Magnetism – good and bad
Experiments on chickens by research scientists Albert R Davis and Walter C Rawls discovered that young, developing fowl exposed to the south poles of magnets grew faster towards maturity and reached a larger overall size than those exposed to a north pole or not exposed at all. However, tests of their ability to perform simple tasks indicated that they were less intelligent than a control group.
With the fowl exposed to a north pole, on the other hand, it was the opposite result. Their growth was slower than the control group and they were thinner. This may have been a consequence of the fact that they ate less. They did on the other hand drink more water. However, when they reached maturity, this all changed. At that point, the north pole exposed fowl started drinking less and eating more. However they did not gain weight in maturity, despite the increased food intake.
In terms of their behaviour, those exposed to the north pole showed signs of being more nervous, but those exposed to the south pole became significantly more aggressive, even to the point of attacking other fowl and displaying cannibalistic tendencies.
These results suggested that magnetism from either pole had harmful effects on the fowl although startlingly different effects depending on both the polarity and the maturity of the fowl.
Other experiments have been carried out on mice with similar mixed results. Exposure to north poles of magnets appeared to reduce birth pains in female mice. Another experiment, exposing mice to a 10,000 gauss magnetic field of unspecified polarity for half an hour a day for 10 days increased their bone length by 4 – 9 % and bone length by 4 – 11 %. Another experiment established that exposing mice to 4000 gauss magnetic fields for two hours a day, split into two one-hour periods, can increase their longevity.
Experiments by an American scientist showed that magnetic fields can increase the number of red blood cells in animals whilst decreasing the number of white blood cells. This is a mixed result. Because whilst red blood cells are required to carry oxygen, it is the white blood cells that provide the body with its immune system.