DNA Phantom effect

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DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Sat Jan 03, 2009 9:18 pm UTC

Does anyone know about this. I am trying to find answers, but they are hard to find. Here is what I have so far:
Two scientists Gariaev and Poponin supposedly found that dna molecules interact in strange ways with photons and sound waves. They did experiments and published thier results. As far as I know these experiments have never been repeated or verified. This may be because they were obviously bunk but I can find no evidence of this and am unable to read the original reports myself. The implications of this research were it true are quite important and wide reaching. This is also the reason that if it is not true it needs to be refuted scientifically. I have heard a lot of claims from hippies, religious types and new age people that this research proves that everything they believe is true, but I cannot dispute it as I cannot find real scientific information.

I tried posting in thescienceforum: http://www.thescienceforum.com/DNA-Phantom-Effect-1307t.php?sid=b59b5968269339fc7c497f85d611e4e0 but nothing has been forthcoming. If scientific minded people can't be bothered to verify or dispute scientific findings which are being used to support pseudoscience we might as well just hand everything over to the candle worshippers and go home. Especially if those findings might have actual scientific applications.

I have no access to scientific libraries so my resources to research it myself is limited. I imagine a websearch in russian if you can find someone who speaks it is more likely to come up with something. My searches in english and german have found some information on the web but nothing sufficient for believing the results and the very lack of information does put the results in an unfavourable light.

My internet research led me to the following pages:
http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~sai/DNAPhantom.htm
http://www.fosar-bludorf.com/dnabewusstsein/index.htm
http://www.subtleenergies.com/ormus/tw/dna.htm

The first one is a description of the experiment, written in an email from Gariaev to Poponin, the second is another description in german which also shows some graphs of data, and the last is a discussion of this and several other "fringe" energy experiments with DNA. I don't consider any of these sources scientifically reliable.

They do however offer clues as to how more information might be found. We have the names of the publications:
"However, to publish it, was possible only in 1991 (Gariaev P.P., Chudin V.I., Komissarov G.G., Berezin A.A., Vasiliev A.A., 1991, Holographic Associative Memory of Biological Systems, Proceedings SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. Optical Memory and Neural Networks. v.1621, p.280- 291. USA.), and then in (Gariaev P.P., "Wave based genome", Ed. Obsh. Pl’za, 279p. In Russian (1994)), where the biggest chapter of the book is devoted to this effect."

The name of the university the experiments occured at:
the Institute of physics/techniques problems Acad. Sci. of the USSR.

And a mention of some similar experiments at the Institute of HeartMath, Boulder, California. I don't know much about this organisation but an overview of some of their research is on their website:
http://www.heartmath.org/research/overv ... ch_studies

Has anyone got a subscription to the SPIE digital library? They do institutional ones so if anyone is in the field of optics or photonics...

These may shed some light on the subject for anyone who does (the actual reports):

http://spiedl.aip.org/vsearch/servlet/V ... mit=Search

http://spiedl.aip.org/vsearch/servlet/V ... s&aqs=true

Thanks in advance this has been driving me crazy
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby gmalivuk » Sat Jan 03, 2009 10:30 pm UTC

No time at the moment to actually dig on this, but wanted to respond to one thing:

drunken wrote:If scientific minded people can't be bothered to verify or dispute scientific findings which are being used to support pseudoscience we might as well just hand everything over to the candle worshippers and go home.

Not really. At least, not if it's really wonky-looking pseudoscience. That'd be like expecting scientists to bother even addressing additional flat-earth or expanding-earth or hollow-earth "theories". These are obviously false claims, and wasting time and effort on them takes time and effort away from doing real, evidence-based science.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:49 am UTC

gmalivuk wrote:No time at the moment to actually dig on this, but wanted to respond to one thing:

drunken wrote:If scientific minded people can't be bothered to verify or dispute scientific findings which are being used to support pseudoscience we might as well just hand everything over to the candle worshippers and go home.

Not really. At least, not if it's really wonky-looking pseudoscience. That'd be like expecting scientists to bother even addressing additional flat-earth or expanding-earth or hollow-earth "theories". These are obviously false claims, and wasting time and effort on them takes time and effort away from doing real, evidence-based science.


I am not surprised that someone responded to this. I am however dissapointed. I may at some point post a thread about this trend in scientific communities as I think it is absurd.

The thing is that 65 people have viewed this thread and the only person to reply said they couldn't be bothered didn't have time to actually look into it. The other thread on thescienceforum has had more than 4300 views in more than 3 years and can boast a total of 1 promise to have a look at some unspecified time that never happened, and one person who actually found out all they could but had no real scientific resources (myself). If the question was about flat earth theories or creationism I might understand. But it isn't.

The question is about two physicists in a university physics lab doing experiments on high tech (at the time) physics equipment and then writing up their results in a scientific document.

