I'm sure it's just a matter of time before Gary Null will be selling "memory
water" on his Web site. Science fiction, indeed, but still a sad fact.


On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 9:44 AM, Michael H Goldhaber <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> On reading Montagnier's article and his footnotes, I was embarrassed to see
> that someone I (and two other authors) once wrote a paper with, Giuliano
> Preparata, is a coauthor on some of the water memory papers. I vaguely
> recall asking someone about Preparata and learning that something , sadly,
> was wrong with him. I guess this is  it.
> Be very careful when you drink the stuff, for who knows what memories it
> might have and what they will do to you. One consolation: There should be at
> least one good  science fiction story in there someplace.
> Best,
> Michael
> On Jul 20, 2011, at 11:16 PM, Michael Balter wrote:
> Isn't unintended contamination just one of a number of more parsimonious
> explanations for these otherwise unbelievable results? Let's see this
> published and replicated in peer-reviewed journals before we take it
> seriously. Some here will recall that no one was ever able to replicate
> Benveniste's memory of water experiments, except Benveniste himself. Nature,
> which published Benveniste's results one time, later came to seriously
> regret it.
> MB
> Published online 8 August 2007 | Nature | doi:10.1038/news070806-6
> Column
> "Here lies one whose name was writ in water..."
> A survey of evidence for the 'memory' of liquid water casts little light on
> its putative role in homeopathy, says Philip Ball.
> Philip Ball <>
> I suspect it will be news to most scientists that Elsevier publishes a
> peer-reviewed journal called Homeopathy. I also suspect that many, on
> discovering this, would doubt there is anything published there that it
> would profit them to read. But I propose that such prejudices be put aside
> for the current special issue, which collects a dozen papers devoted to the
> 'memory of water'1<>.
> It's worth seeing what they have to say — if only because that reveals this
> alleged phenomenon to be as elusive as ever.
> The inability of water to act as a memorial was a well known poetical trope
> before the poet John Keats chose as his epitaph the quotation that serves as
> a headline here; its ephemerality was noted by Heraclitus in the fifth
> century BC. But 'the memory of water' is a phrase now firmly lodged in the
> public consciousness — it even supplied the title for a recent play in
> London's West End.
> Scientists, though, tend to side with the poets in rejecting any notion
> that water can hold lasting impressions. Indeed, Homeopathy 's editor,
> Peter Fisher of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital admits that "the
> 'memory of water' casts a long shadow over homeopathy and is just about all
> that many scientists recall about the scientific investigation of
> homeopathy, equating it with poor or even fraudulent science."
> The term was coined by the French newspaper Le Monde in the wake of the
> 1988 Nature paper2<> that
> kicked off the whole affair. The lead author was the late Jacques
> Benveniste, head of a biomedical laboratory in Clamart run by the French
> National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM).
> Benveniste's team described experiments in which antibodies stimulated an
> allergic response in human white blood cells called basophils even when the
> antibody solutions were diluted far beyond the point at which they would
> contain a single antibody molecule. The activity seemed to disappear and
> then reappear periodically during serial dilutions.
>  Uncertain memory
> [image: Does “drip, drip, drip” ring a bell?]Does “drip, drip, drip” ring
> a bell?Getty
> The results seemed to offer some experimental justification for the use of
> such high-dilution remedies in homeopathy. But they defied conventional
> scientific understanding, specifically the law of mass action that demands
> that the rates of chemical reactions be proportional to the concentrations
> of reagents. How could this be? Benveniste and colleagues suggested that
> perhaps the antibody activity was 'imprinted' in some fashion on the
> structure of liquid water, and transferred with each dilution.
> The idea made no sense in terms of what was known about the structure of
> water — but what prevented it from being dismissed straight away was that
> liquid water has a complicated molecular-scale structure that is still not
> perfectly understood. Water molecules associate by means of weak chemical
> bonds called hydrogen bonds. Although in the main they form and break on
> timescales of about a trillionth of a second, nonetheless they seem to offer
> a vague possibility that water might form clusters of molecules with
> specific shapes and behaviours.
> Benveniste's experiments were investigated by a team of 'fraud-busters' led
> by Nature 's then editor John Maddox, who demanded that the studies be
> repeated under careful observation. Although Benveniste acquiesced (and the
> results proved utterly inconclusive), he complained of a witch-hunt.
