Skip to content

Opposites Attract… Sorta’

May 4, 2010

The Pollack Laboratory at the University of Washington is a bit unconventional.  The web-site is well-maintained and blue in color.  Their building appears to cascade down a hill and spill over into a boat club.  The grad students seem… happy.  (I recommend the “Lab Environment” link on their site.)  The fearless leader Dr. Gerald Pollack studied electrical engineering first, then furrowed his brow over some biological enigma and took a lifelong detour.  Their tagline is, “Uncovering nature’s deeply held secrets,” and their main subject of research… is water.

Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

Open-mindedness being a valued commodity at the Pollack Laboratory, it should not come as a surprise that one of the group’s recent papers attempts to shed light on one of water’s own non-conformities.  Everyone knows that opposites attract.  This is as obviously true of human relationships as it is of protons and electrons.  The corollary is that likes repel, and this is also borne out by experience- except in water.

In water, small particles of like charge are drawn towards one another in apparent refutation of the basic rules of electricity and magnetism, an observation that has been in the literature since the heady days of the transistor.  Sticking to their axiomatic guns, leading theorists such as Richard Feynman and Irving Langmuir suggested that intervening “unlike” charges could produce this effect, an idea which led to a successful theory.  Despite its explanatory upside, however, there were two challenges outstanding: first, it didn’t appear that anyone had actually observed this mechanism directly in an experiment, and second, explanations as to the sources of the intervening unlike charges were about as rock solid as Cro-Magnon anthropology.

Dr. Pollack and his team were well-positioned to relegate both curiosities to the level of old news because of their novel research into water, and their discovery of the Exclusion Zone.  The Exclusion Zone (EZ) is an unexpectedly large zone of water formed near hydrophilic (water-loving) surfaces that possesses gel-like properties, and actively excludes solutes (it has been hypothesized that the EZ also excludes close-mindedness, but… let’s not get over zealous here).  Here is a nice video on the lab’s site.  Near positively charged surfaces, the EZ takes on a positive charge by donating electrons to the water beyond the EZ.  Near negatively charged surfaces it takes on a negative charge by donating protons to the adjacent water.

How it does this exactly is a damn fine question, (the asking of which is reputedly the fastest way to wipe a smile clean off a face at the Pollack Laboratory).  Did somebody say we already understand water?

Many beguiling properties of water, particularly water in living matter, may be linked to the novel behavior of the EZ, but as it turns out its also really good for explaining the attraction of like charges in water.  The water surrounding such charged particles forms local EZ’s, and expels electrical charges of the opposite sign into the water beyond.  In between the two charged particles this then results in a build-up of the intervening opposite charges required by Feynman and Langmuir’s auspicious hunch, and voila, the enigma of a charge source is resolved.  The source is the water, and the underlying dynamic is its organization via the formation of the Exclusion Zone.  Dr. Pollack’s team was able to experimentally confirm this using pH sensitive dyes and by making sensitive measurements of the electric potential in the region between the charged particles.

The Exclusion Zone has widespread implications for science and, in particular, to our understanding of the dynamics of water in living matter.  Because many biomolecules are hydrophilic in nature, including DNA, RNA, specific portions of proteins and enzymes, and those that line the membranes of cells, the EZ suggests that most of the water within the cell is highly structured and liquid crystalline in Nature.  So much for the soup idea.  The EZ has been implicated in metabolism, photosynthesis, and even the origins of Life.

There are those who would suggest water is a closed case.  Thankfully, Johann Grander never met those people until it was too late.  Equally thankfully, Gerald Pollack looked those people in the eye and simply furrowed his brow.

Which begs the question: what else does water have up its liquid crystalline sleeve?

© 2010, Michael Mark

Some papers authored by Dr. Gerald Pollack:

Nagornyak, E, Yoo, H and Pollack, GH: Mechanism of attraction between like-charged particles in aqueous solution. Soft Matter, 5, 3850 – 3857, 2009.

