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No. 77: Sep-Oct 1991

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Water's memory or benveniste strikes back

J. Benveniste has broken a two-year drought in the "water-memory" or "infinite-dilution" saga.

"Working with colleagues at INSERM, the French medical research council, in Paris, Benveniste has completed fresh experiments to test his assertion that solutions of antibody diluted to the point where they no longer contain any antibody molecules continue to evoke a response from whole white blood cells, as if they possess 'ghosts' of the original molecules. If proven, this would shatter the laws of chemistry and vindicate homeopaths, who say that extremely dilute drugs can have a physical effect."

Benveniste's latest scientific paper was published in Comptes Rendus after being rejected by both Nature and Science. Benveniste states that he has corrected the flaws in his original research that evoked passionate responses from the scientific world. However, Benveniste's latest paper prompted one of Nature's reviewers to charge that Benveniste was "throwing out data because they don't fit the conclusion."

This story is not yet finished, because Benveniste promises to reveal new research that demonstrates that a solution of histamine, from which all traces of histamine were subsequently diluted out, can still affect blood flow in the hearts of quinea pigs! Furthermore, this phenomenon can be inhibited by the application of weak magnetic fields!!

(Concar, David; "Ghost Molecules' Theory Back from the Dead," New Scientist, p. 10, March 16, 1991.)

From Science Frontiers #77, SEP-OCT 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss