(ORDO NEWS) — Most animals, including us, have electrical noise in their cages, and no one knows where it came from or why it exists. The new study suggests that this is an echo of a distant event – the first lightning on Earth.
Most vertebrates and invertebrates have constant background electrical activity in their cells. It permeates the entire nervous system, and its frequency range is from 5 to 45 Hz. The new study notes that this ultra-low frequency range resonates with natural vibrations in the Earth’s atmosphere caused by lightning.
“About 20 years ago, we began to notice that many biological systems, from the simplest organisms, such as zooplankton in the ocean, to as complex as our brain, have electrical activity in the same frequency range as lightning,” says the presenter study author Colin Price of the School of Environmental and Earth Sciences. Porter at the Tel Aviv University of Israel. “We think that for billions of years, life could use what nature gave it, and somehow either synchronize with the frequencies or adapt to them.”
On our planet, lightning appears at a frequency of 50 to 100 times per second. This feature of the Earth’s atmosphere has been known since the 1960s. As a result, the noise of low frequency waves of electromagnetic energy never dies down. These waves, known as the Schumann resonance, have surrounded the planet for billions of years, ever since the atmosphere on Earth, and their resonance ranges from 3 to 60 Hz.
The new theory is that the first cells on Earth may have somehow synchronized their electrical activity with natural atmospheric resonances and, in particular, with a peak resonance of 8 Hz. This kind of synchronization is not uncommon. For example, we synchronize our circadian rhythm with the days and seasons. That is why, by the way, we so want to sleep in winter.
“Evolution is using everything it can,” says biologist Michael Levin of Tufts University in Massachusetts, who was not involved in the new study. “When living things are shielded from the geomagnetic field, they develop differently.”
Certain frequencies of human brain waves are associated with certain mental states, such as alertness or deep sleep. The Schumann resonance is closest in its frequencies to those waves emitted by the brain of a relaxed person. That is, the original life on Earth could be in a state similar to deep relaxation.
Researchers have not yet determined how lightning resonance and biological electrical activity could be synchronized. One conjecture is that lightning strikes may have affected the transport of calcium ions in cells.
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