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Medicine Science

Researcher Claims Magnets Can Affect Blood Viscosity 175

BuzzSkyline writes "A few minutes in a high magnetic field (1.3 Tesla) is enough to thin blood by 30%, potentially leading to a new drug-free therapy to prevent heart attacks. The powerful field causes blood cells to line up in chains that flow much more easily than randomly-scattered individual cells, according to research scheduled to appear this month in the journal Physical Review E." I can't help thinking of Penn & Teller's look at magnets-as-medicine, though at least the idea here described sounds testable and doesn't rely on the power of suggestion.
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Researcher Claims Magnets Can Affect Blood Viscosity

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  • Re:subtle issues (Score:3, Interesting)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <> on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:01PM (#36323448) Homepage Journal
    We have a 3T (and 7.1T) at work; research devices. I get woozy when moving through the field. Fine when I'm still but nearly vomiticious when moving.
  • by Mindcontrolled ( 1388007 ) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:30PM (#36323824)
    Tell me about it. Had some asshat janitor walk into our lab one day, carrying his leather tool bag, despite of all the huge-ass warning signs. The thing of course got ripped out of his hands and stuck to the magnet casing when he came too close. Had the pleasure of removing the contents - including a couple of hundred nails and screws - piece by piece. The magnet survived, at least. Just slightly dented and some of the shim coils where shot.
  • Re: An MRI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @03:37PM (#36323904) Journal
    I'm skeptical. Most clinical MRI scanners have a main field strength around 0.7-1.5 Tesla. If the effect these researchers claim is so significant (lowering viscosity by 30%), then I think that we would have seen a huge number of internal bleeds, ischemic events, etc. associated with undergoing a scan. I (who have worked in hospital settings and around MRI scanners as part of my work) have never heard any evidence like that, even anecdotal. The evidence of the last two decades of MRI use indicate that exposure to the magnetic field has no significant effect on the body.
  • Re:subtle issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Cosgrach ( 1737088 ) on Thursday June 02, 2011 @04:54PM (#36324838)
    I work with field mapping in NMR magnets. I've had to pass most of the work to others. 3T fields now give me migraines. Even the silver and gold dental work in your teeth are affected - the magnetic fields generate eddy currents in the metal. Nothing better than the weird taste of metal in you mouth. Once or twice, I've been in 7T research magnets - what a trip (not the fun type) - woozy and dizzy for hours after even a few minutes in one of them.

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