Amazing Scientific Discovery #1: Can DNA Talk?

by Edward Goldstick

In early January, I sent Jim Fallows a link to a piece on Slashdot that seems incredible...

"...DNA performs quantum teleportation"

...were it not that the origin is the Nobel-Prize winner, Dr. Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer the AIDS virus.

I read (or tried to read, to be more exact) the original post elsewhere that attempts to describe the quantum phenomena that apparently have been detected and then tried to dissect the original scientific publication of these measurements ... but it was frankly too fantastic to pursue immediately; after all, it was going to make a good post here.

But now, fortunately, I have found a more "down-to-earth" presentation of this discovery here from the end of January, and the potential significance is clearer (if true).

I'll allow the readers to discover the "surprise" themselves (and for what it's worth, while living in France I received the "prescription" on a few occasions but was never convinced that it was efficacious).

More amazing discoveries soon, perhaps.

P.S.: The second link will interest the China watchers among you because it also explains that Dr. Montagnier has landed comfortably at his own research institute in Shanghai. I do not know the background but will check the French press. Only time will tell what it represents concerning the flows of brainpower to and from our various parts of the world.... Well, it didn't take long to find it, but in French in Le Monde ... so here's a translation (from Google but with corrections):

Professor Luc Montagnier recruited by a Chinese university

LEMONDE.FR with AFP | 06.12.10 | 9:07

[EG: This was only four days before the Nobel Prize ceremony with Liu Xiaobo absent... just a coincidence? However, I decided to not look for an article on a Chinese website.]

Professor Luc Montagnier, co-discoverer of the AIDS virus in 1983 and winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008, was recruited by a Chinese university that is committed to establish an institute in his name.

The famous medical doctor, aged 78, is going there to lead a team of researchers within the science department of the prestigious Jiaotong University in Shanghai in eastern China, which publishes an annual ranking of world universities.

"RAPID DEVELOPMENT OF CHINESE EDUCATION"

The hiring of Luc Montagnier was formalized in a nominating ceremony on November 18, according to a statement issued Saturday, December 4 by Jiaotong University. The chairman of the Communist Party of the university, Zhang Jie, said that recruitment of the Nobel Prize winner was evidence of the "rapid development of economy, science and technology, education -- especially higher education - Chinese".

Professor Montagnier was co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 2008 with the virologist Francoise Barre-Sinoussi for having co-discovered the virus that causes AIDS. He has devoted twenty-five years of his life to work on this problem. At the age of 65 years, French law forced him to retire. "A dishonorable, scandalous measure which may provoke a French brain drain", he indignantly stated.

UPDATE (2/18, 5 p.m.): After receiving a strongly argued alert from my fellow blogger Mark Bernstein about the basic research presented here, I contacted an old friend who runs a virology lab at a major U.S. university and his reaction was, well, let's say less than charitable (though he did add that he hardly got past the abstract and the opening paragraphs).

This doesn't mean that Professor Montagnier and his team are charlatans or that the Chinese are hoodwinked, but being "very wary," as suggested by Mark, seems reasonable. I offer that here so as to preempt a flood of responses one way or the other.

Edward Goldstick is a veteran of the high-tech, software, defense, and energy-technology worlds in the U.S. and France.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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