Essentials - Introduction

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A subdomain of physics is electromagnetism. It plays a major role in the development and functioning of living organisms.

The knowledge of the existence of electromagnetic phenomena inside and outside of the body is enormous. Nevertheless the importance is underrated in many respects even today.

From the day Luigi Galvani first made his discovery of the effect of electric signals on the muscles of frogs in 1780 again and again interested and talented researchers have addressed this issue. With an increasing understanding of electricity, magnetism, electromagnetic radiation and of the biological mechanisms in the body more and more subareas are opened up. In consequence of the diversity, however, one could be easily overwhelmed by an almost unimaginable information flood.

While we attempted to structure the comprehensive topic in subareas and to organise it in a logical sequence the subject areas may, of course, be visited in any order. We recommend inexperienced persons or newcomers to substantially adhere to the order of issues. The subject areas will, in the following, first be briefly introduced.

To offer you as many references as possible you will find the associated excerpts (so-called abstracts), original contributions or, if appropriate, also the entire paper via the links (to the extent they are freely accessible).

Biophysics versus Biochemistry

For more than a century the majority of medical scientists believed biochemistry was the main factor for the functioning of biological systems. Among other things, the strong development of pharmaceutics resulted therefrom which virtually holds a monopoly position in Western medicine today. Intense research in the past decades, however, lead to fundamental biophysical findings which may no longer be ignored in the efforts directed at a healthy population.


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References

Books

[Becker 1994]
Becker, R.O.
Heilkraft und Gefahren der Elektrizität
Piper, München, 1994


Articles

[Moruzzi 1964]
Moruzzi, G.
The electrophysiological work of Carlo Matteucci. 1964
Brain Research Bulletin
1996;40(2):69-91.