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Keywords:

  • molecular RF absorption;
  • biological effects;
  • water damping;
  • energy transfer;
  • athermal effects

Abstract

The fundamental intramolecular frequency of a globular protein can be obtained from the measurements of acoustic velocities of bulk protein matter. This lowest frequency for common size molecules is shown to be above several hundred GHz. All modes below this frequency would then be intermolecular modes or bulk modes of the molecule and surrounding matter or tissue. The lowest frequency modes of an extended DNA double helix are also shown to be bulk modes because of interaction with water. Only DNA modes, whose frequency is well above 4 GHz, can be intrahelical modes, that is, confined to the helix rather than in the helix plus surroundings. Near 4 GHz, they are heavily damped and, therefore, not able to resonantly absorb. Modes that absorb radio frequency (RF) below this frequency are bulk modes of the supporting matter. Bulk modes rapidly thermalize all absorbed energy. The implication of these findings for the possibility of athermal RF effects is considered. The applicability of these findings for other biological molecules is discussed. Bioelectromagnetics 25:441–451, 2004. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.