> Certainly, it was an unprecedented act of scrutiny that not even the
> proponents of cold fusion — the far more storied water-related pathology
> that blew up the next year — had to endure.
> In any event, the results were never unambiguously repeated by others.
> Benveniste, however, progressed from high-dilution experiments to the claim
> that the activity of biomolecules could be 'digitally recorded' and
> imprinted on water using radio waves. Until his death in 2004, he insisted
> that this would lead to a new age of 'digital biology.'
>  Cabinet of curiosities
> There are many good reasons — too many to fit in this column — to doubt
> that water molecules in the liquid state could mimic the behaviour of
> antibodies or other complex biomolecules in a way that persists through
> dilution after dilution. As water expert José Teixeira of the French nuclear
> research organisation's Saclay laboratories, outside Paris, says in the
> sceptic's perspective he provides in theHomeopathy special issue, "Any
> interpretation calling for 'memory' effects in pure water must be totally
> excluded." But the idea won't be squashed that easily, as some of the other
> papers show.
> These papers report several experimental results that, at face value, are
> intriguing and puzzling. Louis Rey, a private researcher in Switzerland,
> reports that salt solutions show markedly different thermoluminescence
> signals, for different homeopathic dilutions, when frozen and then rewarmed.
> Bohumil Vybíral and Pavel Vorácek of the University of Hradec Králové in the
> Czech Republic describe curious viscosity changes in water left to stand
> undisturbed. And Benveniste's collaborator Yolčne Thomas, of the Andre Lwoff
> Institute in Villejuif, outside Paris, reports some of the results of
> radiofrequency 'programming' of water with specific biomolecular behaviour,
> including the induction of Escherichia coli-like 'signals', the inhibition
> of protein coagulation, and blood-vessel dilation in a guinea pig heart.
> The volume is, in other words, a cabinet of curiosities. There is rarely
> even a token effort to explain the relevance of these experiments to the
> supposed workings of homeopathy, with its archaic rituals of shaking
> ('succussion') and 'magic-number' dilutions (one must always use factors of
> ten, and generally only specific ones, such as 106, 1012 and 1030). The
> procedures and protocols on display here are often unusual, if not bizarre,
> because it seems the one thing you must not do on any account is the
> simplest experiment that would probe any alleged 'memory' effect: to look
> for the persistent activity of a single, well-defined agent in a simple
> reaction — say an enzyme or an inorganic catalyst — as dilution clears the
> solution of any active ingredient.
> If that sounds bad, it is nothing compared with the level of theoretical
> discussion. This 'field' has acquired its own deus ex machina, an
> unsubstantiated theory of 'quantum coherent domains' in water proposed in
> 19883 <> that
> is vague enough to fit anything demanded of it. Aside from that, the
> 'explanations' on offer seem either to consider that water physics can be
> reinvented from scratch by replacing decades of careful research with
> wishful thinking, or they call on impurities to perform the kind of
> miraculous feats of biomolecular mimicry and replication that chemists have
> been striving to achieve for many years.
> The French philosopher Gaston Bachelard once wrote "We attribute to water
> virtues that are antithetic to the ills of a sick person. Man projects his
> desire to be cured and dreams of a compassionate substance." On this
> evidence, that dream is as strong as ever.
> *Visit our liesonewhosenamewasw.html">newsblog<> to
> read and post comments about this story. *
>    - References
>       1. Homeopathy 96, 141-226 (2007).
>       2. Davenas, E. *et al*. Nature 333, 816 (1988). | Article<>
>        | PubMed<>
>        | ISI<>
>        | ChemPort<>
>        |
>       3. Del Guidice, E. *et al*. Phys. Rev. Lett. 61, 1085 (1988). |
>       Article <> | PubMed<>
>        | ChemPort<>
>        |
> On Thu, Jul 21, 2011 at 6:30 AM, Mitchel Cohen <
> [log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Here ya go Larry! (article attached as PDF)
>>  <>Ring the bells that still can ring,
>> Forget your perfect offering.
>> There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
>> ~ Leonard Cohen
> --
> ******************************************
> Michael Balter
> Contributing Correspondent, Science
> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
> New York University
> Email:  [log in to unmask]
> Web:
> NYU:
> ******************************************
> “Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there
> is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
>                                                   --John Kenneth Galbraith

Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]

“Faced with the choice between changing one’s mind and proving that there is
no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof."
                                                  --John Kenneth Galbraith