The Effect of Electromagnetic Fields on Eremosphaera Algae Cells

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Author: Julianne Blair Bochinski


To determine if and how electromagnetic fields affect the number and appearance of algae cells at increasingly higher levels.

Materials Needed

  • Eremosphaera algae colony
  • 7 test tubes
  • dropper
  • slides
  • microscope
  • graduated measuring cup
  • spring water
  • masking tape
  • marking pen
  • electrical wire
  • 2-light bathroom bar light fixture
  • 2 Gro-Light brand fluorescent bulbs
  • wood panel (upright and self-supporting)
  • hammer and nails
  • wall outlet
  • thermometer


The algae colony will be divided into seven equal groups and placed into seven test tubes filled with water. Groups 1 through 6 will be placed in an electromagnetic field by being encircled by increasing levels of spiraled electrical wire. Group 7 will serve as the control and will not be exposed to the electromagnetic field of the apparatus, by being placed in another room. The algae will be left within their electromagnetic fields for a period of time and will then be analyzed.


  1. Divide the Eremosphaera algae colony into seven equal groups in test tubes. Observe a droplet specimen from each group on a slide under a microscope. Record the appearance of the cell structures and the amount of cells present in each droplet. Fill each tube with  cup (30 ml) of spring water. label the test tubes 1 through 7.
  2. Wrap one layer of five coils of electrical wire (connected to a live circuit) around test tube 1, three layers of five coils around test tube 2 (= 15 spirals), six layers of five coils around test tube 3 (= 30 spirals), nine layers of five coils around test tube 4 (= 45 spirals), twelve layers of five coils around test tube 5 (= 60 spirals), and fifteen layers of five coils around test tube 6 (= 75 spirals) (see diagram). Test tube 7 will not be wrapped with electrical wiring.
  3. Affix the test tubes below the light fixture equipped with the Gro-Ught bulbs, allowing for a 6-inch (l5-cm) space between each test tube (with the exception of tube 7 which will be exposed to the normal electromagnetic fields found in another room of your house).
  4. Carefully nail the back of the light fixture to the wood panel. Then plug the apparatus into a nearby wall outlet.
  5. Leave the tubes exposed for about an hour, then turn off the power and measure the temperature within each vial. Then, take a droplet specimen from each tube again to record your observations of the cell structures and the number of cells within each droplet. Repeat the experiment by exposing the test tubes to the electromagnetic fields for two additional hours and record your observations.


  1. Compare the appearance and number of cells found initially in each test tube to those found at the end of the experiment. Did they vary within the same tube?
  2. Did cell appearance and quantity change from tube to tube? Were these changes more apparent as higher electromagnetic fields were introduced?
  3. Compare the temperatures of all the tubes. At higher temperatures what changes occurred?
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