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 Post subject: The Body Electric. Dr. Becker
PostPosted: Sun Jul 14, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:53 pm
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Of course, we all knew that life was more a process than a structure, but we tended to forget this, because a structure was so much easier to study.

Presupossitin : full regeneration of limbs, and perhaps other body parts, can be accomplished in humans.

I began my work just after the first few Sputniks, during the “missile gap" flap. Alarmed by the unforeseen triumphs of Russian technology, which we’d considered primitive, the government hastily began translating every Soviet scientific journal and distributing copies free to federally funded research centers. Suddenly, the medical library at the VA Medical Center in Syracuse, where I worked, began receiving each month a crate of Russian journals on clinical medicine and biology. Since no one

else was much interested, this bonanza was all for me. I soon made two discoveries: The Russians were willing to follow hunches; their researchers got government money to try the most out- landish experiments, ones that our science just knew couldn’t work. I particularly enjoyed Biofizika, the Soviet journal of biophysics, and it was there I encountered a paper on the “Nature of the Variation of the Bioelectric Potentials in the Regeneration Process of Plants," by A. M. Sinyukhin of Lomonosov State University in Moscow. Sinyukhin began by cutting one branch from each of a series of tomato plants. Then he took electrical measurements around the wound as each plant healed and sent out a new shoot near the cut. He found a negative current—a stream of electrons—flowing from the wound for the first few days. A similar "current of injury" is emitted from all wounds in animals. During the second week, after a callus had formed over the wound and the new branch had begun to form, the current became stronger and reversed its polarity to positive. The important point wasn’t the polarity—the position of the measuring electrode with respect to a reference electrode often determines whether a current registers as positive or negative. Rather, Sinyukhin’s work was significant because he found a change in the current that seemed related to reparative growth. Sinyukhin found a direct correlation between these orderly electrical events and biochemical changes: As the positive current increased, cells in the area more than doubled their metabolic rate, also becoming more acidic and producing more vitamin C than before.

Sinyukhin then applied extra current, using small batteries, to a group of newly lopped plants, augmenting the regeneration current. These battery-assisted plants restored their branches up to three times faster than the control plants. The currents were very small—only 2 to 3 microamperes for five days. (An ampere is a standard unit of electric current, and a microampere is one millionth of an ampere.) Larger amounts of electricity killed the cells and had no growth-enhancing effect. Moreover, the polarity had to match that normally found in the plant. When Sinyukhin used current of the opposite polarity, nullifying the plant’s own current, restitution was delayed by two or three weeks.

Julius Bernstein, a brilliant student of Du Bois-Reymond,emitted in 1868 the hypothesis of the “action potential." The Bernstein hypothesis stated that the membrane could selectively filter ions of different charges to the inside or outside of the cell.

The nerve impulse wasn’t an electric current, Bernstein said. It was a disturbance in the ionic properties of the membrane, and it was this perturbation that traveled along the nerve fiber, or axon.

Bernstein’s hypothesis has been confirmed in all important respects, although it remains a hypothesis because no one has yet found what gives the membrane the energy to pump all those ions back and forth.

Soon it was broadened, however, to include an explanation of the current of injury. Reasoning that all cells had transmembrane potentials, Bernstein maintained that, after injury, the damaged ceil membranes simply leaked their ions out into the environment.

The vitalists maintained that only an electrical current could jump across the synapse, the gap between communicating nerves. Their last stand occurred with the discovery of neurotransmitters. In 1920 that idea was disproven with a lovely experiment by Otto Loewi, a research professor at the NYU School of Medicine . Biologists had found that a frog heart would continue to beat for several days when removed with its nerves and placed in an appropriate solution. Stimulating one of the nerves would slow it down. Like Loewi, we took one such heart, with nerve attached, and stimulated the nerve, slowing the beat. We then collected the solution baching that heart and placed another heart in it. Its beat slowed even though its depressor nerve hadn’t been stimulated. Obviously the nerve slowed the heartbeat by producing a chemical, which crossed the gap between the nerve ending and the muscle fiber. This chemical was later identified as acetylcholine, and Loewi was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1936 for this discovery. His work resulted in the collapse of the last vestige of electrical vitalism. Thereafter, every function of the nervous system had to be explained on the basis of the Bernstein hypothesis and chemical transmission across the synapse.