In fact even then I wouldn't understand, in my experience scientists love to point out the flaws in pseudoscientific theories, especially creationism and flat earth theories. A good example of this is here: http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=32671&p=1275514&hilit=flat+earth#p1275514

Anyway back to the topic...
drunken wrote:Does anyone know about this. I am trying to find answers, but they are hard to find.
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby alexh123456789 » Sun Jan 04, 2009 5:06 am UTC

I think what Gmalivuk was saying is that it's so ridiculous that there's not much point in doing more studies. The idea that DNA magically affects light unlike any other molecule is insane and doesn't warrant further investigation. That they were even doing such an experiment in the first place means that they were likely biased towards finding an effect.

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby Interactive Civilian » Sun Jan 04, 2009 2:09 pm UTC

drunken wrote:Does anyone know about this. I am trying to find answers, but they are hard to find. Here is what I have so far:
Two scientists Gariaev and Poponin supposedly found that dna molecules interact in strange ways with photons and sound waves.

I've never heard of this at all. Could you please summarize what it is all about rather than complaining about people rejecting it out of hand? What do they mean by "DNA Phantom"? I don't understand all of the terminology being used, so do you think you could give us a basic run-down? I tried reading some of the papers you linked, but (perhaps since I'm not a quantum physicist) it all reads like gobble-de-gook trying to sound intellectual. Especially the first and third links. Double-especially the third link, where they suggest that DNA can be corrected by denaturing and then exposing it to... err...something?? This makes no sense in light of the fact that, without the "original source" there is no way to tell at the molecular level that DNA is incorrect (this is why copy errors have a 50% chance of resulting in a point mutation: the error correction has no what to tell which of the resulting DNA chains is the correct one, and may accidentally "correct" the already proper sequence. e.g. Say you have a fragment of DNA being replicated:

1.ATTAGGCCGCAAGTC
2.TAATCCGGCGTTCAG
(assume 1 is the leading strand)

The leading strand is replicated but there's a copy error:
1.ATTAGGCCGCAAGTC
3.TAATCGGGCGTTCAG
(3. is the new strand, the error is underlined)

Luckily, the cell has automatic mechanisms to correct this because it will detect the mismatch. HOWEVER, the correction mechanisms have no way of telling which side of the mismatch is the error. It is just as likely to change the original G on strand 1. into a C (resulting in a point mutation) as it is to correct the incorrect G on strand 3 (resulting in no mutation).
[edit]This is assuming that somehow the DNA Polymerase doesn't reject the incorrect nucleoside immediately when building the strand, but writes past the copy error which then must be repaired. I don't know how common it is, but it is possible. I assume (possibly incorrectly) that it is rare.[/edit]

Yet they seem to be stating there is some way to correct "bad" DNA? How is that possible when there is no molecular mechanism to tell that the DNA is "bad"? [edit] There is no mechanism other than selection either against that cell (somatic mutations resulting in cell death) or against the organism (somatic mutations perhaps resulting in cancer) or against the offspring (germ line mutation), obviously assuming a bad mutation, i.e. one that breaks a crucial protein or causes a new, dangerous protein to be coded for, or something along those lines. [/edit]

So, could you please give us a run-down to what this is all about and what its significance might be.

Because, otherwise, it all reads like pseudo-science BS not worth bothering with because it makes outlandish claims by people who seem to have little or no understanding of the scientific method or rigor.

*shrug*

[Final Edit] I have simplified a lot above, and there is a lot more detail to it than I can possibly put in a single post, but that is pretty much the gist of it. [/Final Edit]
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:19 pm UTC

Interactive Civilian wrote:Could you please summarize what it is all about rather than complaining about people rejecting it out of hand?


It is a fair comment, but that was my problem in the first place. I also am looking for a better summary. In a perfect world I would be able to read the actual published papers and would never have to bother anyone else about it at all. Luckily since posting the first post I have come across this:
http://www.rialian.com/rnboyd/dna-phantom.htm
This has a basic diagram of the apparatus which is useful. What I am interested in is the experiments, not the conclusions or the theories. With a proper investigation of the experiments we should have no trouble formulating our own conclusions and theories. In addition to the large number of low credibility opinions associated with this it is also old research and any theories or conclusions will be outdated and not take into account more recent discoveries (which with DNA are extensive).

So here is my very basic summary: Scientists did some experiments in "measuring the vibrational modes of DNA in solution using a ... laser photon correlation spectrometer". I have no idea what that means. What they found as a surprise effect was that after the experiment when the dna was removed from the apparatus there was still a different measurement than before it was put in. I don't have an explanation for this result and I am looking for one.
drunken wrote:Does anyone know about this. I am trying to find answers, but they are hard to find.


alexh:
Spoiler:
alexh123456789 wrote:The idea that DNA magically affects light unlike any other molecule is insane and doesn't warrant further investigation.

No one suggested magic. You were the one who suggested that possibility, then you said it is insane. Well thanks for your input. I will take careful note of your opion that dna having magical properties is insane.

Everything is worth investigating in my opinion, it's just a matter of priority. If you feel that these experiments are not a high enough priority for you to investigate then you don't need to tell me about it, just find another thread and investigate the subject of that.

