Refusing to go with the flow
Just add water - a common phrase that shows how we take this life-dependent substance for granted. But this unique hydrogen/oxygen combination is at the centre of cutting-edge technology, bringing science into a new age.
Water, researchers are now discovering, remembers things.
Maybe at this point, it’s worth quoting Albert Einstein who once said, "The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science."
Not according to present-day scientific purists. Professor Brian Josephson, a Nobel Laureate from Cambridge University, says radical new theories that could lead to important scientific discoveries are being strangled at birth by the scientific media. They in turn are being dominated by an academic elite which controls the freedom to investigate non-mainstream research - like the ability of water molecules to retain memory.
What goes around comes around, though, and the former Eastern bloc countries - where state funding to promote scientific progress was never a problem - now have the political freedom to enter relatively uncharted scientific waters.
Researchers from the Bion Institute in Slovenia have been lifting the lids off scientific pots that have been in danger of boiling over for some time. At last month’s Orkney International Science Festival, they joined forces with French allergy researcher Jacques Benveniste and Prof Josephson to present some pretty impressive evidence when it comes to the memory retention of water molecules.
Just over a decade ago, Dr Benveniste was one of France’s top allergy researchers, highly-respected by the establishment. When he was studying allergic reaction and trying to lower levels of allergic compounds in desensitising experiments, he kept progressively diluting until there was no trace of the original irritant.
To his surprise, allergic reactions still occurred, which led him to investigate whether water could be storing the molecular memory of the allergen molecules. He took the experiment further and developed a technique of activating the water using an electro-magnetic generator, then using a soundwave synthesiser and scanning receiver to record the molecular "signature" of the allergen molecules.
At this point, the scientific establishment started harrumphing loudly. This was crossing boundaries into "alternative" territory. This could not be condoned - and it wasn’t. Dr Benveniste’s findings were rejected by the prestigious scientific journal Nature where its then editor, John Maddox, and a review group published their own findings, stating his work could not be replicated.
"It was a witchhunt," claims Dr Benveniste, "and my reputation was systematically destroyed".
Western scientists - noting how easy it was for grants and contracts to be terminated - have since avoided going down that road.
Meanwhile, Slovenian scientists working on similar investigations to Dr Benveniste had no problem replicating their findings. They were using a different method of recording molecular signals and the results showed that information about molecular substances retained in water could be recorded digitally and transferred electronically.
"Our research showed that the memory of water is a real phenomenon that deserves full scientific attention," says Professor Igor Jerman from the Bion Institute. "The message from our series of experiments is that information can be imprinted into water. Now we can use computer technology to transmit such information.
"This is only the beginning. The memory of water is part of what we should speak of as ‘the memory of matter and fields’ where a whole new scientific age is opening up that needs a whole new scientific approach - and there is no place for dogmatism."
Prof Jerman claims progress in this field could revolutionise medicine, biology, chemistry and physics.
The new molecular information technology will be much kinder to the environment than present herbicides, pesticides and growth enhancers. Behaviour of bacteria can be controlled (they are currently researching how the ability of e-coli bacteria to adapt and mutate can be altered).
The Slovenians aren’t hanging about. Bion Institute colleague Dr Robert Leskovar is working on bio-communication research - how organisms emit and receive electromagnetic signals.
He is following through on pioneering experiments where German biophysicist Fritz Popp picked up weak photo emissions from living systems. It seems that given certain conditions, electromagnetic fields (known as biofields) coherently interact with the surrounding light.
"The term ‘biofield’ is not an esoteric term. It is one related to modern theories in biology and physics," Dr Leskovar insists.
Which brings us to Andrej Detela of the Jozef Stefan Institute, a theoretical physicist ready to deal the Slovenian trump card. His explanation of the physics behind biofields is based on a system of equations that delve deep into the heart of classical physics - and can wipe the floor with any establishment group spouting scientific dogma. He has applied Maxwell’s equations on electromagnetic radiation to the biofields of living cells.
Bearing in mind that Scots physicist James Clerk Maxwell was a hero of Einstein, who spurned Newtonian physics to build his theory of relativity around Maxwell’s work, Dr Detela’s decision to go back to basics with Maxwell’s equations is an indication of the sort of level he operates at.
Anybody inclined to argue with Dr Detela’s theories needs to be more than fairly well up on how knots in biofield webs interact with atoms and molecules in living cells, and be pretty familiar with chiral solutions to field equations for living cells.
"The simplest structures of this kind," says Dr Detela, "are toroidal knots." Biofields, it seems, have the ability to store information by adopting a wide range of knotty shapes. Belts of energy squidge out new shapes - or something like that.
There’s no doubt he’s a genius, bound for higher things than lecturing to a cinema full of gob-smacked hoi polloi.
Orkney International Science Festival’s director, Howie Firth, is convinced that getting in at the cutting-edge of new ideas is the key to economic survival for Scotland. He created the programme for the first Edinburgh Science Festival in 1989, started the Orkney festival a year later, and somehow organises similar events in Australia, eastern Europe and Scotland - where he’s Director of the Centre for Communication of Science at Moray College in Elgin.
"The Scottish tradition has always been to go out far from home and pioneer things, and we’re getting that chance again if we embrace what is happening in places like Slovenia and don’t sit back and wait for it to happen," he says.
Brian Josephson, the Nobel prize-winner who gave the Orkney festival’s closing lecture, is right behind such thinking - urging innovative scientific thinkers to band together and challenge the closed minds of orthodoxy.
"The views on space and time are changing and the arrogance of those who think they can define what is science and not science is contaminating the scientific process," he says. "Are we going to let them?"
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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