Dr. Mae-Wan Ho was an esteemed geneticist and visionary (she died last year) who bucked the establishment by opposing GMOs and contending that pollution from wireless technologies is a major issue of our time. Gaining her Ph.D in Biochemistry in 1967 from Honk Kong University she went on to lecture in the UK at Queen Elizabeth College and the Open University. She co-founded the Institute of Science in Society which campaigned against unethical uses of biotechnology and called for Glyphosate (Roundup) to be banned. This article will address her perspective on the danger of wireless technology.
“There is little doubt that weak electromagnetic fields (EMFs) with energies below the level of random thermal fluctuations can affect living organisms; although the precise physical mechanism for such ‘non-thermal’ EMF effects has remained elusive,” she wrote in 2005.
“I have suggested that weak EMFs interact primarily with the high degree of electro-dynamic coherence of living organisms and cells, in which proteins and other macromolecules intimately associated with water form a dynamic liquid crystalline continuum throughout the body.
“Recent research findings suggest that the electro-dynamic coherence of living organisms depends on collective phase transitions of the associated ‘interfacial’ water in response to internal and external EMFs; and it is that which coordinates and regulate living processes. That is why weak EMFs can have numerous biological effects.
“The biggest barrier to progress in understanding the biological effects of weak electromagnetic fields is simply that there is nothing in conventional mechanistic biology and physics, the physics of dead matter, which could make sense of them.
“Biochemist Henry Kacser at Edinburgh University was among the few who really understood biochemistry and genetics ahead of most of his peers. He coined the phrase in the 1970s – “molecular democracy of distributed control” – to describe how all the molecules actually work together, with lots of feedback and feed-forward loops.
“Indeed, since the early 1980s, molecular geneticists have already discovered the fluid genome, a molecular dance of life in which messages fly back and forth between the genes, the organism and the environment, not infrequently changing the genes themselves.
“The reality is that each and every part of the organism is intercommunicating from moment to moment. Each player, down to an individual molecule, is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive. And that’s what the organic whole is about, as opposed to a mechanistic whole.
“Now why organisms could be sensitive to electromagnetic fields? Researchers such as Harold Saxon Burr starting in the 1930s and Robert Becker in the 1960s to 1990s had detected electric fields in developing embryos and adult organisms, and provided evidence that electric currents and fields are what the body uses for intercommunication, to function as a coordinated whole, to heal itself, and in some cases, even regenerate lost parts. But this line of research has been almost completely ignored by mainstream biologists to this very day.
“There is no excuse for that, as electric currents flowing throughout the body, even from single cells, can be detected with the highly sensitive SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) magnetometer, which has been used in imaging the electrical activities of the brain starting in the 1990s.
“Another scientist, solid-state physicist Herbert Fröhlich, pointed out that the organism is densely packed with dielectric molecules (as in a solid-state device), which both react to and generate EMFs, and hence the laws of solid-state physics would apply to the organism as first approximation. He proposed that the energy the organism gets by metabolising food could ‘pump’ the living system into a state of “coherent excitations”, the way that pumping energy into a solid-state device could make its light-emitting atoms vibrate in concert to produce coherent light or laser.
“The term “coherent excitation” is wonderfully evocative. Think of a motley collection of dancers responding to the seductive rhythm of good music, and working themselves up to a frenzy of excitement when they end up moving in coordinated fashion without being choreographed to do so.
“Unlike an ordinary laser light that’s coherent in a single frequency of EMF, the living organism is coherent over a multitude of frequencies spanning many orders of magnitude, 10 or more. As a result, the organism is sensitive to the entire range of EMFs, from the extremely low frequency radio waves to the microwave region and beyond, because it is effectively tuned by its coherent activities to all those frequencies.
“The usual denial that very weak electromagnetic fields cannot have any effect is based on the argument that the energies in these fields are “below the thermal threshold” of random motions of molecules, which will certainly swamp out the signals. But coherently vibrating molecules, far from swamping out the weak signals, will sum up their response to the weak signal, and hence result in a substantial effect.
“To use another analogy that engineers understand, the organism is like an exquisitely tuned receiver (and emitter) for EMFs over the widest possible range of frequencies. That’s why the quantum jazz of the organism is so fantastic; its antennae are tuned to signals from many frequencies, even those from faraway galaxies, and will respond to them with new music. But its music could also be sabotaged by malignant interference.
“While I was coming to grips with all those ideas, we made a remarkable discovery in my laboratory that gave concrete evidence to Fröhlich’s hypothesis.
“By half-accident, we found that all living organisms – especially those that are most actively moving around – look like a dynamic liquid crystal display in all the colours of the rainbow, hence the “rainbow worm”. The first rainbow worm I set eyes on was the fruit fly larva, and I had been working with the fruit fly for 15 years by then, and never suspected I would see it in that light.
“Previously, only materials with static orderly arrangement of atoms or alignment of molecules could appear crystalline. The fact that living mobile organisms with all their molecules churning around transforming energy could look like a dynamic liquid crystal display is evidence that living organisms are indeed coherent to a high degree – even quantum coherent.
“All molecules in the body are all aligned in a liquid crystalline continuum with their positive and negative charges pointing in the same directions, and moving in a coordinated way. That’s why even a signal with energy below the thermal threshold can have significant biological effects. The response is summed over astronomical numbers of molecules moving in concert. An organism the size of a tiny fruit fly larva would have about 1015 molecules, which would make the response very substantial indeed: some 1015 times greater than the noise generated by randomly moving molecules.
“The liquid crystalline organism is crucial for coordinating activities all over the body, which is why its extreme sensitive to weak EMFs; the two are intimately related, because the body also happens to use electric currents and electromagnetic fields for intercommunication.
“The liquid crystalline matrix extends throughout the body into the interior of every single cell, thereby providing intercommunication between each cell and every other.
“The liquid crystalline matrix is not only sensitive to EMFs, but also to subtle changes in pressure and temperature, which it converts into electrical signals. The water aligned with the liquid crystalline matrix provid important channels for intercommunication, in the form of jump conduction of protons (positive electricity) much faster than nerve conduction. It may be the basis of the acupuncture meridian system of traditional Chinese medicine, as a colleague and I suggested some years ago, and corroborated by accumulating evidence.”
Dr. Ho’s most recent book, Meaning of Life & the Universe, will be published in March. It surveys and explains contemporary science in depth ranging over philosophy, anthropology, quantum physics and chemistry, neurobiology, psychology, genetics and epigenetics, cosmology, art, humanities, and fractal mathematics. “This collection of essays is selected from about a thousand works written over a period of 46 years. They elaborate on what it means to live in a quantum universe as opposed to a mechanistic universe.”
A version of her scientific paper, Non-Thermal Electromagnetic Fields & Cell Water, was presented at the Green Network Conference, Science, Medicine and the Law, in London, 31 Jan – 2 February 2005.
Article adapted from a lecture she delivered at Artists Review Meeting, 20 September 2006, Goldsmith College, London University.