Terms that are frequently used in the knowledge pages are explained in the glossary. Many biological and medicinal terms are listed. This does not automatically mean that EMFs were a health problem. The connections between EMF, biology and health are shown in the topic pages.

In addition, we also recommend the glossary of the EMF-portal of the Uniklinik RWTH Aachen.


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genetic factors

Causes and effects which can be attributed to heredity (genetic).


An effect that is toxic (poisonous, damaging) for the genome (chemical: the DNA).

Heart frequency

The number of heart beats per minute.


Hormones are chemical messenger substances which are produced in and distributed by specialised cells.  They serve to regulate the function of the organs and metabolic processes.

In vitro studies

Laboratory studies with isolated cells or cell cultures taken from living things.

In vivo studies

Laboratory studies on living organisms (in particular, animal studies).

ionising radiation

Radiation that possesses sufficient energy to change the building blocks of living things (atoms, molecules). Ionising radiation such as X-rays or radio activity can directly and irreparably damage an organism.


Melatonin is a hormone that is produced by the pineal gland in the brain and generated under the influence of darkness. It regulates the day-night rhythm of humans and animals by changes in its concentration.


During cell division the chromosomes cannot be completely ejected from the nucleus due to the influence of genotoxic substances. The chromosomes or parts of them remain as fragments with their own micronucleus membrane shell.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

MS is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system. The symptoms (sight, speech and movement disorders, muscle pain, etc.) can be very different according to the location of the focus of the inflammation. The disease normally advances in phases over many years. The causes are unknown.

Non-Ionising Radiation (NIR)

Within the frequency spectrum non-ionising radiation includes electromagnetic fields (EMF), infrared radiation and optical radiation. UV radiation constitutes the transition to the so-called ionising radiation. The latter is so is energy-rich that it can directly damage the human body. This is not the case with NIR.

Parkinson's Disease

Like Alzheimer's Disease, Parkinson's Disease is characterised by the slow and progressive death of the nerve cells in old age. The mesencephalon or midbrain, which controls movement, is affected. Parkinson is the second most prevalent dementia.

Pineal Gland

(Epiphysis, conarium) Small, flat gland located in the interbrain (diencephalon).


Proteins are substances built up from amino acids. The construction of the individual proteins (the amino acid sequence) is stored in the DNA and is retrieved from there for the production. Proteins serve as a support structure and, in the form of hormones, as messenger substances. As enzymes they facilitate biochemical processes or function as antibodies to safeguard against infections.

pulsed radiation

A GSM telephone does not transmit continuously during a conversation but does so in short time slots of about a half-thousandth of a second (0.5 milliseconds / 0.5 ms) with longer pauses (ca. 4 ms) in between. Every second about 200 short data packets are transmitted in this way.

Strand break

A strand of the double helix can break apart, particularly in locations where base damage exists, due to a chemical reaction with molecules in the area. Less than 1% of breaks are double strand breaks.

Thermic effect

Energy absorption is the scientifically documented effect of high frequency electromagnetic fields on the body, i.e. the tissues absorb the power of the field (the field is attenuated thereby) and warm up.

white blood corpuscles

Blood cells that fend off diseases.