Bios-Materials Research (BMR) Initiative


  • BMR Symposium Program - 19 August 2004

  • Photo Summary from BMR Symposium (note: viewable with Internet Explorer, but not Netscape for some reason)

  • Work-Study Positions Available Fall 2004

  • Annotated References

    We are proposing to create a new center whose focus will be to study the interface between living systems and normal materials research (the structure and properties of condensed matter and the effects of radiation). By living systems, we refer to organisms, plants, animals and humans.

    The fields of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and Whole Person Healing (WPH) contain a wealth of scientific data involving the human/materials research interface that appear to contradict the Western scientific paradigm. Penn State University is uniquely positioned to exploit this scientific arena, give it solid scientific underpinnings and discover broader applications arising from this bios-materials interface. The Penn State Materials Research Institute is highly regarded as a reputable, high-tech resource, and CAM-WPH practitioners have begun to contact us to subject their healing-related devices and samples to rigorous scientific scrutiny. This opportunity gives us access to new materials samples and devices that are unavailable to other institutions and holds promise to help Penn State MRI remain on the forefront of materials research while bridging the gap with the life sciences.

    Electromagnetic and acoustical healing devices have a long history in medicine, largely beginning in the mid-1800’s in tandem with the development of electromagnetic theory. At that time, there were many unexplained phenomena that today we know can begin to be understood - perhaps even proven - using the quantum physics model. Further, at that time, it was not possible to detect or measure “healing energy” from a human being. Today, with high-tech instrumentation, we now have key tools with which to quantifiably measure such previously esoteric fields and energies. The combination of high-tech equipment, the latest theories in physics (quantum, gauge theory, etc.), and a wealth of solid scientific data indicating undeniable “healing effects” that cannot be attributed to placebo response, create a solid foundation on which to build a possible national center for scientific investigation of devices used in healing. We envision that one virtually certain and valuable outcome of the proposed BMR Center will be to create a national database on electromagnetic devices employed in healing, assisting medical practitioners and government agencies in determining what devices have real merit, and setting new benchmarks and standards for such devices. Furthermore the empirical scientific data may provide us with more insight on the mechanisms of these phenomena and new ideas for applications.

    A second key aspect of electromagnetic and acoustical healing devices is the very recently realized role of resonance phenomena. Numerous devices have been constructed which target unhealthy cells, viruses or other microorganisms and literally destroy them by vibrating them at their resonance frequency. Non-contact ultrasound is being tested for commercial use in this capacity to destroy insect pests in wood that is imported - the collaborative work of Kelli Hoover in Penn State’s College of Agriculture with Penn State alumnus Mahesh Bhardwaj (materials scientist). This application exemplifies the benefits of BMR collaborations. At Berkshire Laboratories, Juliana Brooks (and her two dozen major patents) has taken resonance frequency applications to radically new levels by replacing catalysts in chemical reactions with their spectral frequency energy signatures, blurring the distinction between solid matter and matter-as-energy. Berkshire has so far worked only with Penn State, and with their move from Ohio to Baltimore, that interaction is sure to increase. Information gleaned from investigations and collaborations in this realm of resonance phenomena not only helps us shift our medical system from biochemical to energy-based approaches, but holds equal promise for developing new materials, methods and technologies with applications in agriculture, health, materials and engineering.

    Funded for 2004 by a seed grant from the Materials Research Institute and Huck Life Sciences Institute, the BMR Group is currently in formation and welcomes interested faculty. Our first 1-day national symposium took place on August 19, 2004 at the MRI (see program above; post-symposium report to be posted soon).

    Tania Slawecki - 105 MRL (5-0265)
    Rick Hoover - 105 MRL (5-0265)
    Rustum Roy (Emeritus) - 102 MRL (5-3421)

    Amar Bhalla - PSU MRI
    Sridhar Komarneni - PSU MRI
    Will White - PSU MRI (Emeritus)
    Michael Silsbee - PSU MRI
    Robert Berghage - PSU Horticulture
    Gordon Fleming - PSU Physics (Emeritus)
    Julian Metter - Practicing Psychologist, State College
    Charles Palmer - PSU Hershey Medical Center
    David Hufford - PSU Hershey Medical Center
    Dennis Clark - Arizona State University - Botany/Life Sciences
    Sandwip Dey - Arizona State University - Materials/EE
    Iris Bell - University of Arizona - M.D., Program in Integrative Medicine
    Melinda Connor - University of Arizona - Biofield Research Center