The interdependent nature of the thermal and electromagnetic effects in the responses of biological systems to high-power-level microwave fields is investigated. This note presents an experimental approach to understanding the contribution and interaction of the thermal and electromagnetic domains. The problem of distinguishing the thermal interdependency of electromagnetic effects was addressed by inactivating spores of Bacillus subtilis in a microwave field and comparing the inactivation rate to that obtained by exposure to heat alone. Measurable differences were found in the inactivation rates.

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