Pollack, GH, Figueroa, X and Zhao, Q: Molecules, Water, and Radiant Energy: New Clues for the Origin of Life. Int’l J. Mol Sci 10: 1419 – 1429, 2009.

Pollack, GH and Clegg, J:  Unexpected Linkage Between Unstirred Layers, Exclusion Zones, and Water.  In: Pollack, G.H. and Chin, W.-C.  Phase Transitions in Cell Biology, Springer, pp 143 – 152, 2008.

Water: Nature’s Great Connector

April 25, 2010

The concept of water revitalization is moot if water’s role in Nature is a purely chemical one, but we have shown already that water is much more than the chemical formula H2O.  Water benefits from Johann Grander’s revitalization technology because in addition to its chemical functions, water is a carrier of information- a “bridge” within Nature that connects the entire community of living beings into a cohesive whole.  This connectivity and the information that flow through it are vital to maintaining the positive qualities of natural systems.

I was recently reminded that this understanding of water is not entirely a new one when I came across Rumi’s poem “Story Water”, (translated by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi).  Here is an excerpt of that piece:

“A story is like water
that you heat for your bath.

It takes messages between the fire
and your skin.  It lets them meet,
and it cleans you!

Very few can sit down
in the middle of the fire itself
like a salamander or Abraham.
We need intermediaries.”

An intermediary is a go-between, a connective link between two parties.  As an intermediary in Nature, water knits together elements and entities which otherwise would be unknown to each other: the supernova and the seed, the honeybee and the Milky Way, the embryo and the dawn.  Subtle, formative information joins these seemingly distinct processes together into a cogent whole, through water.  Water is not only commonplace on Earth, but in the heavens as well; it has been found deep in space, on stars and in comets, and even in the streams of matter being hurled from black holes.

To Johann Grander, water’s connectedness is profound.  He tells the story like this (Grander Journal III, page 8), “Years ago, I had a quite special experience, which persuaded me that water is connected with other water to a much higher extent than we might imagine.  One day I saw under my microscope in a water drop, a kind of sheet lightning without knowing what that should mean.  Shortly afterwards, I heard on a Munich radio station that in Bavaria there had been severe thunderstorms.  Only then, I realized that I had seen flashes of lightning in the water drop…

…If you realize these connections, it’s understandable why today, worldwide, water is loosing more and more of its original power and quality due to environmental influences and the appertaining energy losses.”

Johann Grander is not the only one to note the profound connectedness of water.  As Austrian naturalist Viktor Schauberger once wrote, “Air and water are intermediate organisms whose task is to connect the above and below.”  And in an earlier post, I reported on the interesting discoveries of Dr. James Morré of Purdue University, who found oscillatory cycles in water which displayed sensitivity to environmental phenomena, including high-energy solar events.

The notion that water is much more than a chemical medium is both new and old, and also profoundly current.  What is the information content of our rivers and streams, when they have become the final resting place for our modern medicinals?  National Geographic Magazine, writing about the concentrations of modern pharmaceuticals found in fish in its April 2010 “Water Issue” states that, “You’d have to eat tons of fish for such small concentrations to affect human health, but the products could pose a threat to marine life.”  What threat might they pose to the underlying fabric of the natural world- to the healthy flow of information through Nature’s primary conduit, water?

Rumi says that a story is like water…  Water, however, is also like a story…

What is the story contained in your water?

© 2010, Michael Mark

Looking Closely at Water Revitalization, III

March 29, 2010

In continuing our extended look at water revitalization, it is the second sentence of Johann Grander’s description of this process (below) that I would like to explore.

“As a result of the many and various harmful influences, water today has lost its original purity.  Through water animation it is restored all the original information it needs to reconstruct its self-cleaning power and to get rid of the non-participating substances.  This is an intense process, which, of course, takes its time.  Nevertheless, in most cases, a certain change in taste and partly also in structure will be noticed immediately.

“Every further change to the positive depends on the initial quality of the water and on the degree of damage.  It is impossible to convert damaged water into pure spring water from one minute to the next.  The most important thing is to donate life to the water, so that it can again build up its own energetic power and consequently, it is enabled to fulfill its essential protective function.”