The position "This could only be explainable by magic and is therefore impossible" is an absurd and unscientific position, especially when we are trying to ascertain scientifically wether it actually happened or not. It is also the same position that was often voiced to Nikola Tesla when he talked about particle beam cannons and wireless electricity transmission. The prevalence of this position in the scientific community was what led to Tesla dying alone and miserable, and his experiments inventions and theories contributing only a fraction of their potential benifit to scientific knowlegde. Telsa is also not alone in this, the history of science is full of people who spent miserable lives of scientific labour ridiculed at every step by the very people their work was of most benefit to. Only to become famous decades later when some scientist suddenly finds an old disregarded theory which explains all of his experimental observations perfectly.

When I hear someone voice this position I immediately lose all confidence in their scientific credibility. It's nothing personal.

I am totally open to the possibility that the phantom experiment might be the result of: bad experimental rigour, human error, apperatus error, or downright falsification. But I want to know, I am not content to assume that an experimental result that does not fit in with my current scientific knowledge must be false on that fact alone. It is also possible there are things I don't know about, and learning more helps with this.
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby gmalivuk » Sun Jan 04, 2009 6:54 pm UTC

The fact that someone is being laughed at is not at all relevant to whether their ideas are true. To paraphrase Carl Sagan, sure, people laughed at Tesla, but they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.

The mere fact that it's so hard to find information on an experiment that was done almost 20 years ago is in itself a fairly good indication that the vast, vast majority of those who *do* know what they're talking about regard this as quackery.

drunken wrote:Everything is worth investigating in my opinion, it's just a matter of priority.

In order that your thread not be completely void of response, people are telling you *why* they think this alleged "discovery" has such a low priority as to be not worth worrying about. If we didn't respond at all, you'd likely complain equally about that.

Now, if scientists reproduce the original experiment, or even come up with a plausible mechanism that wouldn't completely upend some of the most highly confirmed scientific theories ever devised, the priority of looking into this supposed phenomenon further would go up. But until then, we have a couple no-name Russian scientists who claim to have discovered some completely novel phenomenon, which no one else has ever observed before despite having pointed lasers at DNA before. That is not, in my opinion, anything worth investigating. I feel no more motivation to debunk their claim in detail than I do to debunk the claims of a flat-Earther.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Sun Jan 04, 2009 10:31 pm UTC

Thats ok I didn't have very high hopes of getting any answers on xkcd:science anyway, I never have before (except for my cosmology question that was answered really well). I will continue trying to find answers elsewhere. Thankyou all for taking the time to tell me I was wrong to be curious.

Spoiler:
gmalivuk wrote:which no one else has ever observed before despite having pointed lasers at DNA before.

Well thats a start, can you link me to details of these experiments?
gmalivuk wrote:The mere fact that it's so hard to find information on an experiment that was done almost 20 years ago is in itself a fairly good indication that the vast, vast majority of those who *do* know what they're talking about regard this as quackery.

drunken wrote:the very lack of information does put the results in an unfavourable light.

It doesn't add anything to the topic to point this out for a second time
gmalivuk wrote:The fact that someone is being laughed at is not at all relevant to whether their ideas are true.

I was making the same point, thanks for vocalising it more concisely
gmalivuk wrote:That is not, in my opinion, anything worth investigating. I feel no more motivation to debunk their claim in detail than I do to debunk the claims of a flat-Earther.
drunken wrote:in my experience scientists love to point out the flaws in pseudoscientific theories, especially creationism and flat earth theories. A good example of this is here: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=32671&p=1275514&hilit=flat+earth#p1275514

http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=25487&p=778561&hilit=creationism#p778561
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=21742&p=644427&hilit=creationism#p644427
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=17697&p=502797&hilit=creationism#p502797
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=10105&p=248176&hilit=creationism#p248176
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=16823&p=465970&hilit=pseudo#p465970
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=25929&p=798207&hilit=acupuncture#p798207
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=13943&p=345393&hilit=mind#p345393
and those are just from the xkcd science forum, I have seen you personally trying to debunk various wild theories in SB. Given those precedents I don't think I am out of line in coming here with this topic or in expecting it to be responded to.

If you don't wan't to talk about this experiment then DON'T, there is no point in coming here and telling me that you aren't interested. Isn't the reason we have mods in the first place to keep threads productive and on topic?
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby Interactive Civilian » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:02 am UTC

drunken wrote:Thats ok I didn't have very high hopes of getting any answers on xkcd:science anyway, I never have before (except for my cosmology question that was answered really well). I will continue trying to find answers elsewhere. Thankyou all for taking the time to tell me I was wrong to be curious.
Point of information: responses like that really aren't going to get you anywhere. Instead of harping on no one helping you, read into the information you have, ask more specific questions, and and post specific points that you would like refuted. That said...

Thanks for the link. That answers some of my questions. However, again, it seems like they are introducing a lot of non-scientific mysticism and using that as basis and support for their arguments, and they also seem to make a LOT of assumptions without exploring the chemical basics of things. These are the BASIC questions that they don't answer which seem to make it seem like pseudo-science BS:

What is special about DNA as compared to other molecules or specifically other biomolecules that make it do this effect?
DNA is composed of 5 elements: Carbon, Oxygen, Phosphorus, Hydrogen, and Nitrogen. Chemically, there isn't anything really special about it (don't get me wrong: DNA is cool stuff, but down at the basic level it is a pretty easy to understand biomolecule).

