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GSM 900 MHz radiation inhibits ants’ association between food sites and encountered cues

Posted by seumasach on November 8, 2012

“These communication waves may have such a disastrous impact on a wide range of insects using olfactory and/or visual memory, i.e., on bees.”

Informa Healthcare

June 2012, Vol. 31, No. 2 , Pages 151-165 (doi:10.3109/15368378.2011.624661)

Marie-Claire Cammaerts1Philippe De Doncker2Xavier Patris2François Bellens2Zoheir Rachidi1David Cammaerts1

1Université Libre de Bruxelles, Faculté des Sciences,

Bruxelles

, Belgium

2Université Libre de Bruxelles, Faculté des Sciences Appliquées,

Bruxelles

, Belgium

Address correspondence to Marie-Claire Cammaerts, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Faculté des Sciences, DBO, CP 160/12, 50 Av. F. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles, Belgium; E-mail: mtricot@ulb.ac.be

The kinetics of the acquisition and loss of the use of olfactory and visual cues were previously obtained in six experimental colonies of the ant Myrmica sabuleti meinert 1861, under normal conditions. In the present work, the same experiments were conducted on six other naive identical colonies of M. sabuleti, under electromagnetic radiation similar to those surrounding GSM and communication masts. In this situation, no association between food and either olfactory or visual cues occurred. After a recovery period, the ants were able to make such an association but never reached the expected score. Such ants having acquired a weaker olfactory or visual score and still undergoing olfactory or visual training were again submitted to electromagnetic waves. Not only did they lose all that they had memorized, but also they lost it in a few hours instead of in a few days (as under normal conditions when no longer trained). They kept no visual memory at all (instead of keeping 10% of it as they normally do). The impact of GSM 900 MHz radiation was greater on the visual memory than on the olfactory one. These communication waves may have such a disastrous impact on a wide range of insects using olfactory and/or visual memory, i.e., on bees.

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