This one sentence contains several important ideas: first, that the information properties transmitted to a water system during the revitalization process act as a catalyst to produce a beneficial change in the dynamics of the system; second, that one result of this process is the renewal of water’s own “self-cleaning power”; and third, that “non-participating substances” are ultimately removed.

These ideas all work together, and taken as a whole they remind me of the Chinese proverb: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.”  Grander Technology, because of the self-sustaining processes which it stimulates in a water system, is a technology in accord with the second half of the proverb.  It produces long-term benefits which place water in a far better position to renew and maintain its optimal properties.

As an example, consider a pond that has problems with high algae loading.  While chemical and electromagnetic technologies exist to physically prevent the algae from growing, the solution that Grander Technology provides is much different in character.  By stimulating improvements in the microbiological ecology of the entire pond system and enhancing the transport and availability of oxygen and nutrients in the system, the effects of treatment lead to a pond with reduced algae loading due to the water’s own response.  This type of response is self-regulating, long-ranging, and ultimately more beneficial to the environment because it results in a steady reduction of nutrient loading.  Thus, through the response of the water system, the cause itself is addressed, rather than just the symptoms.

The foundation of this process, according to Johann Grander, is the information that is transferred to the water system.  The physical changes in the water that occur during the revitalization process are described as information because they cause a change in the behavior of the overall system.  I think it would be beneficial to look at water as an energetic process, first and foremost, in order to better understand the role of revitalization in causing beneficial transformations in the dynamics of the overall water system (meaning water, dissolved gases, other solutes, and living microorganisms).

This viewpoint of natural phenomena in general is not a new one.  Consider the following:

“The visible world is the invisible organization of energy.”  Physicist Heinz Pagels

“Everything that appears in Nature and is perceptible to our eyes and senses, is the waste product of subtle, exalted energies.”  Austrian Naturalist Viktor Schauberger

I think it is more appropriate to look at water revitalization as a re-ordering or re-structuring of the inner energetic processes that are always at work within water, then to view it as simply an outward change in orientation of physical components.  These outward changes indeed occur, as Johann Grander himself notes that “a certain change in taste and partly also in structure will be noticed immediately,” but more importantly it is the inner energetic processes that have been improved.  Johann Grander calls these changes “information”, because they literally inform the outward structure of the water system that we can see, taste, and experience.  The water’s self-cleaning abilities are one such outward result.

This self-cleaning power is largely the result of improved activity of the microorganisms within the water, which metabolize wastes and ultimately “clean” up the water system.  These tiny powerhouses of the natural world are sensitive to the change in information described above, and to the resulting changes in the water’s dynamics which surround them.  Their enhanced activity results in a more active “immune system” within the water, which reduces nutrients more rapidly and creates conditions that are less favorable to the long-term viability of pathogens.

The relationship between the subtle internal energetic dynamics of water and the microorganisms within it is a topic of increasing research.  The quote below is from Israeli physicist Eshel Ben-Jacob, taken from the movie “What We Know is a Drop” (available for on-line viewing at our web-site).

“If it is true that water has a memory, the fact that we are so uncareful about the treatment of water can cause the water that we have to eventually become nonsuitable or stressful to organic systems.  I don’t want to sound as someone who brings a message now of a disaster, but it can happen.  [The water] will not be [chemically] poisonous, will not have minerals that exceed the regulations, but it will be undrinkable in the sense that drinking this water will cause us some damage, or will weaken our system as a whole.  And more importantly, if we treat the water this way, the bacteria that we cannot live without might go through dramatic changes and will not be able to function in supporting the environment that we see around us.”

A final aspect of water revitalization that ties in with the processes described above is the getting rid of “non-participating substances”.  Unlike a filter which removes particles or selective materials from the water immediately, water revitalization again initiates a process which, given time, will naturally lead to a cleaner, healthier water system.  If, as I have suggested, we look at water as an energetic process, then it makes more sense to think of pollutants as “non-participating substances”.  These are simply materials which are not resonant with the water system’s natural and beneficial internal energetic processes.

