From high dilutions to digital biology: the physical nature of the biological signal

Homeopathy. 2015 Oct;104(4):295-300. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2015.06.008. Epub 2015 Aug 24.


The memory of water was a radical idea that arose in the laboratory of Jacques Benveniste in the late 1980s. Twenty-five years have passed and yet the often angry debate on its merits continues despite the increasing number of scientists who have reported confirmation of the basic results. One working hypothesis was that molecules can communicate with each other, exchanging information without being in physical contact and that at least some biological functions can be mimicked by certain energetic modes characteristics of a given molecule. These considerations informed exploratory research which led to the speculation that biological signaling might be transmissible by electromagnetic means. Around 1991, the transfer of specific molecular signals to sensitive biological systems was achieved using an amplifier and electromagnetic coils. In 1995, a more sophisticated procedure was established to record, digitize and replay these signals using a multimedia computer. From a physical and chemical perspective, these experiments pose a riddle, since it is not clear what mechanism can sustain such 'water memory' of the exposure to molecular signals. From a biological perspective, the puzzle is what nature of imprinted effect (water structure) can impact biological function. A parallel can be drawn between this debate on the memory of water, which presumes that the action of molecules is mediated by an electromagnetic phenomenon, and the often acrimonious debate on the transmission of nerve influxes via synaptic transfer of specific molecules, neurotransmitters. The latter debate began in 1921 with the first experiments by Loewi and was still active in 1949, 28 years later. A strong reluctance to accept research that questions basic aspects of long-accepted biochemical paradigms is to be expected. In this paper we will provide a brief summary of experiments relating to the memory of water: the earlier work on high dilutions (HD) and then the experiments, which followed and continue today, on digital biology.

Keywords: Benveniste; Digital biology; High dilutions (HD); Memory of water.

MeSH terms

  • Homeopathy / methods*
  • Humans
  • Indicator Dilution Techniques*
  • Memory / physiology*
  • Research
  • Water / chemistry


  • Water