Does RNA exhibit the same effect, and if not, why not? Did the even test it?
There are only 2 differences between RNA and DNA: DNA is lacking an OH group on carbon number 2 of the ribose (correct me if I'm wrong, but it has been replaced by an H[?]) and DNA has the pyrimidine Thymine whereas RNA has Uracil. If DNA exhibits this effect, then it is not unreasonable to hypothesize that RNA does as well, so why not test it? If they did and RNA does not exhibit the effect, then what is so special about a missing OH group?

Do any other biomolecules (proteins, lipids, carbohydrates) exhibit this effect, and if not, why not? Did they even test it?
They are all pretty much made of the same 3 elements (C,H,O) with protein having a few more, depending on the amino acids (all have N, some will contain other elements such as Sulfur). Therefore, if this effect is real, then it is reasonable to hypothesize that other similar molecules will exhibit it, and if they don't, then rigorous testing on DNA would need to be done to explain why it is special (when chemically, it really isn't).

However, the articles you link do not address any of these things, especially not the extremely important question of what property of DNA causes this. Instead, they jump right into the possible meanings and applications of a phenomenon that they cannot reproduce, immediately assuming that this phenomenon has application to several other "fields" of psuedoscience (subtle energy, heart intelligence, faith healing, etc.), none of which have any credible scientific backing or rigorous supporting research or data. Also, of all of the references cited in the article, only 2 are from a peer-reviewed journal, and that journal in particular is known for allowing pseudo-science to get through and is not as rigorous as most journals.

When "scientists" do that, it's not surprising that they aren't taken seriously.

While there is always a place for wonder in science, there is no place for mysticism hiding behind scientific sounding words trying to come across as science while dodging the process and rigor that science demands. *shrug*

So, if you wonder why people aren't taking you seriously or coming up with more pointed responses to directly refute this stuff, it is probably because so much of it is based on flawed assumptions that have not followed the scientific method that we hardly know where to begin. I have given it a shot here starting with questions about the most basic chemical properties involved (whereas these "researchers" have skipped all that and jumped right into the mystical properties of DNA), but I hardly know where to continue.

So, best of luck to you in finding more information about this stuff. I would suggest starting from basic biochemistry and approaching this "research" from that point of view, because you can't jump into the complicated stuff without a firm grounding in the underlying basics (which is what these "researchers" appear to have done). Start with DNA and try to find some reason to suspect it is so much more special other biomolecules that it would exhibit this mystical effect while no other molecules do...

Best of luck to you. Let us know if you find anything that stands up to scrutiny and follows the laws of physics. ;)

[ninja edit - stupid me forgot Hydrogen in my list of elements]
Last edited by Interactive Civilian on Mon Jan 05, 2009 3:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby Charlie! » Mon Jan 05, 2009 1:47 am UTC

It's definitely difficult to refute a claim like the following:

This site wrote:It is fortunate that the experimental data provides us with qualitative and quantitative information about the nonlinear dynamical properties of the phantom DNA fields. Namely, these experimental data suggest that localized excitations of DNA phantom fields are long living and can exist in non-moving and slowly propagating states. This type of behavior is distinctly different from the behavior demonstrated by other well known nonlinear localized excitations such as solitons which are currently considered to be the best explanation of how vibrational energy propagates through the DNA.


What experimental data? What energy? How do you know they're not moving? wtf solitons? No!


Nothing is disclosed or even explained. Note the lack of references in this paragraph. So the only recourse I have is to make fun of him. For example: couldn't he have come up with a better name than "phantom DNA field?" I like "magic" or "pink unicorn field," personally. At least he could have not tried to equate it with the electromagnetic field. I mean, you don't see light suddenly stimulating the "gravatic phantom field" of an object and making it heavy. And typically "field" means force (unless this is mystical junk masquerading as science , but let's assume that it's science in order to show how silly that assumption is). So if field means there's a force, and we can make these DNA fields really easily (plain old light), why isn't our DNA pulling us towards each other? I want my mysterious force field sucking other people towards me, and I want it now!
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Wed Jan 07, 2009 12:51 pm UTC

I think the article I linked is just cherry picked by some new agers to support their position, I doubt those conclusions were meant by the author to be presented without the evidence. I have in fact studied some basic biochemistry when I was at university, but I know little to nothing about photonics and optics.
Interactive Civilian wrote:Also, of all of the references cited in the article, only 2 are from a peer-reviewed journal, and that journal in particular is known for allowing pseudo-science to get through and is not as rigorous as most journals.

The credibility of the journals aside, what I want is to be able to read these papers, they do exist and could answer many of your questions, questions I might add, which I am asking too among a much longer list of questions I have. At the top of my list of questions is: are these experiments properly rigourous? do they show what the author claims they show? Have independant verification experiments been conducted? The fact that these papers exist means that there are answers to at least some of these questions out there.
Interactive Civilian wrote:Best of luck to you. Let us know if you find anything that stands up to scrutiny and follows the laws of physics. ;)

I came here looking for exactly this. Hoping someone here could help me find it. It is unfair to tell me no one here will help me until I have already found what i came here looking for, especially as I have already been searching for this for months. I am trying to reach out here to people I percieved as being able to aid me in my search, if in fact no one here is able to do this then there is no point in me continuing to post here. If I find something I will not need to return here and tell you guys about it, the fact that I have been refused help here does not make me inclined to do anyone else the favour.

If you all can't or won't help me that is fine, it is not your job or your duty to find information for me. I can ask, but I cannot expect that people will help me just because I want them to. It is worth mentioning though that in future I will not bother posting in this forum when I have questions, although the loss of my input is not going to make anyone here cry so that's nothing to worry about.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby Charlie! » Wed Jan 07, 2009 2:31 pm UTC

drunken wrote:I think the article I linked is just cherry picked by some new agers to support their position, I doubt those conclusions were meant by the author to be presented without the evidence.

You mean the article I was making fun of? It's "an email to TWM from Dr. Peter Gariaev, a joint researcher with Dr. Poponin." But it's still entirely possible that he's misinterpreting.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby ThinkerEmeritus » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:31 pm UTC

drunken wrote:
Interactive Civilian wrote:Best of luck to you. Let us know if you find anything that stands up to scrutiny and follows the laws of physics. ;)

I came here looking for exactly this. Hoping someone here could help me find it. It is unfair to tell me no one here will help me until I have already found what i came here looking for, especially as I have already been searching for this for months. I am trying to reach out here to people I percieved as being able to aid me in my search, if in fact no one here is able to do this then there is no point in me continuing to post here. If I find something I will not need to return here and tell you guys about it, the fact that I have been refused help here does not make me inclined to do anyone else the favour.


Well, to be fair to the responders, I think that you have been helped. If you ask a knowledgeable person about something, and he says "that work is nonsense, for the following reasons," he has given you the best answer you can get. You don't need to worry about that work, there is nothing there. Analyzing in detail an incorrect experiment takes hours, days, or months, and usually the cooperation of the original authors. Telling you it isn't necessary to spend that time because the odds are overwhelming that the work was not carefully performed is a genuine service. It may not be the answer you want, but it is the answer you need.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby Xanthir » Wed Jan 07, 2009 6:38 pm UTC

ThinkerEmeritus wrote:
drunken wrote:
Interactive Civilian wrote:Best of luck to you. Let us know if you find anything that stands up to scrutiny and follows the laws of physics. ;)

I came here looking for exactly this. Hoping someone here could help me find it. It is unfair to tell me no one here will help me until I have already found what i came here looking for, especially as I have already been searching for this for months. I am trying to reach out here to people I percieved as being able to aid me in my search, if in fact no one here is able to do this then there is no point in me continuing to post here. If I find something I will not need to return here and tell you guys about it, the fact that I have been refused help here does not make me inclined to do anyone else the favour.


Well, to be fair to the responders, I think that you have been helped. If you ask a knowledgeable person about something, and he says "that work is nonsense, for the following reasons," he has given you the best answer you can get. You don't need to worry about that work, there is nothing there. Analyzing in detail an incorrect experiment takes hours, days, or months, and usually the cooperation of the original authors. Telling you it isn't necessary to spend that time because the odds are overwhelming that the work was not carefully performed is a genuine service. It may not be the answer you want, but it is the answer you need.

Nod.

As well, if you're going to cry about it, please go home and cry about it. Nobody wants to see you bawling in the middle of the thread.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Wed Jan 07, 2009 7:53 pm UTC

ThinkerEmeritus wrote:Well, to be fair to the responders, I think that you have been helped. If you ask a knowledgeable person about something, and he says "that work is nonsense, for the following reasons," he has given you the best answer you can get.


drunken wrote:Does anyone know about this.
(emphasis added
I am quite capable of making up my own uninformed opinions, and "for the following reasons" in this thread seems to be "I don't believe it" and nothing more. No one here even knows the details so any position for or against the results (and I never offered one) is purely speculation and therefore unscientific.

Xanthir wrote:As well, if you're going to cry about it, please go home and cry about it. Nobody wants to see you bawling in the middle of the thread.
:)
Well I would have stopped posting in this thread but I am bored and you guys seem to me to be making fools of yourselves (yes I am aware that you thought it was me that was doing that), I wanted to gently coerce you in the direction of real science, rather than speculation and intellectual penis comparison which is all I have seen in this thread so far. Still if you aren't interested in actually using the scientific method to answer a question that is none of my business, each to his own belief system. The scientific method is useful though, and I know you have all tried it at least once before so I fail to see why you would suddenly abandon it.

If you all like I can change the name of the thread to "Judging the worth of a topic to avoid scientific investigation" so that it is about what we are discussing and is no longer off topic. No, on second thoughts that is too long a thread title. "Prioritising investigation"? Better. Other ideas are welcome.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby justaman » Wed Jan 07, 2009 8:31 pm UTC

drunken wrote:The thing is that 65 people have viewed this thread and the only person to reply said they couldn't be bothered didn't have time to actually look into it. The other thread on thescienceforum has had more than 4300 views in more than 3 years and can boast a total of 1 promise to have a look at some unspecified time that never happened, and one person who actually found out all they could but had no real scientific resources (myself). If the question was about flat earth theories or creationism I might understand. But it isn't.

The thing about the number of views is that in the initial post you presented a large wall of text (not a criticism, sometimes a lot of text is needed to explain a point), which is typically a turn off for most people on message boards, it's not that they aren't interested, or willing to reply, they can't be bothered reading and responding to a large amount of things at one time.

To answer the original question:
"Science" March 1997 has a good summary of several of the experiments mentioned in the ORMUS page for those of you with a subscription (most uni's will have one). If you want the summary I can post it or pm it to people. I can even get the original papers if necessary.
Science 7 March 1997:
Vol. 275. no. 5305, pp. 1420 - 1421
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5305.1420

And it appears that DNA does indeed interact with light (as it should, after all it is damaged by gamma and UV radiation), but, and this is important, all the experiments have used electron donors and acceptors to do the interacting (which native DNA doesn't have) and many of the experiments have been re-analysed by other experts and in some cases by the original experimenter and found that the original claims were wrong - the ultra-fast electron sharing was not because of some special property of the DNA, but because the donor and acceptor molecules were clustering together rather than having a spatial separation as was assumed.

Still some of the results are intriguing, and there is no reason why DNA couldn't act as a wire from my knowledge of chemistry (limited) and electron clouds and energy sharing (less limited, I know a fair bit about how photosynthesis etc work, and it is all about electron sharing). However, I am quite sceptical about it actually happening in vivo, especially as DNA is most commonly found in the condensed form and heavily protected by protein attachment and chromatin etc.

The claims on the ihug.co.nz page are rather far fetched - that these experiments are crucial for development of a new unified quantum field theory is rather a stretch I think.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:36 pm UTC

Thank you for your clarification. I would still very much like to know the details so if you could pm me the articles you mentioned that would be great. I would also like the original papers too if it's not too much trouble. As I said in my first post I unfortunately have no access to university libraries at this time which is why I was unable to simply get them myself. I imagine the more recent articles will explain it better than the originals.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby rflrob » Thu Jan 08, 2009 9:48 pm UTC

I do find it a bit interesting that there aren't any related articles on the arXiv. You can find a couple unrelated articles by Poponin, but Gariaev doesn't seem to be in there at all. Given that it's a non-peer review source, it's one of the first places to find serious-looking things by well-credentialed crackpots.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby qetzal » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:08 pm UTC

drunken wrote:The credibility of the journals aside, what I want is to be able to read these papers, they do exist and could answer many of your questions, questions I might add, which I am asking too among a much longer list of questions I have.


Do these papers really exist? I’m not so sure.

Let’s look at the references listed on the DNA Phantom webpage at http://www.rialian.com/rnboyd/dna-phantom.htm. (It’s basically the same as this link: http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~sai/DNAPhantom.htm from the OP, except it has links to some (not all) of the described figures).
Spoiler:
The cited refs are:

1. W.A. Tiller. What Are Subtle Energies? Journal of Scientific Exploration. Vol.7, p.293-304 (1993).
2. G. Rein and R. McCraty. Structural Changes in Water and DNA Associated with New Physiologically Measured States. Journal of Scientific Exploration. Vol.8, 3 p.438 (1994).
3. D.L. Childre. Self Empowerment. Boulder Creek: Planetary Publications, 1992.
4. S. Paddison. The Hidden Power of the Heart. Boulder Creek: Planetary Publications, 1992.
5. P.P. Gariaev, K.V. Grigor'ev, A.A. Vasil'ev, V.P. Poponin and V.A. Shcheglov. Investigation of the Fluctuation Dynamics of DNA Solutions by Laser Correlation Spectroscopy. Bulletin of the Lebedev Physics Institute, n. 11-12, p. 23-30 (1992).
6. P.P. Gariaev and V.P. Poponin. Vacuum DNA phantom effect in vitro and its possible rational explanation. Nanobiology 1995 (in press).
7. V.P. Poponin. Modeling of NLE dynamics in one dimensional anharmonic FPU-lattice. Physics Letters A. (in press).
8. V. Tatur. The secrets of new thinking. Progress Publisher, Moscow, 1990, 200 p. (Russian).
9. J. K. Chouldhury et al., J. Inst. Eng. (India). 1979, v. 60, Pt EL3, p. 61-73.

Refs 1-4, 8, & 9 are by authors other than Gariaev or Poponin, and aren’t cited as actual examples of the supposed effect, so we’ll ignore those.

Ref. 5 is cited on the page only once in reference to a sentence mentioning the MALVERN LPCS. It’s not cited anywhere in the Results section, so this reference may not actually describe the phantom effect; it may just be a reference to the authors’ previous use of LPCS. (Those are real instruments, by the way. They’re primarily used for determining particle size in the nanometer range; see http://www.malvern.co.uk for more info.)

The other problem with Ref 5 is that it’s a very obscure journal. None of the major university libraries around me carry it. I can’t find any online table of contents or abstracts going back to 1992. (I did find the journal website, but it only has TOC back to 2005; http://www.allertonpress.com/journals/lpr.htm.) The journal isn’t even listed in the abstracting services I can access, although those are admittedly more biochem/biomed oriented. Regardless, I can’t find and abstract or even a TOC to confirm this article exists, much less what it’s really about.

Now look at Ref 6. From the title, this ref should be the one to look at. However, I can’t find any indication that a journal called Nanobiology exists, or ever really did. It’s not listed in PubMed. It doesn’t even come up in a Google search. The closest I can find is a “call for papers” post on a message board, suggesting someone intended to start such a journal, but perhaps wasn’t successful (see http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/molmodel/1996-August/000699.html).

However, that call for papers was posted in Aug 1996. Ref. 6 claims to be “in press” in 1995. For those unfamiliar with the jargon, “in press” means a paper has been submitted, peer-reviewed, revised if necessary, and accepted in nearly final form by the journal in question. An article in press in 1995 should have appeared in print no later than 1996. Where is it? How could it be in press in a journal that apparently never actually existed? That’s pretty suspicious, if you ask me.

Now move on to Ref. 7. Physics Letters A is definitely a real journal. They have a website where you can search for articles all the way back to 1967 (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03759601). But when you search for Poponin in the author field, there are no hits. If you search for the title words FPU-lattice in the “All fields” box, there are 26 hits, but none of them correspond to Ref 7. Just to be sure their author search works, I found an author named Grodzins from 1967 and searched for his name; it retrieved his paper without a hitch.

Now we have a real red flag. Poponin claims Ref. 7 was in press. That means Phys Lett A had accepted it for publication. If that’s true, why wasn’t it ever published? Either there was some problem with it, and it was withdrawn, or it was never in press to begin with.


Details are spoilered above to minimize the wall of text, but least 2 of 3 cited refs by Poponin seem not to exist, and the third can’t be confirmed. That doesn’t make me inclined to believe anything these guys say. I also searched Pubmed. There were no papers authored by Poponin at all. (Closest matches were 10 papers authored by several different people with last name Poponina; none were relevant to this.) I found 11 papers authored by P. P. Gariaev, but none appeared even remotely related to this. I also found 32 papers containing both words “DNA” and “phantom” but none of these were relevant either.

Bottom line: I’m not convinced any of this was ever published in a peer reviewed scientific journal, and there are serious discrepancies in the refs cited on the DNA Phantom web page that make me doubt the authors’ honesty.

drunken wrote:At the top of my list of questions is: are these experiments properly rigourous? do they show what the author claims they show? Have independant verification experiments been conducted? The fact that these papers exist means that there are answers to at least some of these questions out there.


It’s not possible to judge the rigor based on the DNA Phantom web page. There’s no methods section and the information in the Results is quite cursory.

The data presented on the web page are most definitely NOT adequate to support the authors’ claims. Consider: either the authors have discovered a fundamental new phenomenon that contradicts much of what we think we know about matter and energy, or their results are due to some procedural flaws or instrument errors. Which is most likely? There are some interesting clues from the web page itself.

First, note this claim:

We have found that, as long as the space in the scattering chamber is not disturbed, we are able to measure this effect for long periods of time. In several cases we have observed it for up to a month.


Could their scattering chamber have been contaminated with a very small amount of something during the process of inserting and removing the DNA cuvette? Take a look at Fig 2. Note that the signal for the actual DNA is on the order of 250 million photons per channel per second (Fig 2b). In contrast, the peak signal for the supposed phantom effect is on the order of 100-200 photons per channel per second (Figs 2c & d). Sure, the supposed effect looks different than the starting background (Fig 2a), but it's a million times weaker than a “true” signal. Plus, it's not the same each time (compare 2c & 2d). How did the authors rule out contamination or instrument artifact? They claim to have checked the equipment “every conceivable way” but they give no details. Even if this didn't contradict know physics and there were no other red flags, this would be totally unconvincing.

Summing up, we have:

1. A claim that contradicts extremely well established science
2. A supposed effect that’s extremely weak and variable
3. Inadequate descriptions of methods and results
4. No verifiable peer-reviewed publications
4. Citations that apparently don't exist
5. No evidence of independent verification
6. No evidence the original authors have followed up for > 10 years

In my opinion, this claim has already received WAY more consideration than it deserves. If it’s a real effect, it’s incumbent on Poponin & Gariaev to publish it in a decent journal. Suggesting that other scientists should waste their time tracking down obscure and non-existent citations and debunking these claims is a bit ludicrous.

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby Spuddly » Sun Jan 11, 2009 10:52 am UTC

qetzal wrote:1. A claim that contradicts extremely well established science


What is being contradicted? That you can't shine light at something and have it vibrate afterwards?
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby qetzal » Sun Jan 11, 2009 4:29 pm UTC

Spuddly wrote:
qetzal wrote:1. A claim that contradicts extremely well established science


What is being contradicted? That you can't shine light at something and have it vibrate afterwards?


They claimed that the instrument continued to register some kind of signal for up to a month after the DNA sample was removed from the instrument. Hence the term "Phantom DNA." They apparently thought the DNA created some persistent energy field or something.

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby Spuddly » Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:30 pm UTC

qetzal wrote:
Spuddly wrote:
qetzal wrote:1. A claim that contradicts extremely well established science


What is being contradicted? That you can't shine light at something and have it vibrate afterwards?


They claimed that the instrument continued to register some kind of signal for up to a month after the DNA sample was removed from the instrument. Hence the term "Phantom DNA." They apparently thought the DNA created some persistent energy field or something.


Ohhh, ok. Yeah, seems woo woo.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Mon May 25, 2009 3:14 am UTC

My apologies to anyone who found this thread and it didn't answer their questions. I haven't found any answers either. I did find something recently which although not directly related, does talk about new research into photon activity in cells, a phenomenon which was extensively referred to in the (1940s) book that I originally found reference to the phantom DNA paper in.

http://bytesizebio.net/index.php/2009/05/22/light-for-cellular-communication/
***This post is my own opinion and no claim is being made that it is in any way scientific nor intended to be construed as such by any reader***

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby BlackSails » Mon May 25, 2009 6:49 am UTC

drunken wrote:My apologies to anyone who found this thread and it didn't answer their questions. I haven't found any answers either. I did find something recently which although not directly related, does talk about new research into photon activity in cells, a phenomenon which was extensively referred to in the (1940s) book that I originally found reference to the phantom DNA paper in.

http://bytesizebio.net/index.php/2009/05/22/light-for-cellular-communication/


My apologies to the parents of anyone who believes garbage like this. Its not entirely your fault.

Note to any politicians reading this thread: This is what you get when you cut funding in schools

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Mon May 25, 2009 2:20 pm UTC

BlackSails wrote:My apologies to the parents of anyone who believes garbage like this. Its not entirely your fault.
Note to any politicians reading this thread: This is what you get when you cut funding in schools


Could you please qualify your position with evidence and/or reasoning?

This is a science forum after all. Perhaps you could start by disputing the validity of the experimentation method used or the credibility of the scientist/journal responsible for the article.

As an aside I totally agree with you about the funding in schools it is a crying shame.
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby headprogrammingczar » Mon May 25, 2009 2:49 pm UTC

The guy's review of the research is pretty accurate. The experimenter basically concluded "this isn't ruled out by my experiment, so this is the way it is!"
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby drunken » Mon May 25, 2009 3:18 pm UTC

You could stand to use more specific language, use names instead of 'this guy' and so forth.

How hard would it have been for 'this guy' to explain his reasoning himself and save you having to cover for him. I try very hard to explain my point of view and cite whatever sources I can find, which are admittedly few and dubious. I find it insulting that people feel they don't have to extend the same courtesy back, especially given that I wasn't making any claim other than "I don't know much about this" and "I would like to know more about this"(two things no one is arguing with).

Actually the paper concluded "In the present study, three major experiments confirmed that separated populations of the ciliate Paramecium caudatum interact with each other through glass under conditions of complete darkness. A careful control showed that the interactions are due to conspecific cells and not to the medium containing bacteria." I have problems with the claim that bio photons have been proven/understood too, but I still find the paper interesting. I sorry if my interest offends you, grow a scar and get over it.

I wasn't claiming that bio photons have been proven to exist. All I was implying in my post was that the subject was interesting. If you don't find it interesting then what are you still doing here?

Basically this is a science forum, if you can't be bothered putting forward a well thought out, reasoned argument then don't post here. There are millions of forums on the internet that don't have any requirements whatsoever for post quality, can we please maintain one or two that aren't simply filled with half formed sarcasm and vague simplifications?
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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby BlackSails » Mon May 25, 2009 3:19 pm UTC

drunken wrote:
BlackSails wrote:My apologies to the parents of anyone who believes garbage like this. Its not entirely your fault.
Note to any politicians reading this thread: This is what you get when you cut funding in schools


Could you please qualify your position with evidence and/or reasoning?


No. You are the one claiming an effect that violates oodles of known science. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Heck, Id be happy with just plain regular evidence.

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby achan1058 » Mon May 25, 2009 3:43 pm UTC

There is no need for such sarcasm and insults. Anyways, I think qetzal sums it up pretty well. The references are untracable, so you can't find more even if you want to read it. To me sure, I put a few of them onto Google scholar as well.

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Re: DNA Phantom effect

Postby gmalivuk » Mon May 25, 2009 4:27 pm UTC

drunken wrote:Basically this is a science forum, if you can't be bothered putting forward a well thought out, reasoned argument then don't post here.

Indeed.
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