Does the cellphone radio-frequency electromagnetic radiation during ringing or talking modes induce locomotor disturbance in Drosophila melanogaster?
Debate regarding the biological effect of electromagnetic radiation has been recently raised. The effects of this radiation on locomotor activity are not well known. Hence, in this study, we used Drosophila melanogaster as a model organism to investigate the possible effects of short-term exposure to ringing or talking cellphone modes on locomotor activity. Interestingly, an hour exposure to the cellphone ringing mode did not significantly affect the fly movement speed in the negative geotaxis assay. However, the flies exposed to sending or sending–receiving ringing modes showed disturbed movement paths compared with control flies. To verify these results, third-instar larvae were tested using a crawling assay. The larvae exposed to emissions of 1 h sending-rings tended to crawl in short, random and scattered paths, whereas control larvae crawled parallel to the wall of the petri dish. On the other hand, exposure to the cellphone talking mode induced significant reduction in the movement speed of adult Drosophila. The speed of flies exposed to sending mode showed a negative regression with the time of exposure. The flies exposed to receiving-talk mode were significantly slower than the controls at all tested time intervals. Furthermore, the flies exposed to 1 or 2 h sending-talks exhibited irritated zigzag locomotor paths and hyperactivity. The results suggest that prolonged exposure to signalling cellphone electromagnetic radiation may exert locomotor disorders as evident by significant alterations in the neuro-behavioural events related to locomotor equilibrium of D. melanogaster.
Keywords: behaviour, cellphone radiation, locomotion, ringing and talking modes