireless communication and health: molecular, cellular, animal; Wireless communication and health: genotoxicity; Biomedical applications: neurostimulation; Biomedical applications: brain imaging and brain mapping; Occupational EMF safety & health; Exposure assessment & emerging newtechnologies; Biomedical applications: microwave breast imaging; and Poster sessions.

Since the number and topics of oral papers are limited, special poster sessions consisting of several papers related to each other and posted together, are being encouraged. Contact Dr. Prato <prato@lawsonimaging.ca> to propose a special poster session.

Set of Journals offered

Betty F. Sisken, former president of the Society, is offering an almost a complete set of the Journal of the Bioelectromagnetics Society for the cost of shipping. She has about 90 volumes and estimates they will cost about $50 total to ship. If interested, contact her at bsisken@uky.edu or by phone at 859-278-6130.

The Bioelectromagnetics Society

wishes to thank the Local Organizing Committee, pictured here, whose hard work resulted in a profit to the Society from the recent Annual Meeting held in Kanazawa, Japan.

Top Row, from left to right:

Naoto Yamaguchi, Koichi Ito, Toshio Nojima, Osamu Fujiwara, Yoshikazu Ugawa, Soichi Watanabe, Ryotaro Kondo, Satoshi Nakasono, Teruo Ohnishi, Kazushi Nomi

Bottom Row, from left to right:

Katuo Isaka, Junji Miyakoshi, Shoogo Ueno, Masamichi Kato, Masao Taki, Tsukasa Shigemitsu