Then I went to the library and delved back into the history of neurophysiology and found Matteucci’s superb series of observations. Not only had he proven that the current of injury was real, he’d shown that it varied in proportion to the severity of the wound. In all the time that the Bernstein hypothesis had been used to explain away the current of injury, no one had ever thought to measure the current over a period of days to see how long it lasted. If it was only ions leaking from damaged cells, it should disappear in a day or two, when these cells had finished dying or repairing themselves.

By the 1920s, no scientist intent on a respectable career dared suggest that life was in any sense electrical. Nevertheless, some researchers kept coming up with observations that didn’t fit the prevailing view. Although their work was mostly consigned to the fringes of the scientific community, by the late 1950s they’d accumulated quite a bit of evidence. Burr and Lund advanced similar theories of an electrodynamic field, called by Burr the field of life or L-field, which held the shape of an

organism just as a mold determines the shape of a gelatin dessert. “When we meet a friend we have not seen for six months there is not one molecule in his face which was there when we last saw him," Burr

wrote. “But, thanks to his controlling L-field, the new molecules have fallen into the old, familiar pattern and we can recognize his face." He claimed to be able to predict all sorts of things about a person’s emotional and physical health, both present and future, merely by checking the voltage between head and hand.

Then in 1952 Lund’s work was taken up by G. Marsh and H. W. Beams using the planarian. They found that the flatworm’s polarity, like the hydra’s, could be controlled by passing a current through it. When a

direct current was fed in the proper direction through a section of a worm, normal polarity disappeared and a head formed at each end. As the current strength was increased, the section’s polarity reversed; a head regrew at the rear, a tail at the front. At higher voltages, even intact worms completely reorganized, with the head becoming a tail and vice versa. Marsh and Beams grew convinced that the animal’s electric field was the morphogenetic organizing principle.

The first recorded use of currents on the nervous system was by Giovanni Aldini, a nephew of Galvani and an ardent champion of vitalism. His idea that external current could replenish the vital force of exhausted nerves became the rationale for a whole century of electrotherapy. Modern studies of nerves and current began in 1902, when French researcher Stephane Leduc reported putting animals to sleep by passing fairly strong alternating currents through their heads. He even knocked himself unconscious several times by this method. Russian doctors claim their elektroson technique, which uses electrodes on the eyelids and behind the ears to deliver weak direct currents pulsing at calmative brain-wave frequencies, can impart the benefits of a full night’s sleep in two or three hours.

The frequency of these brain waves has been crudely correlated with states of consciousness. Delta waves (0.5 to 3 cycles per second) indicate deep sleep. Theta waves (4 to 8 cycles per second) indicate trance, drowsiness, or light sleep. Alpha waves (8 to 14 cycles per second) appear during relaxed wakefulness or meditation. And beta waves (14 to 35 cycles per second), the most uneven forms, accompany all the modulations of our active everyday consciousness.

At that earlier time, there had been only two known modes of current conduction, ionic and metallic. Metallic conduction can be visualized as a cloud of electrons moving along the surface of metal, usually a wire. It can be automatically excluded from living creatures because no one has ever found any wires in them. Ionic current is conducted in solutions by the movement of ions—atoms or molecules charged by having more or fewer than the number of electrons needed to balance their protons’ positive charges. Since ions are much bigger than electrons, they move more laboriously through the conducting medium, and ionic currents die out after short distances. They work fine across the thin membrane of the nerve fiber, but it would be impossible to sustain an ionic current down the length of even the shortest nerve.

Semiconduction, the third kind of current, was a laboratory curiosity in the 1930s. Halfway between conductors and insulators, the semiconductors are inefficient, in the sense that they can carry only small currents, but they can conduct their currents readily over long distances. Without them, modern computers, satellites, and all the rest of our solid-state electronics would be impossible.

I thought of one more way we could check whether the current in the nerves was semiconducting. We could freeze a section of nerve between the electrodes. If the current was carried by ions, they would be frozen in place and the voltage would drop to zero. However, if the charge carriers were electrons in some sort of semiconducting lattice, their mobility would be enhanced by freezing and the voltage would rise. It worked. Each time I touched the nerve with a small glass tube filled with liquid nitrogen, the voltage shot upward.

