Exposure to artificial radio frequency electromagnetic fields (RF-EMFs) has greatly increased in recent years, thus promoting a growing scientific and social interest in deepening the biological impact of EMFs on living organisms. The current legislation governing the exposure to RF-EMFs is based exclusively on their thermal effects, without considering the possible non-thermal adverse health effects from long term exposure to EMFs. In this study we investigated the biological non-thermal effects of low-level indoor exposure to RF-EMFs produced by WiFi wireless technologies, using Drosophila melanogaster as the model system. Flies were exposed to 2.4 GHz radiofrequency in a Transverse Electromagnetic (TEM) cell device to ensure homogenous controlled fields. Signals were continuously monitored during the experiments and regulated at non thermal levels. The results of this study demonstrate that WiFi electromagnetic radiation causes extensive heterochromatin decondensation and thus a general loss of transposable elements epigenetic silencing in both germinal and neural tissues. Moreover, our findings provide evidence that WiFi related radiofrequency electromagnetic fields can induce reactive oxygen species (ROS) accumulation, genomic instability, and behavioural abnormalities. Finally, we demonstrate that WiFi radiation can synergize with RasV12 to drive tumor progression and invasion. All together, these data indicate that radiofrequency radiation emitted from WiFi devices could exert genotoxic effects in Drosophila and set the stage to further explore the biological effects of WiFi electromagnetic radiation on living organisms.
radiofrequency electromagnetic fields | transposable elements | Drosophila melanogaster