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Book review: The Body Electric by Robert O. Becker, MD and Gary Selden
Tuesday, August 05 2003 - Filed under: General
The Body Electric
By Robert O. Becker, M.D. and Gary Selden
This is one of the most fascinating books I’ve read in a while. The introduction is already very interesting: It starts with a bit of history, before penicillin became known. Becker was a medical student back then and he remembers very well the devestating effects of lobar (pneumococcal) pneoumonia. This disease was almost epidemic and most people admitted to the hospitals in New York suffered from this. The fever would rise to 140-150 degrees F. Then there were to options: Either the patient would start sweating and eventually survive or the patient would remain hot and dry and this would be the sign of eventual death. Confident in his medical knowledge, Robert Becker was horrified to find that there was nothing he could do for these patients.
But then penicillin came and all this was ended. A very small amount of this white powder, penicillin, could cure people easily. Before that hundreds of thousands of Americans died of this disease. It had a mortality rate of 50%. After penicillin it was close to 0%.
Penicillin alas changed much more: It changed the whole point of view of modern medicine. Doctors believed that for every disease there would be a simple powder, or medication, to cure the disease. The concept of viewing the body as a whole disappeared and everything was downgraded to simple “scientific” biochemistry: What does medication A do for the body in this or that state, etc. The aspect of life totally disappeared. The extremely complex human body was simplified into a biochemical soup of processes taking place. The factor “life” was non-existent. It was all biochemistry. Then, with the decipherment of the DNA code, it was all clear, they thought.
“Prevention, nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, mental influences, environmental pollutuans – all were glossed over”, Becker writes. “Even today, after so many years and millions of dollars spent for negligable results, it’s still assumed that the cure for cancer will be a chemical that kills malignant cells without harming healthy ones “. He finished the paragraph with: “If a human is merely a chemical machine, then the ultimate human is a robot”.
The Body Electic counts over 350 pages and gets a bit technical now and then. It’s illustrated with numerous drawings, which clarify the matter a lot. The first part of the book contains quite some interesting (but sometimes gross and horrible) experiments. For example: Cutting off the front-right leg of a salamander, will start the regrowth of that same leg. However, when you would cut of the leg, then take off the blastema tissue that forms on the wound and implant it on his tail, then a second tail would grow on its already existing tail: A salamander with two tails. However, when we do the same and transplant the late blastema to the tail, the leg will regrow on that spot, on the tail: A salamander with a leg attached to his tail. Quite odd. Conclusion: The early blastema gets its instructions from nearby tissues, while the late blastema already has its instructions.
The experiments continue and also show how advanced the regeneration processes are in specific animals. Newts for example can even regenerate their iris in the eye. His research shows how the DC voltages in the animal and human body vary and which DC field patterns exist. Also how these fluctuate during the healing process of for example fractured bones.
A very interesting point is the following: In humans below 12 years of age, a torn-off finger will *invariably* fully regrow, if and only if it’s torn off beyond the outermost crease of the outermost joint.. If only a small part of the finger is torn off, it will not regrow: The signal for regeneration is not given.. This signal is also not given when the wound on the finger is neatly closed by a flap of skin: Regeneration doesn’t occur then. Several hospitals now follow the regeneration procedure: They sometimes even cut off an extra part and purposely “neglect” the wound.
Further research shows why young salamanders can regenerate the spinal cord, while older salamanders can’t: The older salamander gets a long spinal shock which is characterized by a long potential change with positive voltages. Thje spinal shock of a young salamander is very short and directly after the shock, the spine starts to regenerate. The older salamander’s shock is comparable to what happens in complex animals like cats, dogs, and animals. This spinal shock is the main obstacle w.r.t. regenerating the spinal cord in humans.
Becker explains what the regeneration possibilities are for every type of tisue and organ. Did you know salamanders can regenerate large parts of their brains !
Becker also shows a very interesting link with cancer: As regeneration capability decreases, cancer increases. Worms virtually can’t get cancer, like salamanders and most reptiles. However, humans have a much higher incidence of cancer and aren’t able to regenerate much, besides some skin and bones. A cancer transplanted on a salamander will eventually kill the salamder: the cancer spreads throughout his body. However, when the limb, on which the cancer was implanted, is amputated through the cancer (so half of the cancer remains), the salamander will invariably regenerate: The regeneration electrical impulses make the cancer convert into healthy tissue ! Even when this experiment is repeated, when the cancer had already spread to other organs, it still works: all the tumors are converted into healthy tissue.