The question was: Did the change in the current produce anesthesia? Apparently it did, for when I passed a minute current front to back through a salamander’s head so as to cancel out its internal current, it fell unconscious. How this state compared with normal sleep was impossible to tell, but at least the animal was clinically anesthetized. As long as the current was on, the salamander was motionless and unresponsive to painful stimuli. We tranquilized a salamander lightly, placed it on a plastic shelf between the poles of a strong electromagnet, and attached electrodes to measure the EEC As we gradually increased the magnetic field strength, we saw no change—until delta waves appeared at 2,000 gauss. At 3,000 gauss, the entire BEG was composed of simple delta waves, and the animal was motionless and unresponsive to all stimuli. Moreover, as we decreased the strength of the magnetic field, normal EEG patterns returned suddenly, and the salamander regained consciousness

within seconds, This was in sharp contrast to other forms of anesthesia. With direct currents, the EEG continued to show delta waves for as long as a half hour after the current was turned off, and the animals remained groggy and unresponsive just as after chemical anesthesia.

In the mid-1960s, solid-state devices were only beginning to hit the market, and one of the PN junction’s most interesting properties hadn’t yet been exploited. When you run a current through it in forward bias, some of its energy gets turned into light and emitted from the surface. In other words, electricity makes it glow. Nowadays various kinds of these PN junctions, called light-emitting diodes (LEDs), are everywhere as digital readouts in watches and calculators, but then they were labora-

tory curios. We found that bone was an LED. Like many such materials, it required an outside source of light before an electric current would make it release its own light, and the light it emitted was at an infrared frequency invisible to us, but the effect was consistent and undeniable. It was known that some semiconductors fluoresced—that is, they absorbed ultraviolet light and emit-

ted part of it at a lower frequency, as visible light. We checked, and whole bone fluoresced a bluish ivory, while collagen yielded an intense blue and apatite a dull brick-red.

I surmise that osteoporosis comes about when copper is somehow removed from the bones.

We ran a controlled study of the healing enhancement on pigs, their skin being physiologically closest to that of humans. Positive silver nylon accelerated the healing of measured skin wounds on the animals’ backs by over 50 percent as compared with identical control wounds made on the backs of the same animals at the same time. We saw positive silver’s lifesaving potential most clearly in our expe-

rience with a patient named Tom in 1979. Tom had had massive doses of X rays for cancer of the larynx, and his larynx later had to be removed. Because of the radiation, the surrounding tissue was helpless against infection, and the skin and muscle of his entire neck literally dissolved into a horrid wound. The ear, nose, and throat doctor treating him begged me to try the nylon, and I agreed after the attending physician got a release signed by the head of his department. After one month of electrified silver treatment, the infection was gone and healing was progressing, the wound healed completely in a total of three months, although Tom soon died from tumors elsewhere in his body. We may only have scratched the surface of positive silver’s medical brilliance. Already it’s an amazing tool. It stimulates bone-forming cells, cures the most stubborn infections of all kinds of bacteria, and stimulates healing in skin and other soft tissues.

As of now, we’re like blind people crossing a minefield. Accelerated mitosis is a hallmark of malignancy as well as healing, and long-term exposure to time-varying electromagnetic fields has been linked to increased rates of cancer in humans. Bassett has discounted potential dangers, saying, “You would experience almost the same field strength by standing under a fluorescent light." However, a fluorescent lamp may well feel like a floodlight to cells that can see nanoamperes of current.

One of the main lessons of bioelectromagnetism so far is that less is often more.

The Polezhaev principle - the greater the damage, the better the regrowth.

A strong enough magnetic field oriented at right angles to a current magnetically “clamped" it, stopping the flow. By placing frogs and salamanders between the poles of an electromagnet so that the back-to-front current in their heads was perpendicular to the magnetic lines of force, we could anesthetize the animals just as well as we could with chemicals, and EEG recordings of magnetic and chemical anesthesia were identical. We got the same effect by passing a current through the brain from front to back, canceling out the normal current of waking consciousness, as in electrosleep.

Then, in 1964, a solid-state physicist named Brian D. Josephson invented the electronic device now called a Josephson junction, a simple item that won him a Nobel Prize. Basically it consists of two semiconductors connected so that current can oscillate in a controlled fashion between them. Today it has many applications, especially in computers. When cooled near absolute zero in a bath of liquid helium, it becomes a superconductor in which the current plays back and forth endlessly. Superconduction is the passage of electrons through a substance without the resistance normally found in any conductor. This apparatus, called a superconducting quantum interferometric device, or SQUID for short, is a magnetic field detector thousands of times more sensitive than any previously known.