Viktor Schauberger often wrote about the way that energetic processes in water, being rhythmical and reciprocal, result in the building up of ever-greater and more valuable stocks of high-grade energetic materials.  The process Schauberger described could be imagined as one of taking simple elements and successively combining them to produce higher forms and combinations, each step of the way releasing and expelling energy and the “waste products” that we see.  Matter is thus the detritus of this internal energetic dance.

In this model of water, “non-participating substances” are those which are out of place, and do not participate in the internal metabolic dance at work within water.  Instead, if not expelled or purified, they accumulate and impede these processes, resulting in a breakdown of internal quality.  Revitalization, by renewing the water’s internal processes, supplies the necessary information or “strength” those processes may need to expel or breakdown and purify or re-enfold the non-participating substances.

Thus, the key to understanding water revitalization is to view it as a transformation in water’s internal energetic processes.  This change is described by Johann Grander as a change in the information at work in the water system, which produces long-term benefits as the water system begins to re-exert its self-cleaning power.  The initial benefits are immediate, and given time will continue to unfold.

© 2010, Michael Mark

Looking Closely at Water Revitalization, II

March 18, 2010

Last post I set the stage for a closer look at water revitalization, using this quote from Johann Grander as the jumping-off point:

“As a result of the many and various harmful influences, water today has lost its original purity.  Through water animation it is restored all the original information it needs to reconstruct its self-cleaning power and to get rid of the non-participating substances.  This is an intense process, which, of course, takes its time.  Nevertheless, in most cases, a certain change in taste and partly also in structure will be noticed immediately.

“Every further change to the positive depends on the initial quality of the water and on the degree of damage.  It is impossible to convert damaged water into pure spring water from one minute to the next.  The most important thing is to donate life to the water, so that it can again build up its own energetic power and consequently, it is enabled to fulfill its essential protective function.”

This quote says a lot about both water, and its renewal, or revitalization.  In the present perspective of water and water treatment, we are accustomed to thinking that we can take water in a given condition, treat it with modern technologies, and produce water that is “as good as new”.  Its a great thought, but when we look to Nature for corroborating evidence- for systems that display the ability to instantly regenerate and recover their full range of properties and capabilities- we find strikingly little.  Healing, at least in the natural world, always takes time.

I think this is an important part of Johann Grander’s message, not only because of what it suggests about water, but about our stewardship of the environment as a whole.  If you accept this notion, then it reinforces the realization that nothing can really replace a healthy environment: anything we do to “fix” a problem after the fact is merely a patch, or work-around, to the larger issue.  The end products are not what they might be.  Water that is the fruit of a strong, clean, well-developed ecological system is not the same as water that is the product of a damaged or compromised environment.

With machinery, we could replace a few parts and be up and running again, but the natural world is not a mechanical device, and it does not depend merely on the health of simple parts.  The natural world is a self-reinforcing orchestration in which elements seamlessly perform multiple functions.  “Fixing” it is not as simple as swapping out a bad bearing: it often involves a rebuilding of the whole system.  When damaged or stressed, the system de-volves to a lower state.  When given the opportunity, the resources, and the good fortune, the system will evolve towards a higher state.  Nature works to maintain the highest possible state of energy, quality, life, and growth- but it can only sustain the level corresponding to the resources and energy available to it.  Renewal begins when a system is given access to greater resources, such that it can rebuild itself to new heights.

As Johann Grander has noted, the donation of life to water so that it can rebuild itself is a primary function of the Grander Technology.

Along these same lines, another important point of Johann Grander is that not only are two waters from different environments unique in their initial states, their potentials are also different.  Unlike the uniform-appearing brands and products with which many of us have become accustomed, like the franchise hamburger that is made to taste identical anywhere in the world, waters from different environments and regions cannot simply be “made the same”.  They will all have a positive response to revitalization, but revitalization will not make all waters identical.  This is because, like a living system, each water begins to renew itself internally in the manner appropriate to its available resources and given conditions.

