Influence of 60‐Hz magnetic fields on sea urchin development

Selma Zimmerman, Arthur M. Zimmerman, Wendell D. Winters, Ivan Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Continuous exposure of sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus) embryos at 18°C to a cyclic 60‐Hz magnetic field at 0.1 mT rms beginning 4 min after insemination caused a significant developmental delay during the subsequent 23 hours. No delay in development was recorded for periods up to 18 hours after fertilization. At 18 h, most embryos were in the mesenchyme blastula stage. At 23 h, most control embryos were in mid‐gastrula whereas most magnetic‐field‐exposed embryos were in the early gastrula stage. Thus an estimated 1‐h delay occurred between these developmental stages. The results are discussed in terms of possible magnetic‐field modification of transcription as well as interference with cell migration during gastrulation. The present study extends and supports the growing body of information about potential effects of exposures to extremely‐low‐frequency (ELF) magnetic fields on developing organisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-45
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • cyclic magnetic fields
  • developmental delay
  • embryogenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Physiology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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