See How Misinterpretation Of A Great Scientific Work Leads To Wrong Conclusions
I could locate a very important research work “Homeopathy emerging as nanomedicine” by Rajendra Prakash Upadhyay (Department of Bio-chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, New Delhi, Indi a), Chaturbhuja Nayak (Central Council for Research in Homeopathy, New Delhi, India ) Published in Int J High Dilution Res 2011; 10(37): 299-310. Read the full text of original article on this link: http://www.feg.unesp.br/~ojs/index.php/ijhdr/article/view/525/551
I am quoting the ABSTRACT of their work here:
Background: Homeopathy is a time-tested two-century old empirical system of healing. Homeopathic medicines are prepared through a characteristic process known as potentization, where serial dilutions are performed with strong strokes at each step of dilution. Homeopathy is controversial because most medicines do not contain one single molecule of the corresponding starting-substance.
Aim: To investigate a possible nanoscience mechanism of action of homeopathic medicines.
Methodology: Ultra-pure samples were prepared and were examined under scanning (SEM) and transmission electron microscope (TEM) along with selected area nanodiffraction (SAD) and energy-dispersive X-ray analysis (EDX). Also trace element analysis (TEA) for silicon was performed.
Results: Homeopathic medicines showed not to be „nothing‟, but exhibited nanoparticles and conglomerates of them, which had crystalline nature and were rich in silicon.
Conclusions: During the violent strokes involved in potentization, information arising from the serially diluted starting-substance might be encrypted by epitaxy on silicon-rich crystalline nanoparticles present in the resulting homeopathic medicine. The „size‟ of the information encrypted on nanoparticles might vary together with the degree of dilution. As homeopathic medicines exhibit healing effects, these nanoparticles along with the interfacial water on their surface might carry this information – which biological systems are able to identify – to the target. As various forms of silica are known to interact with proteins and cells of the immune system, homeopathy might represent a nanomedicine system. Possible confirmation, however, requires further research in materials and interfacial water.
It is an excellent work, even though I do not agree with their interpretations and conclusions. Had it been interpreted correctly, this work would have contributed a lot in the MIT concepts.
SEE THE FINAL DISCUSSIONS AND CONCLUSIONS OF research paper by Rajendra Prakash Upadhyay and Chaturbhuja Nayak:
“Discussions: The dose of homeopathic medicine a patient takes may contain few (or zero) molecules/atoms of the starting-substance, but this fact alone does not make homeopathic medicines a variety of nanomedicines . Toumey  compared homeopathic to nanomedicines, and quoting the example of nanomedicine Aurimune®, argued that nanomedicines differ from homeopathic medicines. The major difference is the use of a known amount of medicine in case of nanomedicines compared to homeopathic medicines. In addition, gold nanoparticles in nanomedicine Aurimune® act as the carriers of the active agent to the target.
In the case of homeopathic medicines, crystalline silica (or silicon) nanoparticles (along with other trace elements leaching from the glass wall of the vial) with interfacial water on their surface may acquire the structural information of the starting-substance during the process of potentization. In medium and high potencies, which are commonly used in clinical practice, the presence of starting-source is likely to be zero but it is “immaterial”. It may be argued that what matters here is the “size” of the possible encrypted information, perhaps with the electromagnetic signature of the starting-substance. Such “size” might derive from the dilution level of the homeopathic medicine, since homeopathic medicines in different potencies exhibit different effects and properties. Furthermore, silica (or silicon) nanoparticles might also act as carriers of information. Such nanocarriers might convey the information of the starting-substance – which biological systems are able to identify – to the target, which the starting-substance molecules in themselves are not able to reach. The target, however, is unlikely to be local because homeopathy is rated a holistic therapy assumed to work by means of the immune system. It is worth to remark that various forms of silica are known to interact with proteins and cells of the immune system .
