OxyFile #442

A Note on Mitogenetic Radiation and Oxygen

Vladimir Voeikov

All living things are very far from equilibrium with their surroundings.
Coming to equilibrium means death. One of the manifistations of this
stable non-equilibricity is ultra-weak photon emission in the optical
region of the spectrum, that is intrinsic to all living things. It was
discovered by Alexander Gurvich in 1923 and named by him "mitogenetic
radiation". He proved that all living cells and tissues emit ultra-weak
radiation in the UV-range and this radiation has the most important
functional role. It triggers  division of cells and influences many
other vital functions in the whole organism.

Gurwich was also the first to show that free radical forms of oxygen
play a major role in origination of mitogenetic radiation. Unlike
current widespread notion that free radicals are only harmful for the
organism, he demonstrated that even in those enzymatic processes,
in which no oxidative steps are evident (like proteolysis, glycolysis,
ets) oxygen plays some important role. These enzymatic reactions are
followed with mitogenetic radiation only in the presence of oxygen, and
activity of enzymes in the presence of oxygen is higher, then in its
absence. As a matter of fact, at that very time two other prominent
Russian biochemists, A. Bach and A. Oparin (the latter is widely known
as the author of a hypothesis of life origin on Earth) found that some
enzymes completely inactivated by boiling can be revived in the presence
of oxygen and some substances, known as "respiratory pigments". The
latter are supposedly able to activate molecular oxygen. These
discoveries were never refuted. Ordinary research workers just did not
even try to reproduce these results because they contradicted major
dogmas of biochemistry.

Currently myself and my collegues are reviving this area of
research basing on the newest achievements in biology, physics and
chemistry. It turns out that a lot of discoveries made in the
period between the WW I and the WW II and later forgotten need
urgent reevaluation.

A lot of new and old, but rejuvenating kinds of therapy (to name
just a few: all kinds of bio-oxidative therapy, UV-light blood
irradiation, low-level lazer therapy, that is very popular now in
Russia, homeopathy) need for their understanding and development
synthesis of both new and old ideas. It seems more and more probable
that such different treatments focus on oxygen activation in human body.
All kinds of electromagnetic wave irradiation of blood and other
biological liquids, desintegration of ozone or hydrogen peroxide give
birth to reactive oxygen species (ROS). The latter initiate multiple
cascade processes in the organism. 

Evidently, this cascade begins from much better utilization of
haemoglobin-bound molecular oxygen. It may seem unbelievable, but an
animal or human being may gradually suffocate to death even when there
is enough oxygen in the air, but when something elusive is absent from
it. This elusive substance was traced by another great Russian scientist
again at these very years. Alexander Chizhevsky proved in 1919-1922 that
when concentration of "negatively charged aero-ions" (they are known now
as "superoxide anion radicals") becomes much lower than 1 000 ions/ml of
air, oxygen molecules are poorly utilized by the organism. More then
that - if net concentration of positively charged aero-ions (such as
H3O+, for example), exceeds that of negative ions, very fast suffocation
may follow! Naturally, his discovery was first met with great
scepticism: it indicated that molecular oxygen is inactive in an
organism without a substance, concentration of which is 15-18 orders of
magnitude lower than that of oxygen (isn't it a solid example of
homeopathic action of at least one substance?). But his evidence was so
hard that by the end of 30-ies "Chizhevsky's lusters" -- devices for
artificial generation of 02- -- were on sale in many countries, though
mechanism of "aeroions'" action was still unclear, as in fact it is
today. Unfortunatly, after in 1942 Chizhevsky was put in GULAG
Archipelago and he spent 16 years there. His name was forgotten both in
Russia and elsewhere.

The problem here is in the mechanism of amplification, and my collegues
and me are looking if Gurwich was right explaining enormous
amplification of very weak signals by the mechanism of branching chain
reactions. As a matter of fact, this type of chemical reaction was
discovered also at the end of 20-ies - by Nicolai Semenov in Russia and
Cyrill Hinshelwood in Britain (the discovery of branching chain
reactions in physics that lead to construction of an atomic bomb and of
nuclear power station was made later -- before the WWII). According to
Gurwich's ideas initial electron excitation of some molecular substrate
in a living cell leads by a certain mechanism to generation of reactive
oxygen species. As soon as they appear propagation of the process by
means of branching becomes possible. Most important in his concept is
that generation of increasing number of active species is provided in
the first place by a radiation-less energy transduction, rather then by
collision of diffusing free radicals and other active substances. When
cells or tissues lose this energy into their environment it can be
registered as "mitogenetic radiation", or UV-photons.

Our research shows that Gurwich was right. This conclusion is very
important. Branching chain reactions differ from ordinary (linear) chain
reactions in that they may be triggered by a very weak stimulus,
adequate to the system on which it acts, and then the system
reacts to it using its own potential energy. In the course of this
reaction more and more energy is freed of initially "inert" substrate. 
Besides similarities there are fundamental difference between branching
chain reactions known from chemistry and physics, on the one hand, and
normally proceeding in biological systems, on the other.The first are
usually of explosive type: both the system and its surroundings are
destroyed due to their development. In biology these reactions go as
self-controlled, and they result in construction, rather then
destruction (of course if regulatory mechanisms work properly). However,
if self-regulation of biological branching chain reaction intensity is
for any reasons broken, either "explosion", or fading, or serial
combination of both follow. 

One may ask: what does all this have to do with oxytherapy? First, all
 branching chain reaction known from chemistry are of oxidative
type due to specific properties of oxygen - biradical molecule. It
itself is the energy store, but the appropriate "key" is needed to
free this energy and to convert it to monoradical or other
reactive species of oxygen. Second, I think, it is rather important
to recognize the real nature of regulatory mechanisms, that prevent
from uncontrolled radical propagation and transformation of
"beneficial" oxygen radicals into really hasardous other forms of
radicals, and in the first place - macromolecular radicals.
Current concepts of "antioxidants" are very naive from this point
of view. Their application without knowledge of physical and
chemical mechanisms controlling development and attenuation of
branching chain reactions in the organism may bring more harm then good.

The majority of papers and books concerning this area of science
had been published in Russian and in German. I know only one
excellent assay on mitogenetic radiation in English - "Invisible
radiations of organisms" by Otto Rahn. Gebruder Borntraeger,
Berlin, 1936, though Gurwich's concept of branching chain reaction is
not described in this book.

Vladimir Voeikov, 
Ph. D. (biophysics and biochemistry)
Associate Professor of Bioorganic Chemistry,
Faculty of Biology,
Lomonosov Moscow State University
E-mail: VVL@ecol.msu.ru