Jacques Benveniste(1935–2004), who was a famous French immunologist, published a research paper in Nature magazine in the year 1988. This paper and the subsequent controversies which shook the world of science, were incidents which roused great interest as far as Homoeopathy was concerned. It was through this article that the idea of ‘molecular memory of water’ became a subject of discussion in the world of science. But an infuential section of scientists took a stand that ideas put forward by Benveniste were nothing but nonsense. Heated controversies followed, which have not subsided yet, even after 22 years. The accusation raised by his enemies was that Benveniste could not prove his arguments in the controlled experiments overseenby experts appointed by Nature. Benvenistse had later put onrecord that he was a made a scape goat, and subjected to inhuman revenge and character assassination from the part of reperesentatives of official science.
In his original paper, Beneveniste claimed that he could observe in his experiments that human basophil degranulation can be triggered by very dilute aqueous solutions of anti- IgE antiserum. Using the molecular weight of immunoglobulins and Avogadro’s number, he calculated that less than one molecule of antibody is present in the assay when anti-IgE antiserum is diluted to 1 x 1014(corresponding to 2.2 x 10-20 M). But in the experiments he reported, he could detect significant basophil degranulation down to the 1x l0120 dilution. Specific effects have also been triggered by highly diluted agents in other in vitro and in vivo biological systems, but he consented that it still remained unexplained. He pointed to the possibility of biological effects in the physical absence of molecules. He argued that the entities supporting this ‘metamolecular’ biology can only be explored by physical investigation of agitation causing interaction between the original molecules and water, thus yielding activity capable of specifically imitating the native molecules,though any such hypothesis is unsubstantiated at present.
He suspected that the molecular memory of the antibodies which was imprinted in water during dilution is responsible for this peculiar phenomenon. But the sad part of this story is that he failed to prove his arguments in the repeated experiments which were conducted in an atmosphere of absolute hostility, under the supervision of experts who were inimical to him, whose sole aim was to disprove him.
If we carefully examine the history of Benevenite’s failure, we would understand that it was not his basic propositions that failed, but the experiments he was subjected to, in order to to prove his arguements. Firstly, his argument that the drugs so diluted to the extend of making it impossible to contain a single molecule,can interfere in biological processes exactly mimicking the basic drug substance was a little exagerated interpretation of results of his original experiments. This inaccurate interpretation of the phenomena he observed, led him to agree to subject himself to inappropriate experiments, that were obviously designed to defeat him. He failed to observe that the molecular memory of the drug substances is imprinted into water in a negative direction, in complementary configuration. Put in another way, drug molecules will be imprinted in water not as exact configurational duplicates, but as negative complements, and hence, they cannot mimic the original drug molecules in biological processes.
Failure to understand this phenomenon was a great mistake, that cost heavy to him. His conclusion that the molecular imprinted water interferes in biochemical processes exactly like the original drug molecules proved to be immature. He failed to comprehend the exact mechanism of molecular imprinting in water, and design the experiments accordingly. Had he understood the real mechanism of molecular imprinting, he would have studied about the unsteady behaviour of hydration shells in water, and taken necessary precautions, before subjecting himself to a controlled experiment. He could have devised some techniques to ensure the stability of hydration shells, such as using alcohol-water mixture instead of pure water, as done in homoeopathic potentization.
Please note, he tried to explain it as ‘molecular memory’ that can mimick the original molecules. Molecular imprints never can ‘mimic’ original molecules. They can only bind to original molecules and deactivate them.
If drug molecules are ‘keys’, ‘mimics’ would act as ‘duplicate keys’. But ‘molecular imprints’ act as ‘artificial keyholes’ for those ‘keys’ and ‘similar ‘ keys. This point is very important. If we forget this point, we cannot explain ‘molecular imprints’ or ‘similia similibus curentur’.
If beneviste could have perceived the concept of ‘molecular imprints’ acting as not as ‘duplicate keys’ but as ‘artificial keyholes’, he would have designed his experiments accordingly, so that he can prove that ‘molecular imprints’ can ‘antidote’ or ‘deactivate’ original molecules, thereby preventing them from interacting with biological molecules.
Since ‘anti- IgE antiserum’ contains natural ligands of enzymes involved in human basophil de-granulation, ‘molecular imprints’ of anti- IgE antiserum cannot be prevent their natural interaction. We should not forget that ‘molecular imprints’ cannot interfere in the interaction between biological targets and their natural ligands. In the absence of this understanding, the experiments of beneveniste were wrongly designed, and were inevitably bound to fail.
‘Molecular imprints’ can prevent only ‘off-target’ actions of biological ligands. For example, we use potentized thyroid extract, which contain molecular imprints of various thyroid hormones having specific roles in metabolism. Potentized thyroidinum never interferes in the natural biological actions of thyroid hormones. But those molecular imprints can rectify the pathological conditions caused by ‘off-target’ bindings of thyroid hormones, especially in situations of hyperthyroidism. This is applicable to all potentized hormone remedies. They never interfere in normal biological actions of those hormones.
Reason behind this phenomenon is related with the dynamics of molecular interactions. Interactions between natural targets and their ligands involves two factors: configurational affinity and charge affinity. But interactions of ‘molecular imprints’ and their ‘ligands’ involves ‘configurational affinity’ only, without any charge affinity.