As homeopathic medicines might have both the “size” of the information of the diluted away starting-substance and the carriers needed to convey this information – which biological systems are able to identify – to the target, they may qualify as nanomedicines. Consequently, the nature, composition and surface features of the crystalline material (along with interfacial water) present in homeopathic medicines compared to controls have paramount importance. These must be further investigated, while keeping an eye also on possible electromagnetic emission. This investigation requires suitable developments in the fields of materials and interfacial water.
Conclusions: Three homeopathic medicines very frequently used in clinical practice were found not to be “nothing”, but exhibited high nanoparticle contents. Such nanoparticles were rich in silicon and had crystalline nature. During the strong strokes of potentization, the nanoparticles might acquire the information of the diluted away starting-source encrypted on them by means of epitaxy. As various forms of silica are known to interact with proteins and cells of the immune system, these nanoparticles (along with the interfacial water on their surface) might also act as carriers of this information to the target. The “size” of information might be related with the dilution degree of medicines. Under such possible conditions, homeopathy qualifies as a nanomedicine system not requiring high technology. For confirmation and further elaboration purposes, new research in materials and interfacial water are required”
The authrs say : “In the case of homeopathic medicines, crystalline silica (or silicon) nanoparticles (along with other trace elements leaching from the glass wall of the vial) with interfacial water on their surface may acquire the structural information of the starting-substance during the process of potentization”. This is a very important observation. But they failed to explain this ‘acquiring’ of information in terms of molecular imprinting. Could they interpret this phenmenon using the concept of molecular imprinting, and explain how these molecular imprints act as artificial binding sites for pathogenic molecules, the picture would have been entirely different. Only ‘molecular imprinting’ can explain the biological mechanism of homeopathic cure in a way fitting to the paradigms of mdern biochemistry and ‘ligand-target’ interactions.
In the absence of idea of molecular imprinting, they try to utilize the concept of “possible encrypted information, perhaps with the electromagnetic signature of the starting-substance”, which could lead to hijacking of this valuable research work by energy medicine theorists who propagate pseudoscience. The statement “the target, however, is unlikely to be local because homeopathy is rated a holistic therapy assumed to work by means of the immune system” is pregnant with such possibilities. ‘Targets are unlikely to be local’, but ‘holistic’ is a statement that destroys the scientific credibility of this great work. Concept of ‘holistic target’ instead of ‘local’ or molecular targets is nothing but an attempt to satisfy ‘vital force’ theory. The statement “must be further investigated, while keeping an eye also on possible electromagnetic emission” is also a departure from genuine scientific interpretations of this research. Explaining mechanism of drug actions in terms of ‘electromagnetic emissions’ and ‘resonance’ is a subject very dear to ‘energy medicine’ homeopaths, but it contradicts existing scientific concepts regarding biological mechanism of cure.
The conclusion that “During the strong strokes of potentization, the nanoparticles might acquire the information of the diluted away starting-source encrypted on them by means of epitaxy” shows they have no slightest inclination of molecular imprinting.
Epitaxy actually refers to the deposition of a crystalline overlayer on a crystalline substrate, where the overlayer is in registry with the substrate. In other words, there must be one or more preferred orientations of the overlayer with respect to the substrate for this to be termed epitaxial growth. The overlayer is called an epitaxial film or epitaxial layer. The term epitaxy comes from the Greek roots epi, meaning “above”, and taxis, meaning “in ordered manner”. It can be translated “to arrange upon”. For most technological applications, it is desired that the deposited material form a crystalline overlayer that has one well-defined orientation with respect to the substrate crystal structure.
By explaining potentization in terms of ‘epitaxy’ instead of ‘molecular imprinting’, the authors obviously misinterprets their scientific observations. In epitaxy, it is drug molecules that are carried- not ‘information” of drug molecules. Information can be carried in the absence of drug molecules only by molecular imprinting. Epitaxy is about carrying a layer of drug molecules -not information- on a carrier matrix, which cannot happen in high dilutions.
I request the authors to re-interpret their observations in the light of ‘molecular imprinting’, which would make their work a great historical milestone in the scientific understanding of homeopathy
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