The short-term recovery that a given water will achieve is also unique to each.  Two waters with different histories and exposure to natural environments and forces of differing types and intensities will not yield an identical short-term result from revitalization.  Just as the exposure of several generations of plants to a particular combination of natural conditions will produce plants that are heartier in those conditions than others of the same species, the ideas of Johann Grander suggest that the hereditary information at work in water predisposes the water systems to differing potentials.  In time, this potential may be built up and increased, and such is one of the goals of revitalization, but in the short-term the immediate result will be a maximizing of available potential.  Continuing with the analogy, the first generation of plants provided with advanced nutrition will respond very favorably, but subsequent generations will develop an even greater potential.

This discussion is not intended to lessen the significance of water revitalization- only to note that when we work with the systems of the natural world the mindset of “instantaneous results” is not necessarily achievable, or desirable.  As living systems heal and renew, they recover and unfold new potentials in a way that is self-reinforcing and organic.

Water revitalization is important because it is a powerful catalyst to maximize the short-term potential of the water, while initiating the processes of renewal within water which lead to the longer-term effect of restoring water’s natural stability and self-purification abilities.

© 2010, Michael Mark

Looking Closely at Water Revitalization, I

March 13, 2010

Because of the cultural and scientific viewpoints of the natural world that have been developed and taught in recent history, the meaning of the phrase “water revitalization” is foreign to us.  It doesn’t fit neatly into the compartments available to it in our collective worldview, and because of that it is difficult to fully understand or appreciate.  Like any new concept that is introduced into our mental map of the world, we first seek to understand it in terms of concepts that we already know, but this can only provide a limited perspective of the new idea or phenomenon itself.

Water revitalization is not a concept that will be fully understood in one five minute conversation, a quick perusal of a web-site, or a what-can-you-do-for-me encounter at a trade show.  Just as it takes time to rebuild and regenerate natural systems, so it takes time for our minds to absorb and fully process the implications and ramifications of new ideas.  The introduction of a new concept often changes many of our previous concepts, though we seldom realize that immediately.  A new idea can frame all of our past ideas and conclusions in a new light, so that we see them from a new perspective, and this can often be very challenging to us.  New ideas may even call into question ideas we hold dear about ourselves, who we are, or our relationships to the world around us.

There are many words and phrases that have gained a foothold in our collective vocabulary that are related to the concept of water revitalization, but I think that generally they are an over-simplification of the real phenomenon.  As one example, it is increasingly common for people to make the attempt to reduce the concept of water revitalization to a particular geometric water structure, such as hexagonal water, or to relate it to a particular frequency of vibration or energy in Nature, as if there is perhaps one particular frequency, or handful of frequencies, that are critical.  This is the “magic bullet” idea, which suggests we can reduce complex systems and interactions to just one or two key parameters, which if brought under our control would take care of everything.  It is easy to form a mental picture of “good vs bad” water with these simplified models, but at the same time such simplifications obscure the richness of the natural processes at work in water.

Regarding water revitalization, Johann Grander once said,

“As a result of the many and various harmful influences, water today has lost its original purity.  Through water animation it is restored all the original information it needs to reconstruct its self-cleaning power and to get rid of the non-participating substances.  This is an intense process, which, of course, takes its time.  Nevertheless, in most cases, a certain change in taste and partly also in structure will be noticed immediately.

“Every further change to the positive depends on the initial quality of the water and on the degree of damage.  It is impossible to convert damaged water into pure spring water from one minute to the next.  The most important thing is to donate life to the water, so that it can again build up its own energetic power and consequently, it is enabled to fulfill its essential protective function.”

This one statement contains a wealth of important ideas to consider, ideas which Johann Grander has knitted together in his own understanding of water over more than two decades of personal research, experimentation, and reflection, but which tend to be foreign to the collective worldview of water most of us have been taught.  Over the next several blog entries we’ll look at this quote from a number of perspectives, and build upon it, in an effort to develop a fuller understanding of water, and this concept of water revitalization.

