Can a supermagnet dangerously affect the iron in blood?


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/10/31/can-a-supermagnet-dangerously.html


MR-Idiot
#2

That’s neat!
Here’s a good source for neodymium magnets and other fun scientific supplies: http://unitednuclear.com/


#3

tv;dw; but I’m assuming this is the origin of that question:


#4

Yeah… It’s funny to compare a strong magnet to an Omega-class mutant (more or less defined in-universe as someone with no practical upper limit to their powers, and at least capable of being world-ending if he so chose).

This just shows that the movie was right after all; if blood is even weakly affected by magnetic fields, that’s enough for Magneto to rip it out of you and manipulate however he wants.

…This is probably the geekiest thing I’ve written in years.


#5

actually only half the iron is stored in hemoglobin while the rest is in ferritin complexes found in cells and of all the iron you eat only about 5% is absorbed by the body, the rest is filtered out. Good thing too since too much will cause the formation of free radicals that can cause all kinds of problems with your organs.


#6

It’s more like 2/3 iron is hemoglobin, used to transport dioxygen in the blood; about 1/4 is stored in ferritin proteins; about 3-4% is in myoglobin, for quick O2 release upon sudden bursts of muscle activity, and small percentages are in transport or being used in other proteins and enzymes (e.g. cytochromes P450, the electron transfer cofactors in the mitochondrial electron transport chain).

None of it is magnetic in the sense that iron metal is magnetic.

Oxygenated hemoglobin and myoglobin have no unpaired electrons and effectively zero magnetic moment, and even in the very weakly magnetic deoxy form, only four out of 9300 atoms in a hemoglobin protein are iron atoms. There is no magnetism to speak of in either arterial or venous blood.

Ferritin is a higher concentration of iron atoms all in one place, but the iron is stored as a ferrihydrate mineral that is chemically similar to rust. It is not magnetic.

Some organisms can collect iron and form crystals of magnetite, which is magnetic. They are thought to use those crystals as the basis for a guidance system, because they can be used to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. Humans don’t do that, though.


#7

Excellent demonstration that all those “magnet therapy” devices are bullshit: they claim healing powers by drawing blood to the areas of the body near the magnets.


#8


#9

MOAR PLZ!


#10

One of Magneto’s under-appreciated superpowers is his ability to keep his white clothing impeccably clean even in the presence of misted blood.


#11

Back in the day, there were people working all day in DuPont labs with liquid helium cooled superconducting electromagnets in them. You couldn’t keep a bank card magnetized in those rooms. I wonder what it did to their blood…


#12

Two magnets a day, the apple’s away!


#13

For half a second, it looks like the apple is purposefully levitating!


#14

Apple: my people need me


#15

Left magnet got rekt.


#16

1222403


#17

If blood was attracted to magnets, medical MRI scanners would be murder machines.


#18

Apple, My Planet Needs Me [captioned]


#19

The water component of the blood is also diamagnetic, due to nuclear spin polarization of H. How much of the repellant effect was due to the water, relative to the iron component of the hemoglobin and other iron containing molecules?


#20

wonderful!