Letters

June 3rd, 2004 by Ben Goldacre in bad science, letters, magnets | 4 Comments »

Strong magnets can affect blood

Thursday June 3, 2004
The Guardian

Although blood does not appear to be magnetic at common levels of magnetism, I believe you are wrong to say it is not affected by magnetism at all (Bad Science, May 27). With a sufficient magnetic field it is possible to levitate any material, including blood, or even an entire frog using magnetism.

As to the medical benefits of using magnetism in this way, apparently the frog suffered no ill effects.
Mark van Ments
By email


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4 Responses



  1. Terry Rolon said,

    September 18, 2005 at 6:52 pm

    That’s bunk. Try to levitate a brick with a magnet. Film it while you do. It would be a hoot. As to ill effects, the US Army developed a prototype mine-busting vehicle that used powerful magnets to detonate mines. Worked somewhat, but also made the drivers sterile..which might be considered by some an ill effect.

    Now, if the material will cooperate and develop an internal current under the influence of an alternating magnetic field, then it’s possible that this induced current’s resulting magnetic field might interact with the external field in a measurable way, but enough to levitate a grape much less a frog, without ill effects? Please. Besides, most of the nuts that promote magnets for health are using simple rare earth magnets, the only “natural” kind you see, not some super-conducting monster magnet, and with those you couldn’t levitate a virus much less a frog.

  2. Ben Goldacre said,

    September 18, 2005 at 6:56 pm

    er…

    www.badscience.net/?p=90

    x

  3. Terry Rolon said,

    September 18, 2005 at 10:53 pm

    I stand corrected

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