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6.16.2003

 
Icy claim that water has memory

Claims do not come much more controversial than the idea that water might retain a memory of substances once dissolved in it. The notion is central to homeopathy, which treats patients with samples so dilute they are unlikely to contain a single molecule of the active compound, but it is generally ridiculed by scientists.

Holding such a heretical view famously cost one of France's top allergy researchers, Jacques Benveniste, his funding, labs and reputation after his findings were discredited in 1988.

Yet a paper is about to be published in the reputable journal Physica A claiming to show that even though they should be identical, the structure of hydrogen bonds in pure water is very different from that in homeopathic dilutions of salt solutions. Could it be time to take the "memory" of water seriously?


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