© 2010, Michael Mark

Grander Technology & Water’s Ecological Succession

February 5, 2010

One of the most striking differences in a water system after treatment with Grander Technology is the change in behavior of bacteria.  Two common observations are enhanced metabolic activity of the bacteria community and changes in the structure and size of colonies that are found.  Various researchers have also demonstrated that treatment with the technology accelerates the death rate of various species of pathogenic bacteria.  How do these three observations fit together?  Since Grander Technology seems to support the viability of all living organisms, how is a selective reduction in pathogenic species possible?

It was not until I put all of the above observations together, and learned a bit about ecological processes at work in macro-scale systems, that I developed a good understanding of the outcomes of applying Grander Technology to water systems.

If we look at an old growth forest, we find a rich web of relationships.  There are species of many types occupying many different niches in both the food chain and the geometric organization of the system.  A well-established forest deals with sunlight, wind, and water in ways that benefit countless organisms.  A rich canopy provides shelter from direct sun, creates habitat, transforms that sunlight into a rich diversity of biological materials, deflects the wind, and forages moisture.  Without the shelter of the forest, many of its species would not be able to survive.  Clearly there is some sort of two-way relationship between the quality of an environment and the level of complexity that it is capable of sustaining.

When such a forest is clear cut, conditions become much more difficult, networks are broken apart, and many species die or depart.  Initially, it is only the “pioneering” or opportunistic species that are capable of surviving.  In time, however, these anchor life.  From this foundation it is then possible that a process of succession will occur in which the simple community of pioneering species will give way to richer, well-developed networks of more complex ecologies.  Often these latter are characterized by more valuable species (like hardwoods)- but taking the anthropomorphism out of things, the ensuing ecological systems often demonstrate increased diversity, biomass, and food chain complexity.

This, I think, is what we observe in water after it is treated with Grander Technology.  The chlorination of drinking water is analogous to the clear-cutting of a forest: subtle food webs are destroyed and the microbiological balance of the system is lost.  Although the bacteria have been by and large removed, a few inevitably remain, but the conditions are now difficult.  Thus, it is the pioneering bacteria which survive and begin to re-establish viable communities- but these are often precisely the organisms most challenging to our own well-being.

My theory is that Grander Technology works as a catalyst to accelerate the natural process of ecological succession, at the microbiological level.  By improving the environment in which the bacteria “live and work”, it becomes possible for a broader range of natural bacteria to successfully compete for a viable role in the community.  The result is an improved succession process.  Subtle improvements in the environment allow different species to thrive than otherwise might, which regenerates an optimal balance in the system.

Thus, Grander Technology can reduce the influence of pathogenic organisms by contributing to the formation of a microbiological community in which the role of these organisms is naturally diminished.  In the example of the forest, the pioneering species of trees are replaced by other species as the system evolves, and this is because the pioneers no longer optimally suit the environment.  Once they have done the work of creating organic material in the soil, anchoring root structures, shading harsh and direct sunlight, and providing simple habitat, the system finds ways to evolve into newer and more complex forms.  Grander Technology accelerates a similar process in water: by improving the environment in such a way that beneficial bacteriological organisms are able to work more effectively, a more valuable biological community emerges.

© 2010, Michael Mark

Water, Life’s Eclectic Timepiece

January 24, 2010

Dr. James Morré, the Dow Distinguished Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Purdue University, and his wife Dr. Dorothy Morré, also of Purdue University, have recently published a number of interesting papers on the human body clock.  The subject has been a lifelong curiosity for the Mr., who has managed to satisfy his curiosity despite working on some six hundred and fifty odd other published papers on numerous topics over his prolific scientific research career.  One aspect of their biological clock discovery that fascinates me is this: it appears to be based upon a type of natural oscillatory cycle inherent, perhaps, to liquid water…

Drs. Morré and Morré were searching for the genesis of an equally interesting observation- that cells grow in regular spurts in between periods of rest, and that these periods are precisely timed- when they found a class of proteins whose dynamic functions continuously generate the characteristic rhythm they were seeking.  This quote is taken from a 2008 paper published in the Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (full reference below):

“The ECTO–NOX proteins carry out hydroquinone (NADH) oxidation for 12 min and then that activity rests.  While the hydroquinone (NADH) oxidative activity rests, the proteins engage in disulfidethiol interchange activity for 12 min.  That activity then rests as the cycle repeats.”

