Welcome to the new version of CaltechAUTHORS. Login is currently restricted to library staff. If you notice any issues, please email coda@library.caltech.edu
Published December 1982 | Published
Journal Article Open

Ferromagnetism in two mouse tumours


A variety of living organisms has been found recently that are biochemically able to precipitate the ferromagnetic mineral magnetite (Fe3O4). Originally discovered in the radular teeth of a primitive marine mollusc (Lowenstam, 1962), magnetite has since been reported in bacteria (Frankel, Blakemore & Wolfe, 1979), arthropods (Gould, Kirschvink & Deffeyes, 1978), and vertebrates (Walcott, Gould & Kirschvink, 1979; Zoeger, Dunn & Fuller, 1981; Walker & Dizon, 1981). Although the presence and biological origin of this material are clear, very little is yet known about the distribution or metabolic function of ferromagnetic minerals in vertebrate tissue. Magnetic remanence, which uniquely indicates the presence of ferromagnetic particles, has been previously detected in localized areas associated with the dura membranes of homing pigeons (Walcott et al. 1979) and dolphins (Zoeger et al. 1981), in pigeon neck muscles (Presti & Pettigrew, 1980), in the mid-brain of monkeys, and in human adrenal glands (Kirschvink, 1981). We report here the first discovery of anomalously high concentrations of ferromagnetic material in two strains of neoplasms, YC-8 lymphoma and Lewis lung tumour, as well as the apparent absence of such material in three human carcinomas (gastric, colon and renal).

Additional Information

Published by Company of Biologists 1982. (Received 1 March 1982 - Accepted 30 March 1982) We thank C.E. Helsley and B. Keating at the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics for the use of their paleomagnetics laboratory, J. Szekerczes of the Cancer Center of Hawaii for technical help with the tumour studies, and Roy Yee of Kerns, Inc. of Honolulu for engineering advice and equipment. This work was supported directly and indirectly by NSF grants SP179-14845, EAR78-03204, and BNS78-24754 (J.L.K.); and by Cancer Center Support Grant CA-15655 and Leahi Foundation Grant (S.B. and F.L.T.). Contribution No. 3742 of the Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences of the California Institute of Technology.

Attached Files

Published - KIRjeb82.pdf


Files (402.5 kB)
Name Size Download all
402.5 kB Preview Download

Additional details

August 22, 2023
October 17, 2023