Have you heard of the “Magnetic Challenge?”
No, it’s not some wacky teenage TikTok challenge, it’s actually much creepier.
It all started as a rumor involving a microchipping conspiracy theory that involved the COVID-19 vaccine.
It’s no secret that many people are leery about taking the vaccine for a number of reasons, namely because it hasn’t gone through the lengthy trials needed in order to receive FDA approval. However, a lot of folks are also convinced that the COVID-19 vaccine is part of a sinister plot to microchip the masses.
One of those conspiracy theories involves “magnetized proteins.”
Here’s some background:
Back in 2016, researchers at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville genetically engineered a magnetized protein called “Magneto.”
That protein was then placed into a virus and injected into an animal’s brain. The point of the research was to use the “Magneto” portion to manipulate neural activity under the remote influence of magnetic fields.
From The Guardian
…the researchers inserted the Magneto DNA sequence into the genome of a virus, together with the gene encoding green fluorescent protein, and regulatory DNA sequences that cause the construct to be expressed only in specified types of neurons. They then injected the virus into the brains of mice, targeting the entorhinal cortex, and dissected the animals’ brains to identify the cells that emitted green fluorescence. Using microelectrodes, they then showed that applying a magnetic field to the brain slices activated Magneto so that the cells produce nervous impulses.
In one final experiment, the researchers injected Magneto into the striatum of freely behaving mice, a deep brain structure containing dopamine-producing neurons that are involved in reward and motivation, and then placed the animals into an apparatus split into magnetised a non-magnetised sections. Mice expressing Magneto spent far more time in the magnetised areas than mice that did not, because activation of the protein caused the striatal neurons expressing it to release dopamine, so that the mice found being in those areas rewarding. This shows that Magneto can remotely control the firing of neurons deep within the brain, and also control complex behaviors.
Creepy stuff, right?
So, you can imagine what happened when viral videos began appearing online showing magnets “stuck” on people’s arms after they received COVID-19 vaccines.
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