Next, Becker analyzes these electrical impulses of regeneration and starts a next experiment: Implanting a small battery which sends out these same impulses in the amputated leg of a rat: And behold, the leg starts regenerating fully: Nerves, bones, collagen, skin, hair, all of it. However, it didn’t complete: Either there aren’t enough cells available that are able to first dediffernentiate and then redifferentiate into the specific cell needed at that place. Or the electrical signal wasn’t specific enough to complete the regeneration. In frogs this experiment yielded the right results, however: The entire leg was regenerated. Mammals seemed to a lot tougher.
Another interesting experiment: A bone could be regrown completely in rats by leading sciatic nerve through the bonemarrow and attaching the other side to a hole, made in the skin. In mammals, the skin can regenerate, and because of the hole in the skin, electrical impulses are lead to the bone, through the nerve. Alas, this technique only seems to work for bones, as bones contain bone marrow which contains plenty of cells which are able to de- and then re-differentiate. In other tissues, there was virtually no regeneration.
That’s about it: Robert Becker’s experiments had to stop here, because all funding was stopped. No university, no hospital and no companies were interested in funding his next studies. I believe, that if he was able to continue his studies, we would now be able to regrow virtually any organ in the human body. The basic formula would be: Supply the right regenerative currents to the area that needs to regenerate and if needed supply the right amount of de- and redifferentiable cells.
This will be even more interesting to some of you: Experiments in rats show that a colon, cut in two pieces and then left in the abdomen without connecting them can regenerate itself in 20% of the cases. The two ends magically find their counterparts and the wound heals. Sounds like pure magic. The success rate increases to 60% when the rats is given a temporary pouch. The rat colon can also regenerate cut-away parts of the ileum, and this is even without any electronic help from the outside.
Whenever I would loose a leg, I would seriously consider doing some of these experiments on myself. If this research was allowed to be continued with the proper funds, lots and lots of vietnam veterans would have been out of missery. And what to think of all people who don’t have a colon anymore. At first I thought regeneration would be extremely difficult, because you would need to know the exact frequency, voltage and ampere to regenerate each specific organ. In practice, it seems a lot simpler: One specific voltage triggers regeneration, it’s as simple as that. But ofcourse there still some obstacles, of which one is the availability of the specific cells that can redifferentiate. Because of the high complexity of mammals, many cells are so specialized that they’ve lost the ability to dedifferentiate.
The last part of his book warns us about the dangers of electrosmog. The studies he quotes confirm my experiences with it. I lived in an appartment with very high levels of high frequency radiation because of a nearby cellular phone antenna. Even very low levels (a “cold” 110V or 220V wire next to your bed) might prevent the pineal gland from making enough melatonin. It seems the body doesn’t differentiate between light or electrosmog: Both suppress the pineal gland.. And we all know how important melatonin is for health.
The Russians made a simple assumption: Any electronic radiation, higher than those available in nature (currently we have about 2 million times more radiation than natural levels) can potentially be very unhealthy. In the USA and most of the Western World, this assumption was the other way around: No radiation, whatever the strength will cause any harm to any person. We all know who was right in the end. The same for the microwave: It’s one of the unhealthiest devices in many households. Read this book and you’ll know why.. One simple observation: When you know your body processes are controlled by minute electrical currents, it’s safe to assume that currents comparable in power will influence the body (whether for good or bad) and that currents multifolds stronger might have serious effects on life.
Electrosmog also has a very high effect on the calcium-flux and also on the blood-brain barrier (it breaks) in the body: That explains exactly why I became extremely “allergic” to calcium. Calcium flows into the brain, causing aspartame-like effects: Neurons dying.
I’ve done some tests with the two electrosmog-meters I currently own ( from www.aaronia.de
) and I learned that the bed should be placed at least 3 meters from all electronics wires, even when no applicances are plugged in. This is just to make sure, the body can produce the melatonin. The only safe bedroom is the one in which all power is cut from the fuse-box (just remove or turn of the fuse for the bedrooms).. When you have a DECT wireless phone (or even if your direct neighbour has one), you’ve already lost the battle.
Conclusion: A very interesting book, both for people interested in this matter, as for scientists.