Physics lecture to explore magnetism’s effects at cellular level

Brown University physicist James Valles.

A Brown University physics professor discusses the use of magnetism to alter cellular processes, such as cell division and swimming behavior, in a Bates College lecture at 2:40 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, in Carnegie 204, 44 Campus Ave.

Sponsored by the Bates physics department, the event is open to the public and refreshments will be served.

James Valles’ talk is titled “Manipulating Life with Intense Magnetic Fields.” He will explain that while living cells tend not to be much affected by terrestrial magnetism, magnetic fields that are sufficiently intense can align certain cellular components.

Valles will describe his research into the effects of strong magnetism on such organisms as frog eggs, whose cell division is altered by its influence, and the paramecium, a single-celled organism whose swimming behavior is affected by magnetism.

Valles has taught at Brown since 1992. He received an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, awarded to early-career scientists with outstanding promise and unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Valles received his doctorate from the University of Massachusetts and his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, both in physics.

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