Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Wendy Beane

Second Advisor

John Jellies

Third Advisor

Alanna Van Huizen


Reactive oxygen species (ROS) have been found to be an essential component in the initiation of regeneration in many species, including the planarian flatworm Schmidtea mediterranea. Previous data has shown that a 200 μT weak magnetic field (WMF) inhibits regenerative outgrowth in planarians by blocking the accumulation of ROS through a process believed to affect the recombination rate of radical pairs. I hypothesize that different field strengths of WMFs will affect ROS levels in different ways (which would be consistent with WMFs changing radical recombination rates). Experiments consisted of analyzing a range of WMF strengths (from 0 μT-900 μT) and quantifying both blastema (new tissue) size and ROS accumulation levels. A time course of ROS accumulation at the blastema over a 72-hour period during normal regeneration was established. The use of RNA interference (RNAi) to superoxide dismutase (SOD), an enzyme known to reduce ROS levels, was used to rescue the 200 μT WMFmediated loss of ROS accumulation, as proof of principle. These data showed that different WMF strengths modulated ROS levels and subsequent blastema formation in a sinusoidal pattern, consistent with our model of affecting radical pair recombination.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted