Book Excerpt — Vast Potential Applications

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Vast Potential Applications – Expansive, Beautiful Terrain

With new insight opened to me by the burgeoning field of redox signaling, I realized that these same molecules helped the immune system to find and repair or destroy damaged cells. In fact, as outlined above, they participate in multiple pathways of tissue regeneration, hormonal reception, oxidative stress response, signaling gene expression and so forth. Each new insight opened up more to my view until before my eyes was laid a nearly endless landscape of possibility, extending far off into the horizon. This terrain was just starting to be explored and had pathways that led into virtually all areas of medical science. Such was my fascination that I immediately wished to share this experience with my colleagues. I went back down the trail, marking the way, in hopes that I could convince someone to come back up the trail with me and see what I had just seen and maybe help me explore it.

Invitation for Collaboration – You have just got to see this!

Some of the first people that I invited to explore the trail were those that had themselves blazed some of the trail; researchers that had participated or done some of the earlier studies on this work. As expected, they were already involved in other work and did not always have the time or ambition to take off work to go and explore more of this trail with me. A few said they would come but, of course, they expected some sort an agreement. The same thought kept repeating in my mind, “good science requires good business”. Unfortunately, I felt that I did not have much of a hand in the business aspects at the time, and often felt a hesitance to get too involved with the business. Thus I was reliant on those that were more experienced in building a business and the management teams that controlled the intellectual property.

We were able to get some limited funding in order to get a senior researcher at a national lab involved. This researcher was able to do some fundamental research with lung endothelial cell cultures and opened up several other vistas to view. He was the one to discover that this Redox composition has the effect of increasing antioxidant efficiencies and that it activates the NRF2 pathways, with all that that implies (as already discussed in this book). He also found that it drastically increases death rates in damaged cells and enhances TNF-alpha action to kill damaged cells and yet has only protective effects on normal healthy cells. These new results opened much more unexplored terrain to view, including antioxidant activation, oxidative stress reduction, accelerated healing, accelerated detection, and disposal of damaged cells. This aspect is very promising; the propagation of damaged cells and tissues, as well as slow healing, is responsible for a vast array of health challenges, including aging.  Unfortunately, after a year when funding ran out, so did the possibility of continuing the research.

Third Party Investigation – Sharing the Journey of Discovery

In as much as possible, third party independent laboratories were sought to find researchers to join the journey; laboratories with competent engaged professionals trained in diverse related areas of science and research. At this point, the business management team was closely involved in helping to find and identify the best areas of research to pursue and the best research institutions. Over months of phone calls, contacts, professional reviews, trips to laboratories, contract negotiations, and meetings, we started to find the right people to help us continue forward on the path of discovery. I fondly recall one such trip we made to the middle of an area called “the research triangle” in North Carolina, USA; an area where most of the medical and pharmaceutical research in the United States is done. The North Carolina Research Institute (NCRI) houses a collaboration of researchers from surrounding universities (Chapel Hill, UNC, Duke, Appalachian State, NCS, and others) inside a beautiful billion dollar research campus (NCRC) built by David H. Murdock (of Dole Foods) with the world-class David H Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI). This facility is a shrine to research devoted to advancing health, wellness, quality of life, and longevity. It was there we found a group of researchers specializing in the effects of exercise and other agents on the metabolism.

Over the period of two years, results from studies verified this Redox Composition had broad effects on murine (mouse) and human metabolism. Mice ran 29% longer with this Redox composition in comparison to an unprocessed saltwater solution. In human blood and fluids, hundreds of metabolite concentrations are shifted, indicating changes to the metabolism. There were several follow-up studies to see how this metabolic shift varied with time and conditions. Large human studies again verified safety by monitoring major systems and organs of mature adults. One result, for example, is that this Redox composition appears not to affect beneficial, bacteria inside the gut and reduces oxidative stress in the blood. Studies continue on to find out how this Redox composition works and what it means.

Studies are now being conducted around the world on this Redox composition. For example, in Europe, another research group found that in human skin, surface blood circulation dramatically improved, skin-cell turnover accelerated, cellulite globules shrank, smoothness and color consistency improved. There are also various studies that characterize nature of this Redox composition. Besides funded research, there are also completely independent studies that I know of being done by curious private researchers in universities, institutions, and industry, and probably many more that I do not know of.

Besides the direct research being done on this specific Redox composition, the field of redox biochemistry and redox signaling with other compositions are expanding horizons daily. Some are starting to intersect trails that we are exploring, and the whole terrain is becoming more well-known. Over 100 related peer reviewed journal articles are being published monthly. New trails are being blazed by present and future Nobel laureates and top scientist in all fields of biology. All of these are making inroads to explore the new terrain through a whole new variety of angles. This beautiful virgin landscape is now beholden by thousands of people and I am hoping someday it will be enjoyed by the whole world.

 

 

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Chapter Excerpt: Navigation Map of Pathways

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The Cardiovascular and Pulmonary System – Heart, Lungs, and Blood…

In the cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary system, redox balance is strictly regulated. There are about 5000 mitochondria [producing redox signaling molecules] in every heart cell. As you can imagine, the level of superoxide free radicals (O2*-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) [redox signaling molecules] in heart cells must be carefully regulated and controlled. The heart can never take a break and so redox imbalance and cellular damage in heart tissue must be quickly detected and repaired. The redox signaling networks among heart cells are very efficient. Endothelial layers that line the blood vessels extend these signaling networks to the whole cardiovascular network, sending signals that regulate blood flow, pressure, and needed supplies throughout the whole body, along the whole river of life, in all of our cellular communities, creating a massively complex network analogous to the signaling capacity of our nervous system…

The Digestive System – Mouth, Stomach, and Intestines

In the digestive system, the cell linings in the intestines that process nutrients are exposed to acids, enzymes, toxins, oxidants, physical stress, and all manner of harsh environments. The turnover rate for these types of cells is one of the highest in the body; tens of billions of stomach and intestinal cells are replaced per day. In fact, the entire length of intestines themselves are completely replaced about every 7 days. This continual turnover of cells requires that damaged cells are quickly detected, repaired, or replaced. You can compare the intestinal lining to a “forest” of brush cells where there are frequent redox “smoke signals” sent by the damaged cells indicating “forest fires” that need immediate attention from the emergency responders. If this redox signaling system is not in excellent shape, then potential damage can spread too quickly, causing leaks and gaps that compromise the function of the digestive system…

The Nervous System – Brain, Spine, and Peripheral Nerves

In the nervous system, brain cells are not easily replaced and must be protected. Oxidative stress is the primary reason for nerve cell death, even more so than lack of oxygen. Mental stress and worry, as well as deep thinking, increases brain activity. Heightened brain activity incites a build-up of oxidants or oxidative stress…Oxidative stress triggers seizures and/or other irregularities. Regulation of blood flow through the brain is closely monitored, as the brain needs a constant supply of oxygen and sugars. All of this is regulated by redox signaling networks…Peripheral nerves in the body send pain messages when they are exposed to oxidative stress due to oxidants in the neighborhood. Even more, the redox signaling networks are also very active in helping maintain the balance of the hormonal axes in the brain and nerves (such as the HPA axis) that help keep the emotional balance we need to function. There is no question to the prime importance of the redox signaling networks in the brain. The brain contains most complex signaling network in the body integrally and intricately connected by such signaling networks.

The Endocrine System – The Pituitary, Thyroid, and Adrenals

In the endocrine system, glandular secretions (hormones) are triggered by stress and redox pathways. We have already discussed how important it is to our emotional and physical state to maintain hormonal balance throughout the whole network of the endocrine system. If oxidative stress is the trigger for hormonal secretions and redox signaling regulates oxidative stress, you can imagine the importance of redox signaling to maintain balance in the endocrine system. There is direct evidence that correct redox balance in the vital fluids around our cells also helps lubricate the “windows” and “doors” (receptors) that bring hormonal messages (and insulin) into the cells, which means that smaller numbers of hormones may be needed to do the job, making hormonal regulation lighter and faster and more readily balanced.

The Excretory System – The Skin, Kidneys, and Colon

The tissues of our excretory systems (skin glands, kidneys, colon, etc.) have the unsavory job of sorting through and eliminating the toxic garbage of the body. This requires efficient management of toxic response and extraordinary communication signals between specialized layers of tissue, as well as top-grade protective equipment (antioxidants) to do the job. There is perhaps no other system of the body where redox signaling is more active to maintain the immediate health of the tissues than in the kidneys and intestines. Their specialized layers of tissue are constantly sorting and pushing along the toxic garbage. These toxins cause oxidative stress and cell death due to toxic insult of the tissues. As always, the antioxidants need to be on call to quickly clean up the oxidative stress before it causes any serious damage and repair and replace damaged cells. The oxidative stress itself also helps identify the toxins and helps them to move out through the excretory channels. All these processes require a high level of redox signaling. Toxic stress, in addition, causes the release of certain hormones associated with toxic load. For example, the kidneys will release a hormone called renin when they are under a high toxic stress. Renin is designed to increase the blood pressure needed in order to push the toxins out faster. Of course, water (proper hydration) is always regulated and beneficial to excretory processes…

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Another Excerpt from Final Chapters: Redox Signaling Mediates Everything

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The field of redox signaling is destined to become the field of science that will fuel the greatest medical discoveries in this next century and beyond. The universal signaling systems that exist in the fluids of life, inside every living cell and tissue, the signaling systems that have existed from the inception of life and in all forms of life that have existed or will exist on earth constitute the most fundamental signaling systems in biology. They reveal to us what makes life work on the smallest, most universal level. Redox signaling describes the molecular signaling mechanisms that modify the structure of water, that transmit messages throughout the fundamental fluids of life. The simple, common molecules that initiate and transmit these messages through living fluids are mostly manufactured inside living cells from water (hydrogen and oxygen) and salt (chloride and sodium), and also include a few of most common elements of life (nitrogen, carbon and sulfur). These are the molecules that initiate and mediate the life-sustaining redox signaling pathways throughout all the cells and tissues of our body…

If you are interested in looking up scientific literature in the field of redox signaling, you probably will not find any direct reference under the name of “redox signaling molecules”. I have taken some literary license to create descriptive names – such as “semaphores”, “reductants” and “redox signaling molecules” – that are not commonly used in scientific literature to describe such classifications of molecules. I have attempted to define these literary terms and place the scientific names in parenthesis as much as possible in this book. In order to do literature searches on this group of “redox signaling molecules”, try looking up: Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS), referring to the species of molecules containing oxygen (hydrogen peroxide, superoxide free radical, hypochlorite ion, singlet oxygen). Reactive Nitrogen Species (RNS) refers to species containing nitrogen (Nitric Oxide free radicals and other downstream nitrogen radical cascades). Of course, you can refer to each by its chemical name to get information. For example, google/scholar: “redox signaling hydrogen peroxide”. If you wish to get information on “reductants”, it would be best to search under “electron donors” or “reduced species”…There are literally hundreds of scientific articles being written on this subject every month, representing thousands of months of scientific effort across the world. It is truly marvelous to be living in this day and age where knowledge gained from everywhere in the world is almost instantaneously accessible by anyone with a true desire to know.

Possibly even more important than finding the appropriate vocabulary to express the scientific concepts, the potential applications for these emerging technologies in the health science fields need to find adequate expression. Since redox signaling is active in every cell and tissue, the potential health care applications are universal to all forms of life, cells, tissues, organs, and systems. The cardiovascular system, endocrine system, nervous system, digestive, and excretory systems all heavily rely on these redox signaling pathways to carry out their daily business. The innate immune system requires redox signaling almost more than any other system to detect areas of cellular damage, to assess the situation, to kill the microbes, to shut down damaged cells, and to stimulate regeneration of tissue…

One of the first things that drew me into study the field of redox signaling was the realization that the immune system kills bacteria and viruses almost exclusively by shooting them with an “oxidative burst” containing a composition of many of the redox signaling molecules I was studying. This was of interest to me. Certainly the primary weapon of the immune system must be completely effective against all types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that exist; otherwise, we would all be subject to mass extinction. The oxidative burst used by the immune system to kill all types of microbes and parasites is a combination of superoxide free radicals (O2*-), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and hypochlorite ions (OCl-). These molecules should be somewhat familiar to us at this point. So, at the very least, one possible application of this technology would be to develop an extremely effective and safe disinfectant. Such a disinfectant would use the same “technology” that is used in the immune system to kill microbes and yet be harmless to healthy normal cells….This “redox disinfectant” would be safe and effective for all types of tissues on all such types of multi-cellular life…

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Journey of Discovery into Redox Signaling–Book Excerpts

 

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The major purpose of this book is to give the reader an overarching view of the myriad pathways that exist in living organisms and the amazing complexities of their interaction. At the end of our journey of discovery into redox signaling pathways, one thing is clear: there are a vast amount of pathways carrying signals in our body. Most, if not all of these pathways intersect or are influenced by redox signaling pathways. The redox signaling molecules that participate in these pathways exist in most all of the vital fluids in our body. They are produced as part of metabolic processes (ROS from mitochondria), immune processes (oxidative burst), and redox signaling processes (NADPH complexes), in all types of blood vessels (vasoconstriction/dilation), molecular transport processes (g-protein receptors), and cellular signaling reception processes (endothelial cells). They play essential roles in the innate immune system, endocrine (hormonal) system, nervous system, digestive system, excretory (toxin detection and removal) system, cardiovascular system, and in any system that requires detection, repair, and replacement of damaged cells and tissues, which pretty much includes all of the systems in our body. So the real question should be: “What pathways do they not affect?” These redox signaling molecules form a set of signaling molecules that quite possibly affect the pathways in all areas of the body.

When individually isolated, practically all of these redox signaling molecules (such as hydrogen peroxide, hypochlorite or superoxide) have immediate…effects that has been documented over a century of science…It is difficult to believe that there exists a combination of these redox signaling molecules that even in high concentrations have absolutely no such toxic effects on healthy normal cells, tissues, and systems. And yet, we have discovered such a technology. This electrolyzed saltwater solution, as outlined above, contains most of the ROS components, yet, as a whole behaves much differently than expected from any of its individual components. As we have discussed, this electrolyzed salt water does not activate NF-kapaB pathways or cause inflammation in any measurable degree in normal cells, irrespective of the individual components. However, it does activate NRF2 and increase antioxidant efficiencies in human lung endothelial cells and somehow shifts metabolic profiles in animals and humans. Not only is this unexpected, it is in some sense miraculous and has not been observed before for any other compound.

Given the vast quantity of pathways that these ROS components can alter, the very fact that this electrolyzed Redox solution is relatively inert and very safe when in contact with living tissue needs to be explained and accounted for…Perhaps the only explanation is simply that cells and tissues can easily deal with this Redox solution because it is already in a form that is similar to the endogenous ROS compounds already found in the cells, tissues, and systems. Even adding large amounts of this solution to cells and tissues does not seem to disturb redox equilibrium and homeostasis. This solution can easily be dealt with by the cells and tissues…For those who are truly on a journey of discovery, the observations made so far about this electrolyzed Redox solution represent an expansive horizon of unexplored terrain, stretching outward in all directions. For the first time in history, we have found something that has practically no adverse effects for all types of cells and tissues and yet can directly affect some of the most fundamental redox pathways that have existed in all forms of life since the beginning (of oxidative processes). We have found a remarkable path into the unknown regions of life. There is a certain sense of adventure in not quite knowing what lies around the corner as we continue to explore this expansive wilderness that, for now, seems to have no end.

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Is Pain Good?

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How could we ever say that feeling pain is good? Why do we feel pain? What is the purpose of pain? Could we get by without it? The answers to these questions reveal much wisdom. Let’s use our imagination for a minute, imagine the greatest athlete you know. Can you see this the person’s face? It is 100% probable, that this person has put themselves through hours, weeks and years of painful practice routines to get where they are now. Intuitively we know that. When we stand and cheer them, we also honor the years of discipline needed to succeed. We see stadiums of cheering and sometimes crazy fans, willing to pay stifling amounts, to see athletes perform. Why?

We relate to the pain and sacrifice they paid to succeed, we can almost feel it in some way. Now imagine a list of the salaries of the top-rated athletes. We also realize the importance that society places on their achievement. We say, “No pain, no gain.” Pain is a necessary element that leads to success. Let’s call this type of pain “good pain”.

What about the physical pain we feel in our bodies? Since we don’t “ask for it”, could we still think of this type of pain as “good pain”, the kind that ultimately leads to the successful performance of our physical body? It is tempting to think that the pain we feel inside our bodies is an indication of a failure of some sort, an illness, an injury, a malfunction, a weakness in our system. Is unwanted physical pain something that should be considered as evil, something to be eliminated? If we really understand the reason that physical pain exists, we might want to seriously consider that even unwanted physical pain can be “good pain”, the kind that leads to the ultimate success and triumph of our body.

Several years ago, I was eating some soup and felt a stab of pain on the right side of my gut. Over the next few hours, the pain became so intense that I was afraid that I might lose consciousness, I went to the hospital. They found that the blood supply to a part of my small intestine had become strangled by a fiber of fat, a very rare occurrence. Emergency surgery was needed, they opened me up with a 12-inch incision, explored my intestines, found that part of it had already died, they resected the dead part and put me back together. When the anesthesia wore off, the pain was intense. I was given a “pain pump” that administered morphine at the press of a button I could hold in my hand, this was a gift from an ex-president of the University of Utah (an honored medical doctor and friend that had come to visit me.)

Knowing the real dangers of an extended hospital stay, I really wanted to avoid infection, heal and leave the hospital as quickly as possible. At this point, having an academic knowledge of my body helped. I knew that the pain I felt was indicating where my body was healing and was there to help me avoid reinjury as my abdomen closed. I avoided pressing the morphine button and decided to endure the pain as much as I could. In fact, I focused my mind on the pain and with the mental clarity afforded me, I could know exactly where healing was taking place. As soon as I could, I learned how to scoot to the edge of my bed, the pain directed me as to how fast I could go as I pulled myself into a seated position. I learned to manage all the feeding tubes, IV’s, etc. so I could stand and walk around, pulling all my baggage around with on my IV rack as I went. This exhausted me and I was able to sleep. As a result, my abdomen healed well and I was released from the hospital in three days (4 days following the surgery). I considered the pain to be my friend and that made it much more tolerable.

Physical pain originates from nerve stimulation caused by oxidative stress, in turn, oxidative stress is caused by an excess of oxidants that naturally build up in and around damaged and stressed cells. The natural purpose of oxidative stress is to alert the body to the damage by sending signals (including pain, inflammation, and immune response) that activate the genes in the cells that motivate the healing processes, repair the damage which ultimately removes the source of stress and damage. The signaling generated by oxidation is called redox signaling (signaling through reduction/oxidation). When the cells are successful in their repair efforts, redox balance in the cells are restored and the pain and inflammation subside as the tissues are rebuilt, better than new.

If even intense physical pain can be a tool for healing, then what then could be considered as “bad pain”? Since pain is an indication of where the body is healing, we can define “bad pain” as the type that does not serve as a tool to ultimately lead us to the healing and success of the body. The chronic, persistent pain that indicates that something is wrong, but the body is not strong enough to activate the healing response to the extent needed to repair the damage. Things can go bad, though, when the body is not able, for some reason, to complete this healing process. Chronic persistent oxidative stress causes even more damage (excess oxidants can be harmful), such damage causes more oxidative stress, stimulating even more stress and oxidation, and a downward cycle ensues. Such processes contribute to chronic problems, such as chronic inflammation, arthritis, lupus, irritable bowel, allergic response, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, and even emotional and mental problems, and so on.

The only way to turn off the oxidative stress and pain and start healing in these instances is to eliminate the stressor, if possible, and then turn off the oxidative stress cycle that will allow the tissues to heal naturally. Methods to turn off these inflammatory signals in our bodies are available to us if we choose to use them.

Antioxidants from foods, vitamin C, redox-balanced supplements (shown to reduce oxidative stress and enhance redox signaling), eating leafy green vegetables, decreasing sugars and carbohydrates, physical exercise, adequate hydration, sleep, relief from chronic emotional stressors are all accessible methods to turn off the inflammatory genes and start healthy tissue regeneration.

The mind is a wonderfully potent tool. Try this: in a quiet place relax your body, focus your mind on the bottom of your feet, you may become aware of tingling sensations or “dull pain” that indicates places where your feet are repairing themselves. Now slowly move your focus to your calves, knees, thighs, abdomen, back, lungs (breathing), arms, neck, jaw, teeth, and so on, noting any sensations you feel. You will find that you can receive messages from almost every part of your body about its condition and how it is healing.

By focusing on the signals coming from various parts of the body you can also stimulate healing. I do this exercise to help relieve my back pain on long flights and help me sleep. I focus on my back, “listen” to the places where my back hurts, make subtle adjustments to relieve the stress on my spine that helps center my weight and reduce the pain, and focus on my breathing. I find that with this focus, I can relax and even sleep on long flights. It feels like magic.

Pain is there to motivate us to make the adjustments necessary to heal.

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My Story

I am at the SOPMed [Society of Progressive Medical Education] Conference this week(sopmed.org) in Colorado Springs among some of the greatest men, with the greatest hearts and minds in alternative medicine that I know.  [Alternative medicine is a misnomer, we should try doing it long before doing the worse “alternatives” of surgery and harsh drugs].  Today at the conference, VSRI [Virtual Science Research Institute] is announcing the Alpha release of Atlus Blue (a project we have worked on for some years).  Atlus Blue is a web-based tool intended to help us nurture the working relationships we carry away from inspirational conferences, a secure super network of the people that engender the collaborations needed to develop the ideas and relationships that will build our world tomorrow.  This tool was forged from the germ of an idea Zach Bush and I discussed a few years ago.  We found that it has the potential of becoming the new on-line development platform open to all humanity.  It will be released soon.

This week the editor for my book also came back with the news that my new ebook “Journey of Discovery into Redox Signaling” will soon be ready for publication on Amazon, Kindle, etc.  On top of all that, a project to bring nanonutrients in water (Genius Functional Water in Mexico) to the world has gained some needed momentum as new large distributors and potential partners are showing enthusiastic interest.  My company Nanotechnology Solutions, that produces the nanonutrients, finally is taking steps to duplicate the “Nanomaker” machine for mass production. I feel like I’m going through hard labor pains right now, ready to  give birth to quadruplets.  Much is on the line for me.

I have had some time to reflect on my life, today.  I do not consider myself to be an exceptional person, perhaps only dumb enough to not give up.  The task that I feel is mine is to reveal the truths that I have discovered along my journey in life and hope that these insights will have an impact in the lives of others I have encountered along the way.  I have been blessed with a sharp analytical mind and a love for science that has forced me to get my Ph.D. in physics and to apply that knowledge in areas that I feel have value for humanity.  Today I feel the need to confess the longings of my soul.

I have been trained, it seems for my whole life, to search for the truth. I have wondered how the truth can be obtained from my observations. This is not such an easy task as it might seem. I realized early on in life that what I observe with my eyes and senses is clearly subjective to what I think is happening; even the source of my own observations might not always represent the objective truth.

When I pondered this bit too much, my own existence came into question. The great philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes did the same; remember his statement “I think therefore I am”. He used his observation that he could “think” as proof of his own existence. Contemporary thinkers wrote the popular movie, The Matrix, that explores the same insecurity in the perception of reality, my apology to those who have not seen the movie.

While this insecurity does not plague me anymore, I always tend to be very careful of what I consider to be true or not true and have learned to embrace the sense of uncertainty. There is one thing that I know for sure, that life is uncertain. This self-realization has even been helpful in my professional career as an atomic physicist. I understand that Quantum Theory is based on uncertainty and observation bias. When I first learned it, the part about uncertainty seemed familiar and yet it still felt a bit mysterious, like something was missing. I originally thought that at least physical matter and nature should be predictable and determined. Quantum Theory states that only the probability of something happening in the future can be determined. The exact outcome cannot be determined and is subject only to the probabilities. There is no way, for example, to determine how even the smallest particle, like an electron, will behave in a given situation; the number of possible future states are determined, but exactly which one of these states the electron will “choose” is not determined. It is comforting to think that even an electron has fundamentally the same sense of uncertainty that I had felt for years.

If you do not understand what I am talking about, do not be concerned, it takes a little bit of getting used to. My intention in bringing this all up is to help you understand how I have come to look at truth and life. When I find something that I feel is absolutely true, like homeostatic balance, symmetries, aspects of cellular biology and such, I cannot help but want to teach the wonders of it to others. This makes me a good student and teacher, but might not help me wow the crowd at parties. The way I look at truth and life, however, has brought me a great number of possibilities in life. Possibilities that seem to be coming together now into a coherent picture.

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We Serve Because We Love

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The universal governing systems of heaven are made apparent to all those who seek the truth, to all who feel the influence of heaven in their lives. This universal principle of heaven is: “We serve because we love”. All the experiences in life are present to teach us this principle.

We serve in our families because we love them.  We serve in our community because we love them. We learn new skills with excellence in our careers because we love to apply them to serve the needs of others. We serve our Father in Heaven because we love Him and appreciate what He has done for us. If we have not learned this, we are not in heaven. If we have learned this, then all is ours and we are in heaven regardless of present circumstance; we know that love is built through service.

The governing system of heaven leads us to this realization. Those that master their craft, pass their knowledge to those that desire to learn it. Those that learn it, employ it to serve others. Those that are so served, return a just part of their services or goods to those that served them with gratitude. Those that are successful in their craft return a portion of these services and goods to those that taught them. And the cycle is complete.

This is the economy of heaven. The result is that every person receives all that is needed to live a wonderful fulfilling life; all appreciate and love those who serve us and those who we serve. This is heaven. It leads toward a society filled with truth, love and perfection. I have seen this in practice.  Happy Fathers Day!

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What Makes Life Work?

Oxygen Atom with Electron Clouds, Hydrogen and Water Clusters

How and where will the secret of life be found? In my youth I was taught that an atom was the smallest fundamental unit of all matter. In my young mind, I reasoned that the mysteries of how all things work must be found in the atom. I was so enamored by this concept that I ended up studying atomic physics in college and later went on to earn my Ph.D. in that field. The answers to the universe, I thought, must be found in how the atoms work. After all, there only exist a grand total of less than 100 stable types of atoms. Out of those, there are only 20 or so necessary for basic life processes and the vast majority of the molecules of life are combinations of Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorous and Sulfur– only six of them. In the innocence of youth, I reasoned, it should not be too hard to figure out how everything works; it’s like putting together tinker toys or Legos where only a few different types of Legos exist. I may have underestimated just a bit how many different things you can build with just this limited set of “Legos”.

In my college career, I learned that atoms are governed by a set of quantum mechanical laws and symmetries that determine how atoms are built and can fit together to make molecules. Predictive models can be built, mathematically, to describe how single atoms interact with surrounding atoms. These models make use of the concept of “fields”, such as electric fields, magnetic fields, gravitational fields, etc. that describe how atoms interact with each other and the fields that exist around them. The behavior of each particle is characterized and influenced by the fields that the particle itself generates and the fields that surround it. In a sense, we can experience this concept by playing with common refrigerator magnets. We notice that if we orient magnets a certain way they will attract each other, by some sort of invisible “field” and yet in other ways they will repel each other, and so there are only a limited number of configurations that allow them to stick together to form structures. Electric fields that we observe, by rubbing balloons on cloth, for example, also follow physical laws. These observable but invisible fields are formed from the alignment of trillions of trillions of fields from the individual atoms that make up the objects, each atom possessing its own fields and following similar types of laws.

There are only four types of fields we know of in nature. The “gravitational” field is so weak that you need objects the size of a planet before you can really feel it, but it is far-reaching and stretches across the entire universe. In sharp contrast, the “strong” field only acts over a distance the size of a proton, but is a trillion, trillion, trillion times stronger than the gravitational field. The strong field sticks the protons together when they get close enough to each other; otherwise the clusters of protons in a nucleus would fly apart. The “weak” field binds electrons and protons together to make neutrons. But the king of the fields, of course, is the “electromagnetic” field that causes electrons to be attracted to protons, electrons to repel electrons, and protons to repel protons. The electromagnetic field causes the electrons to move in and buzz around the clusters of protons in the nucleus, which are bound together by the strong fields. The electrons spread themselves out around these clusters of protons to form atoms. All of this amounts to atomic field theory. The combined fields from all these particles inside the atoms also serve to attract and repel the neighboring atoms and cause the atoms to arrange themselves and “stick” together into structures called molecules.

If we were somehow to look at matter on its most fundamental level, we would see that everything we sense, experience, and know to be real is composed of trillions of trillions of fundamental particles that are simply following the governing laws of what is known as field theory. Everything is made up of tiny particles floating around in space like electrons, protons, and neutrons that are spinning and rotating around each other at blazing speeds. All of these tiny sub-atomic particles cannot be modeled as individual solid objects. They don’t have solid boundaries but are best characterized by the fields that they create and how they interact with each other. What we perceive as being a solid surface is formed because these particles have organized themselves into structures that “stick” together, much like stacking a bunch of charged floating magnets together to form a floating surface of magnets where the motion of each magnet is restricted by the fields generated by the neighboring magnets.

For example, if we place our hand on a table or surface, we sense pressure when the electromagnetic fields from the array of atoms in our hands push against the fields from the array of atoms on the surface. As the atoms of the surface are pushed by the fields of the atoms in your hand, the atoms of the surface will slightly flex out of place and push back on the atoms in your hand. Your hand will not be able to go through the surface without breaking the bonds that hold the surface atoms together. If we could somehow magically turn off the electromagnetic fields, there would be more than enough space to allow the atoms in your hand to pass through the atoms of the table. The electromagnetic field prevents this from happening. Not only does it hold atoms together by attractive forces, it keeps atoms spaced apart by repulsive forces and acts over relatively large distances on the atomic scale. It’s as if these fields are super-charged refrigerator magnets floating in space, strong enough to attract or repel each other even when they are several lengths away from each other.

The field properties that make these atoms align and stick to each other describe and determine all the properties of matter. For example, if the electromagnetic fields from the atoms on the surface of the table were aligned so that they would attract the atoms in your hand, the surface would be considered “sticky” and you might have difficulty removing your hand from the table. It is the configuration of atoms bound together in these molecules that gives them their characteristics , which are used to interact with all of the other molecules in their local environment. In turn, the way the molecules interact determines the properties of all matter and explains what all things are and how all things work on the most fundamental level.

As we have attempted to visualize what things might look like if we were the size of an atom, it may be helpful to realize that the electrons are moving at several million miles per hour on average. The atoms on a surface are interacting with each other over a million, million times a second and a typical inch of surface is tens of millions of atoms long. Anything large enough to see– like a speck of dust in the sunlight– consists of many trillions of atoms and anything large enough to feel, like a salt crystal, consists of a billion, billion atoms. You need to realize that everything is extremely small and extremely fast on the atomic scale. The surface of your table on an atomic scale would look like a vast system of mountains and valleys made of vibrating molecules stretching off into infinity in all directions.

When we consider all the incredible complexities of life, it is no surprise that everything comes down to how the molecules are formed, put together, and how they interact inside the living cells and tissues. The basic fundamental secrets of life, we might suppose, are found in how the molecules themselves are formed, how they interact with other molecules in their environment, and how they shift and change over the course of their existence. At first, it seems a bit strange to fathom how all life can be composed of molecules–a bunch of whirling particles following a set of physical laws and fields– and how this can lead to sentient, conscious beings that are self-aware, can act for themselves, and have learned enough to discover and ponder the very principles that allow themselves to exist. This might be an open question, yet there is no denying that on the most fundamental level, we are composed of molecules and yet we hold the breath of life within ourselves.

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All That Matter is Signaling

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Since I am an atomic physicist, this week I break with tradition of talking of the mysteries of life and the universality of cell signaling, and make the point that everything in the universe is signaling, even at the atomic level.  Atoms pass energy and electrons back and forth in forms of waves traveling through space.  We might wonder what space really is and what defines it.  This gives us something to think about, how can we measure space?

Many people in history have attempted to find an absolute standard by which everything else can be measured. A standard for measuring distances or lengths is a great example. The length of the king’s foot (his supernal majesty) was thought to be an absolute divine standard. Unfortunately, kings turned out to have inconsistent feet and were mortal and died. Looking for a somewhat better standard, it was agreed that a meter would be determined as one ten-millionth of the distance between the north pole and the equator, along the octant line passing through Paris (of course). This distance also varied with sun and moon cycles and was somewhat difficult to measure perfectly. The standard for measuring time was a bit easier, a solar day could be divided into equal segments of time. This could be tied to the movement of a pendulum or some other mechanical or electrical device that beats out units of time. With the infinite wisdom of men, an hour was chosen as (1/24 of a day) broken into 3600 (60 x 60 seconds). This turned out well, most everyone on earth uses a second to measure time and has the same clock. With advanced electronics, clocks that measure at the order of 1 billionth of a second (a nanosecond) are becoming more important.

Could there be an absolute standard of measurement that is determined by some unchangeable property of the universe by which we can measure distance and time? The answer comes from the study of light in physics. The speed of light in a vacuum is thought to be absolute everywhere denoted as the constant “C”. The speed of light is measured at about C = 300,000,000 meters per second. The speed of a ray of light is the same whether measured by someone standing on earth or measured by someone on a satellite traveling at a relative speed of 3,000 meters per second through space. The speed of light is measured as constant regardless of the speed of the source or the reference frame of the person taking the measurement.

What exactly is light? We understand light to be made of electromagnetic waves passing through space. The properties of light are thought to be the same everywhere in the universe. Possibly, then it makes sense to measure time and distance based on the nature of how electromagnetic waves travel through space. We have made atomic clocks, that measure time based on the number of times a cesium atom at resonant frequency vibrates back and forth in a metal tube. One second is measured at 9,192,631,770 such vibrations of a cesium atom. We can measure time by counting how many electromagnetic waves of a constant frequency pass through a wave detector, the frequency of the wave is determined by the properties of a specific atom, which beats out the same frequency anywhere we measure it in the universe as far as we know. By studying light, can we find an absolute standard for measuring time and distance?

The idea of measuring time by counting waves is interesting. Suppose we found a beach where exactly 100 waves would hit the shore every hour. Suppose the frequency and speed of the waves were constant. We then would have a standard clock, one hour is the time it takes for 100 waves to hit the shore, and our standard of distance could also be the distance between wave crests approaching the shore. This makes a good case for using electromagnetic waves to determine an absolute standard to measure time and space, determined only by the properties of light in the universe.

If we base measurement standards on electromagnetic waves, some very beneficial and enlightening ideas are revealed. First off, we do not need to redefine the unit of time we use, the unit of a “second” is already adopted as the unit of time everywhere on earth. With an atomic clock, we have determined that a certain given number of waves that hit a detector defines exactly one second.  Now for a distance standard we can utilize the constant speed of light to define a unit of distance as how far light travels in a specified amount of time. A convenient standard, for example, would be the distance light travels in one billionth of a second, a nanosecond (ns): 1 ns = 30 cm (close to a foot). We then can measure everyday distances in units of nanoseconds (ns). Recently the meter has been redefined by the light standard so that light travels in 1 sec = exactly 300,000,000 meters. Incidentally, we also use the light-year to measure astronomical distances.  I do not expect that everyone on earth start measuring distance in units of “ns” anytime soon; we already have enough confusion between Metric and US units. There are too many machines and buildings in the world to retool all of them.

I do suggest, though, that we think of the implications. If distance is measured as this unit of time, then the speed of any object would be measured in units of nanoseconds per second. This makes the measurement for speed a “unitless” percentage relative to the speed of light. A speed of one “nano” (billionth of the speed of light), for example, gives us: 1 nano = 1.08 Km/hr. Thus 100 nanos would be 108 Km/hr or about 65 mi/hr. A nano would be a natural unit for vehicle speeds. This would also set the universal speed of light as “C = 1”, with no associated units. It would be interesting to consider the implications of how we measure mass and energy. If C = 1, then Einstein’s famous equation E = MC^2 would be rewritten as E = M, or energy = mass. The equivalence between energy and mass could allow us to come up with an absolute measurement standard for the mass of an object based on some assigned unit of energy. This is interesting, as we tap into the nature of space, not only is there an equivalence between time and distance, but also between mass and energy. Can you see where this is leading us?

Our attention now turns to finding a natural unit for energy. We go back to the beach where exactly 100 waves are hitting the shore every hour. Each wave has a certain amount of energy. If we now double the frequency of the waves, let’s say that 200 waves every hour are now hitting the shore, we have also doubled the amount of energy we have hitting the shore. There is a directly proportional relationship between the frequency of the waves and the amount of energy delivered. This is reflected in Planck’s famous relationship E = h * f, where “h” is a universal constant (Planck’s constant) that relates the frequency of the electromagnetic wave (f) to the amount of energy (E) that is contained in a packet of waves (a photon) at that frequency. Planck’s constant has been proven to also be a universal characteristic of nature. In metric units “h = 6.62607004 * 10^-34 Joule Seconds”. If you are not familiar with scientific notation, this means that Planck’s constant is 0.000000000000000000000000000000000662607004 Joule Seconds. A Joule is the amount of energy you get when you drop a 1 Kg mass the distance of 1 meter (at sea level). Planck’s constant is a very small number, and so it takes an enormous number of electromagnetic waves to be equivalent to a measurable amount of energy. For example, if 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (1 Yotta=24 zeros) waves are in 1 ns (a distance of 30 cm) it would contain only 0.662607004 Joules of energy (the energy of a pound weight dropped from your hand to the floor). It might be worth mentioning that there are an immense number of photons (wave packets) in our environment, so a Yotta of waves would contain the sum-total energy/frequency of waves from many photons. These huge numbers are not so unreasonable on the atomic scale, a Yotta of water molecules would fit into a small shot glass, for example.

If we look at very high frequencies (measured in Yotta’s) then, we can come up with a natural unit for energy: 1Y/ns = 0.662607004 Joules. Or in units of energy used in heating your house: 1000 Y/ns = 662.6 Joules (or 0.628030262 BTU’s). Once again, I am not campaigning to make Y/ns to be a universal unit for energy, but some interesting concepts emerge. When we measure energy in terms of frequency, the units for energy turn out to be 1/sec, that is a unit of 1/time.

Looking back, we have measured distance with units of time (seconds) and now we are measuring energy with units of 1/sec. All these measurements are in units of time and inverse time. We see now that in these natural units, we have exploited the known universal properties of space to reduce the units of distance and energy with that of just two types of units, time and inverse time respectively. Can we read something more into this?

Before we finish, let’s see if we can find a good natural unit for measuring the mass of an object. As we discussed, Einstein’s famous equation in our natural units is E = M. If we want to adjust this to our units, we realize from Einstein’s equation that it takes quite a bit of energy to amount to any measurable mass. The prefix “Peta” (P) amounts to 1,000,000,000,000,000 (15 zeros). One Peta Y/ns (PY/ns) = 7.3623… grams (about 0.26 oz). This is the final unit of measurement we will define at this time. We have shown that even mass can be expressed in units of 1/time. One interesting observation is that defining new these new units of measurement does not change any of the laws of physics, all of the old formulas can be rewritten to reflect the new units, though they may not immediately look familiar to us (E = MC^2 ->PE = M or 10^15 E = M), but they might provide some new insights and computationally be easier, since all the natural constants, like h and C, have much easier-to-remember numbers. (C = 1, h = n/Y = 10^-33). Theoretical physicists already have their favorite system of natural units to make computations easier that I will not mention here.

It is interesting to think about what all this might mean about the nature of nature. Physicists use the name “space-time” to describe the physical place where we exist. We now see that there is not much of a difference between space and time, as both can be described with the same unit of measurement. This concept becomes helpful when Einstein’s theories of relativity are contemplated. The idea that the speed of light is constant in all frames of reference has significant implications. Relative time and distance can be interchanged depending on the relative velocity, there is no absolute reference for either. If you were a tiny point and were to travel at very near the speed of light, the light coming from behind you would take forever to reach you, thus time would have to almost stand still in your frame relative to the source of the light. For all photons, time stands still in their own frame. It all works out but requires much thought. The idea that matter and energy can be described as waves of various frequencies leads us to the thought that possibly all matter is simply made from very densely packed waves of vibrating pieces of space-time. This leads to a better understanding of Quantum Theory, wave functions, particle-wave duality, matter-antimatter annihilation, mass-energy exchange in atoms, existence of quarks and so on. These concepts ultimately bring us closer to the sought-after theory of everything.

If everything is made out of waves in space-time that carry information from one place to another, then everything is signaling.  Think about it.

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Nutrition — Supplies The Cells Need

It is hard to overemphasize the necessity of nutrients. In our community of cells, many billions of cells are repaired and replaced every hour. In an analogy that our cells are like a community of underwater houses, repairing or replacing this number cells would be the equivalent of rebuilding all of the houses and buildings that exist on earth each and every day. On the molecular scale, the need for supplies to keep up this kind of construction project is enormous and the demand for the fuel necessary to keep it running is also enormous. It is amazing that our bodies are able to handle it all and keep it coordinated. How do these nutrients get into the cells that need them? How are they apportioned? What happens if there is a shortage or an overabundance of one important nutrient or another? How are the nutrients placed and assembled into the instruments and structures that are needed after they arrive and are admitted into the cells? All of these questions are answered through study of the nutrient pathways. Arguably, these pathways are a bit more complex than oxygen pathways; there are several kinds of nutrients and each have different pathways. But surprisingly, the whole picture is not quite as complex as you might think.

Below is a list of some of the most important macronutrient and micronutrient molecules utilized by our body and their basic categories. We will unravel these briefly so they are not so daunting to understand and we will take a closer look at a few of them later on:

Sugars (Polysaccharides):

Fructose, Galactose, Glucose, Lactose, Maltose, Sucrose | Source: Grains, berries, fruits, Milk | Function: Immediate source of fuel for the cells

Amino Acids:

Alanine , Arginine, Aspartic acid (aspartate), Asparagine, Cystine, Glutamic acid (glutamate), Glutamine, Glycine, Histidine, Isoleucine (branched chain), Leucine (branched chain), Lysine, Methionine, Phenylalanine, Proline, Serine, Threonine, Tryptophan, Tyrosine, Valine (branched chain) | Source: All foods  | Function: Basic building blocks for proteins and structures in the cell, the “lego” blocks of the cell.

Saturated Fatty Acids:

Butyric acid (C4), Caproic acid (C6), Caprylic acid (C8), Capric acid (C10), Lauric acid (C12), Myristic acid (C14), Pentadecanoic acid (C15), Palmitic acid (C16), Margaric acid (C17), Stearic acid (C18), Arachidic acid (C20), Behenic acid (C22), Lignoceric acid (C24), Cerotic acid (C26) | Source: Vegetable oils, nut oils, bean oils, seed oils, margarines | Function: Fuel storage often packaged into glycerides, Free Fatty Acids are the primary source of fuel for cells.

Mono Unsaturated Fats:

Myristol, Pentadecenoic, Palmitoyl, Heptadecenoic, Oleic acid, Eicosen, Erucic acid, Nervonic acid | Source: Leafy vegetable oils | Function: Light sources of energy and serve as supplies and messengers in cells.

Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids:

Linoleic acid (LA, essential Omega 6), α-Linolenic acid (ALA, essential Omega 3), Stearidonic acid (SDA), Arachidonic, acid (ETA), Timnodonic acid (EPA), Clupanodonic acid (DPA), Cervonic acid (DHA) | Source: Fish oils, olive oils, grain oils | Function: Materials for cell structures and instruments, can also serve as fuel if needed.

Minerals:

Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Iron, Sulphur, Boron, Cobalt, Chromium, Copper, Fluoride, Iodine, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Zinc | Source: Fresh water, grasses, lettuces, greens | Function: Form important components of the instruments played in the cell.

Organic Acids:

Acetic acid, Citric acid, Lactic acid, Malic acid, Choline, Taurine | Source: citrus, milk, beans | Function: Intermediate players produced by instruments.

Vitamins:

Vitamin A (retinol), C (Ascorbic acid), D, E (tocopherol), K, B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 group (Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, Pyridoxamine), B7 (biotin), B8 (ergadenylic acid), B9 (folic acid), B12 (cyanocobalamin), Choline | Source: Various foods | Function: Basic supplies needed by cellular instruments and players, including genetic processes.

Carotenoids:

Alpha carotene, Beta carotene, Cryptoxanthin, Lutein, Lycopene, Zeaxanthin | Source: Carrots, squashes, bell peppers, tomatoes | Function: Colorful antioxidants that protect plants and animals from sunlight radiation.

Flavonoids:

Epicatechin, Hesperidin, Naringin, Oligomeric proanthocyanidins, Quercetin, Rutin, Tangeritin | Source: Nuts, apples, fruits, olives | Function: Antioxidants and raw materials used by animals and plants.

Not all of the nutrients on this list are exclusively provided by our diet. Many of these can also be assembled inside our cells from other types of nutrients and supplies; specialized molecular machines can build many important nutrients from the other molecular supplies that originate from our diet.  There are even molecular machines in our fluids and cells that can convert some of the nutrients on this list from one type to another (for example, sugars can be converted into fatty acids, and fatty acids can be converted into sugars). Some of these nutrients on this list, however, are classified as “essential” nutrients, meaning that they cannot be made inside our cells and must be exclusively provided by our diet.

If you are getting the feeling that you can think of cells as little molecular manufacturing facilities that have the capacity to build and remodel molecules from the nutrients and supplies around them, you are getting the right idea. Keep in mind that all of this manufacturing and remodeling of molecules requires supplies and energy; the fuels that supply this energy also come from the nutrients provided by our diet.

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