Exactly 60 repetitions of this cycle fill a 24-hr day…  Some see coincidence, but they are not research scientists…

Ignoring the not insignificant details which make a concise summation possible, Dr. James Morré and his team followed a thread that led from the protein itself to water.  They noted that the protein contains copper, and performed experiments with an aqueous copper solution (no protein) and NADH, and found a remarkably similar pattern of redox potential oscillation.  It turns out, however, that copper only serves to modulate an underlying oscillatory cycle in liquid water: when a solution of NADH in pure water was studied, it displayed the same characteristic pattern as the copper and protein solutions, but with a reduced overall period of just 18 minutes (instead of the original 24).  The inclusion of the copper ion adjusts the period of oscillation so that it is a subharmonic of the circadian period (e.g. one 24-hour day).

But what in water makes this possible?  The likeliest candidate at present seems to be instabilities in the water molecule itself, whose two hydrogen nuclei can shift between ortho and para states.  These are configurations in which the spin states of the two hydrogen nuclei of a water molecule are either parallel (the ortho state) or anti-parallel (the para state).

This is an interesting hypothesis because measurements have shown a good correlation between oscillations in the ratio of ortho to para water states in the solution and the overall time-keeping oscillation studied, and also because the time required for the ratio of ortho to para water states to reach equilibrium at a given temperature is perhaps the only candidate dynamic in water that is sluggish enough to produce the 18-minute period found.  Most things in water happen far, far faster by comparison.  The final explanation remains at large, however, since the equilibrium ratio of ortho to para water in a solution depends upon temperature, and the effects that Dr. Morré and his team have observed are temperature independent.  There is also no clear mechanism to explain how the ratio of ortho to para water states is maintained in steady oscillation.

Why doesn’t it simply reach the equilibrium ratio and stay there?  Instead, it seems to oscillate around equilibrium, never quite arriving.  This sounds somewhat like a “dissipative structure”, meaning a stable dynamic produced by the flow of energy through a system.  The energy is “dissipated” in the production of an increasingly complex and ordered dynamic structure.  Perhaps it is simply quantum instability Life has somehow found the way to harness and organize.  Perhaps I should stop hypothesizing before I really do get myself into trouble.

The search for the dog that is wagging this ephemeral subatomic tail continues, and has led to some interesting additional observations.  The protein-water-clock system has been shown to be responsive to various environmental cues.  Influences such as low frequency EMF, blue light, red light, and the addition of melatonin or valerian have all been shown to influence the phasing of the system.  Further, in a lecture given last October at the Conference on the Physics, Biology and Chemistry of Water held in Vermont, Dr. Morré noted that changes in the phasing of the systems studied has even been correlated to solar flares and changes in solar activity.

Living processes, and perhaps even water itself, responding to cosmic influences?  Could it be?

The beauty and intricacy of the interconnected processes at work in the support of our living condition is incredible.  I am left to wonder…  At what point in our evolutionary history did biology “discover” that copper combined with water could produce a reliable timepiece?  What advantage did this confer on its finder?

What is time, anyway?

A Few References

Morré, DJ, et al. “Regular Oscillatory Behavior of Aqueous Solutions of CuII Salts Related to Effects on Equlibrium Dynamics of Ortho/Para Hydrogen Spin Isomers of Water”. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 102 (2008), 260-267.

Morré, DJ, et al. “Response of the Regulatory Oscillatory Behavior of CopperII-Containing ECTO-NOX Proteins and of CuIICl2 in Solution to Electromagnetic Fields”. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry 102 (2008), 1812-1818.

© Michael Mark, 2010