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magnets and health

A while back there were some interesting notes on using magnets to treat horses
sore teeth, etc. I thought you might be interested in my experience as a scie
nce fair judge yesterday. For one project a student had investigated the effec
t of lodestone (magnitite) on plant growth. He grew a bunch of beans in soil w
ith magnetite pebbles scattered in the soil and in a control plot with the same
soil and no magnitite. The soil with magnitite produced larger bean pods and
a more extensive root system, but roughly the same sized plants. All in all it
was a nice experiment, good procedure, statistical analysis of data, nice comp
uter generated graphs etc. The student said he had read about this when doing
a report on magnetism and wanted to see if it really worked. He said that his
reading had attributed the result to hormonal changes in the plants!
I didn't think at the time to jot down his references and I don't know if hormo
nal changes have actually been measured or if they were just inferred.