In 1963, G. M. Boule and R. McFee just barely managed to measure the relatively large magnetic field produced by the human heart—using the best old-fashioned instrument, a coil with 2 million turns of wire. Then, in 1971, working in a null-field chamber, from which the earth’s magnetism and all artificial fields were screened out, Dr. David Cohen of MIT’s Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory first used the SQUID to measure the human head’s magnetic field. Two kinds of magnetic fields have been found. Quickly reversing AC fields are produced by the back- and-forth ion currents in nerve and muscle. They’re strongest in the heart, since its cells contract in synchrony. The SQUID has also confirmed the existence of the direct-current perineural system, which, especially in the brain, produces steady DC magnetic fields one billionth the strength of earth’s field of about one-half gauss.

Rutger Wever has done some even more telling work with humans during the last decade and a half. He built two underground rooms to completely isolate people from all clues to the passage of time. One was kept free of outside changes in light, temperature, sound, and such ordinary cues, but wasn’t shielded from electromagnetic fields. The other room was identical but also field free. Observing several hundred subjects, who lived in the bunkers as long as two months, and charting such markers as body temperature, sleep-waking cycles, and urinary excretion of sodium, potassium, and calcium, Wever found that persons in both rooms soon developed irregular rhythms, but those in the completely shielded room had significantly longer ones. Those still exposed to the earth’s field kept to a rhythm close to twenty-four hours. In some of these people, a few variables wandered from the circadian rate, but they always stabilized at some new rate in harmony with the basic one-two days instead of one, for example. People kept from contact with the earth field, on the other hand, became thoroughly desynchronized. Several variables shifted away from the rhythms of other metabolic systems, which had already lost the circadian rhythm, and established new rates having no relationship to each other.

Wever next tried introducing various electric and magnetic fields into his completely shielded room. Only one had any effect on the amorphous cycles. An infinitesimal electric field (0.025 volts per centimeter) pulsing at 10 hertz dramatically restored normal patterns to most of the biological measurements. Wever concluded that this frequency in the micropulsations of the earth’s electromagnetic field was the prime timer of biocycles. The results have since been confirmed in guinea pigs and mice. In light of this work, the fact that 10 hertz is also the dominant (alpha) frequency of the EEG in all animals becomes another significant bit of evidence that every creature is hooked up to the earth electromagnetically through its DC system. Recently a group under Indian bio- physicist Sarada Subrahmanyam reported that the human EEG not only responded to the micropulsations, but responded differently depending on which way the subject’s head was facing in relation to the earth’s field. Oddly enough, however, the head direction had no effect if the subject was a yogi.

Recent studies of the pineal gland. This tiny organ in the center of the cranium has turned out to be more than the vaguely defined “third eye" of the mystics. It produces melatonin and serotonin, two neurohormones that, among many other functions, directly control all of the biocycles. The lamprey, akin to the ancestor of all vertebrates, as well as certain lizards, has an actual third eye, close to the head’s surface and directly responsive to light, instead of the “blind" pineal found in other vertebrates. The eminent British anatomist J. Z. Young has recently shown that this organ controls the daily rhythm of skin color changes that these animals undergo.

For our story the most important point is that very small magnetic fields influence the pineal gland. Several research groups have shown that applying a magnetic field of half a gauss or less, oriented so as to add to or subtract from the earth’s normal field, will increase or decrease production of pineal melatonin and serotonin. Other groups have observed physical changes in the gland’s cells in response to such fields. The experiments were controlled for illumination, since it has been known for several years that shining a light on the head somehow modifies the gland’s hormone output even though it’s buried so deeply within the head in most vertebrates that, as far as we know, it can’t react directly to the light.

All organic compounds exist in two forms, or isomers. Each contains the same number and type of atoms, but in one they’re arranged as a mirror image of the other. One is “right-handed" and the other is “left-handed." They’re identified by the way they bend light in solution. The dextrorotatory (D) forms rotate it to the right, while levorotatory (L) isomers refract it to the left. All artificial methods of synthesizing organic compounds yield a roughly equal mixture of D and L molecules. However, all living things consist of either D or L forms, depending on the species, but never both.

Certain pulsed microwave beams increased the permeability of the blood-brain barrier .

In 1973 by Dr. Joseph C. Sharp of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. Sharp, serving as a test subject himself, heard and understood spoken words delivered to him in an echo-free isolation chamber via a pulsed-microwave audiogram (an analog of the words’ sound vibrations) beamed into his brain.

In the 1960s Frey also reported that he could speed up, slow down, or stop isolated frog hearts by synchronizing the pulse rate of a microwave beam with the beat of the heart itself. Similar results have been obtained using live frogs .


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