Animal model

Living, non-human animal used during the research and investigation of human disease, for the purpose of better understanding the disease without the added risk of causing harm to an actual human being during the process.



An antenna is a device used to transmit and/or receive electromagnetic waves.



An active process requiring metabolic activity by the dying cell, characterised by enzymatic degradation of the cell DNA and proteins without inflammatory responses. Apoptosis is induced by several factors not yet understood totally. It is interpreted as protection of the organism by removing damaged, useless or overaged cells.





Precursor-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia





The ability of a substance to cause cancer.


Comet assay

A genotoxicological technique for measuring DNA damage in an individual cell using gel electrophoresis. Cell DNA fragments assume a formation as a comet with a tail on electrophoresis. The frequency of DNA-strand breaks depends on the length of the tail of the comet (tail length) and the amount of DNA in the tail. Tail moment is defined as the product of tail length and tail DNA content.



Degree to which a substance is poisonous to cells and damages cells.




Desoxyribonucleic acid (DNA)

The molecule that encodes genetic information in all living cells. DNA consists of deoxyribose connected with one of the organic bases adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), or thymine (T), linked by phosphodiester bounds. DNA occurs in the majority of cases as a double-stranded molecule held together by hydrogen-bonds between A and T and between G and C. The genetic information is encoded in the sequence of bases of the single-strand. DNA is identically duplicated by replication.


DNA strand break

A break in double-stranded DNA. If only one of the two strands has been cleaved it is called single-strand break, if both strands have been cleaved it is called double-strand break.



A device which can be worn on the body of a person for measuring the exposure over a period of time.



Techniques for measurement or calculation of internal electric field strength or induced current density, of the specific energy absorption, or specific energy absorption rate distribution, in humans or animals exposed to electromagnetic fields. Also used for dose measurement methods for exposures to ionizing radiation.




Electromagnetic field (EMF)

A field representing the joint interplay of electric and magnetic forces.



The study of the distribution of diseases and health-related states as well as the determinants and the risk factors of distinct groups of the population. Determination of the incidence (rate of occurrence) and distribution of a particular disease (as by age, sex, or occupation) which may provide information about the cause of the disease.



The study of heritable changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence.



The major cellular element of the peripheral blood, containing hemoglobin and specialized to carry oxygen.



If an organism is exposed to certain conditions, e.g., radiation, extreme temperatures, infectious agent, it is called exposure.


Exposure assessment

The process of estimating or measuring the magnitude, frequency and duration of exposure to electromagnetic fields. Exposure assessment is mainly applied in case-control studies to evaluate retrospectively the exposure of persons by using a questionnaire or conducting an interview.


Extreme low frequency (ELF)

Term used to describe radiation frequencies from 3 to 300 Hz.



Far field

The region where the distance from a radiating antenna exceeds the wavelength of the radiated EMF. In the far-field, field components (E and H) and the direction of propagation are mutually perpendicular, and the shape of the field pattern is independent of the distance from the source at which it is taken.


Field strength

The strength of an electromagnetic field in the far field. The measurement may be of either the electric or the magnetic component of the field and may be expressed as V/m, A/m or W/m2. For measurements made in the near field, the term "electric field strength" or "magnetic field strength" is used according to whether the resultant electric or magnetic field, respectively, is measured.





The ability of a substance to damage the genome that may lead to mutation or cancer.





Formation of blood cellular components. All cellular blood components are derived from haematopoietic stem cells.



1 THz = 1012 Hz.1 GHz = 109 Hz,1 MHz = 106 Hz,1 kHz = 1000 Hz. Named after Heinrich Hertz, 1857-1894. A unit of frequency equal to one complete oscillation (cycle) per second, 1 Hz = 1/s.




International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP)

An independent international scientific organization with international experts who develop guidelines for protection from non-ionizing radiation. It was founded in 1992. The forerunner of ICNIRP was International Non-ionizing Radiation Committee of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA/INIRC).


Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

The IEEE is a technical professional association of more than 365,000 individual members in approximately 150 countries. It is a leading authority for standardization in technical areas ranging from computer engineering, biomedical technology and telecommunications, to electric power, aerospace engineering and consumer electronics, among others.


In vitro

A procedure performed in vitro (Latin: within the glass) is performed not in a living organisms but in a controlled environment, such as in a test tube or Petri dish.


In vivo

In vivo (Latin for "within the living") is experimentation using a whole, living







Epidermal cells which synthesise keratin and undergo characteristic changes as they move upward from the basal layers of the epidermis to the cornified (horny) layer of the skin. Successive stages of differentiation of the keratinocytes forming the epidermal layers are basal cell, spinous or prickle cell, and the granular cell.





Type of cancer of the blood or bone marrow characterized by an abnormal increase of immature white blood cells.




Magnetic resonance imagine (MRI)

A technique for visualizing internal stuctures of the body, particularly the soft tissues. The object to be viewed is exposed to a strong magnetic field. The atomic cores (e.g., hydrogen atoms) take a certain orientation within the magnetic field. By a radio-frequency pulse, this orientation is deranged. When the nuclei take back their orientation after the pulse, they emit an electromagnetic signal, which is used to give the picture.


Massive parallel sequencing

Term used to describe several revolutionary approaches to DNA sequencing, the so-called next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies or second generation sequencing. Miniaturized and parallelized platforms that allow to simultaneously sequence one million to several hundred millions of typically short reads (50-400 bases) from amplified DNA clones.



The ability of a mutagene (e.g., a chemical, ultraviolet light, or a radioactive element) to induce mutations in an organism.




Near field

The SAR value is the only reasonable exposure measure in the near field.The region where the distance from a radiating antenna is less than the wavelength of the radiated EMF. Compared to the far field, the electric and magnetic fields of the near do not have a substantially plane-wave character, but vary considerably from point to point. A simple conversion of the field components electric field strength (E), magnetic field strength (H), and power density (S) is not possible.


Non thermal effect

Any effect of electromagnetic energy on a body that is not a heat-related effect. Using low frequent electromagnetic fields below a threshold of 1 MHz, stimulation or excitation effects of nerves, muscles, neurons and sensory receptors may occur. Above 1 MHz only thermal effects have been scientifically proven yet. Compare thermal effect.



The major organelle of eukaryotic cells which contains the chromosomal DNA and is limited by a double membrane.


Numerical models




Occupational exposure

The exposure to potentially harmful chemical, physical (e.g., EMF), or biological agents that occurs as a result of one's occupation.



Branch of medicine that deals with cancer.



Partial body exposure

The exposure of a selected part of body to electromagnetic fields. Compare to whole body exposure.







The emission and propagation of energy in the form of waves or particles through space. The term radiation, when unqualified, usually refers to electromagnetic radiation (light, X-ray and gamma rays) and, by extension, corpuscular emission, such as alpha and beta radiation, neutrons.



Molecule or part of a molecule bearing unpaired electrons. They may have strong chemical reactions which can damage cellular material, especially DNA (oxidative stress). Hydrogen peroxide is a well-known radical. Radicals which can be essential to enzymatic reactions occur in cells as the result of metabolic processes and from external physical or chemical influences. Radicals are rapidly eliminated within cells by molecular scavengers.


Risk assessment

The identification, quantification, and evaluation of risks with the aim to predict the likelihood of occurence and of adverse effects.


Risk communication

The exchange of information about health or environmental risks among individuals, groups, and institutions.


Reactive oxygen species

Oxygen containing molecules that are highly unstable and highly interactive with other molecules. They are formed by the incomplete one-electron reduction of oxygen. They extract electrons from other molecules becoming radicals themselves. Thus a chain reaction is initiated which can cause cellular damage by oxidative stress. These ROS include superoxides, peroxides, hydroxyl radical and hypochlorous acid.




SEAWIND (Sound exposure and risk assessment of wireless network devices)

Project funded under the EU Framework 7 programme.


Sham exposure

A control group used to simulate the environmental conditions of exposed samples, but in absence of exposure


Specific absorption rate (SAR)

The rate at which energy is absorbed in body tissues during exposures to radiofrequency electromagnetic fields in watt per kilogram (W/kg). SAR can be measured and calculated for localized exposures (e.g., during use of a mobile phone) and whole body exposures (e.g., at a distance from a mobile base station). Basic restrictions in Germany are 0.08 W/kg for the exposition of the whole body and 2 W/kg of the partial body (averaged over 10 grams of body tissue).






Thermal effect

Any effect of electromagnetic energy on a body that is related to heating of the tissue. Compare non-thermal effect.



An abnormal mass of tissue that results from excessive cell division. Tumors perform no useful body function. They may be either benign or malignant.








Combination of the words "volumetric" und "pixel". The smallest box-shaped part of a three-dimensional space. A particular voxel will be identified by the x, y and z coordinates of one of its eight corners, or by its centre. The term is used in three dimensional modelling of tissues in medical imaging.





Acronym for World Health Organization.


Whole body exposure

The exposure of the entire body to eletcromagnetic fields.