A biological transmutation is defined as a nuclear transmutation occurring in a living organism. Such transmutations are strongly believed not to occur according to mainstream physics, chemistry and biology, however proponents of the hypothesis claim to have empirical evidence that they do.
In 1960's, Louis Kervran claimed to have conducted some experiments and studies demonstrating phenomena such as anomalous increase of calcium and decrease of potassium levels during the formation of egg shells. Here, "anomalous" refers to a violation of the Lavoisier principle. He has formulated the biological transmutation hypothesis as an explanation for such phenomena.
For example, one of the claims is that biological organisms can transmute potassium into calcium by the addition of one hydrogen nucleus: K39 + H1 = Ca40. None of the fusing elements would be travelling at high velocity since biological organisms lack any mechanism to do this. The environment would have neither high pressure nor high temperature since no biological organisms could survive the required pressure and temperature, not even for extremely short periods of time. This amounts to having a nuclear fusion reaction in a low energy environment, which would go against basic physical laws.
Proponents interested in biological transmutations fall outside the mainstream and are not part of the scientific discourse. Since these anomalies are not independently observed the foremost challenge to these claims is that the evidence is flawed. The "anomalous" evidence is either the result of experimental error or intentional falsification. Even if the evidence were reliable the biological transmutation hypothesis does not fit within mainstream theory. According to current models, nuclear reactions, such as transmutations, require large amounts of energy per particle. The required energy density is far larger than the energy densities manipulated by known molecular biology systems which function within the scale of chemical reactions. In addition, known nuclear reactions produce ionizing radiation, which has not been detected and would be damaging to biological systems.
Defenders of the transmutation hypothesis have suggested some explanatory theories. To this day, these theories have not been mentioned, corroborated or developed by other scientists.
Proponents state that the strong interactions that take place in known nuclear processes (particle accelerators, atomic bombs, nuclear reactors, or stars) do not rule out that other nuclear processes may rely on the so-called "weak" interactions. Kervran introduced a new theory of "weak" interactions by "neutral currents", claiming that the enzymes can not only facilitate chemical reactions but also facilitate biological transmutations. Kervran proposed the idea that a sea of neutrinos or bosons brings high energy to the reaction and carries away the excess energy and the possibility of radioactive products, thus addressing some criticism.
Kervran claims that physical laws that apply to physical high energy reactions do not apply to biological reactions. He named them "biological transmutation at low energy". Mainstream physicists say that biological reactions are chemical reactions, and that all chemicals reactions follow the same set of rules — in other words, it doesn't matter that the reaction happens inside a cyclotron or inside the body of a living entity.
Another supporter of Biological transmutations can be found in Solomon Goldfein who noted that MgATP (Magnesium-Adenosine Triphosphate) had the configuration of a cyclotron on a molecular scale. There has been no reported follow ups to Goldfein's work and again it lies well outside mainstream physics, biology, and coordination chemistry.
In 2003, Russian researchers claimed to have converted nuclear waste into non-radioactive elements using microbiological cultures, as well as the transmutation of manganese into iron in microbiological cultures.
The basic principles behind biological transmutation are similar to those behind the philosophy of Yin and Yang. For example, philosopher George Ohsawa wrote in 1982 a condensation of Kervran's claims, re-interpreting the reactions as recombinations of Ying and Yang, and saying that he had himself managed to transmute carbon into iron, obtaining in 1966-02-04 French Patent number FR1427109 titled " Fabrication d'aciers spéciaux par transmutation à faible énergie"
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In 2011, Prof. Vladimir I. Vysotskii of Shevchenko University taught a course about the applications of biological transmutations at International Conference on Cold Fusion (ICCF) 16, 2010 at the SRM University (SRMU), Kattankulathur, India:
The course went over a number of topics including:
- Study of hard or soft radioactivity effects on DNA and free radicals;
- Questions about DNA repairing and stability in low rate irradiation;
- Study and applications of activated water in biology and medicine;
- Study of isotopic anomalies in living systems, and possible nuclear reactions in biological and microbiological systems;
- Ecology of radiations and question of using and deactivation of nuclear waste.
- Tibor Müller, Harmund Müller (2003), Modelling in natural sciences: design, validation, and case studies (illustrated ed.), Springer, pp. 24–29, ISBN 3-540-00153-0
- Robert Sheaffer (September–October 1998), "Uncritical Publicity for Supposed 'Independent UFO Investigation' Demonstrates Media Gullibility", Skeptical Inquirer 22.5, "[The Journal of Scientific Exploration has the intention] to publish supposedly scientific papers on '[list of paranormal and pseudoscientific topics], apparent chemical or biological transmutation (alchemy), etc.' Despite the impressive jargon and in some cases the impressive academic degrees of the authors, these papers have been absolutely unconvincing to mainstream scientific journals and organizations, and, far from pointing the way to further research, they have been quite deliberately ignored."
- Winners of the Ig Nobel Prize, Improbable Research
- Louis Kervran, "Biological evidence of low energy transmutations", Maloine, 1975 (See "Final Note" by Costa de Beauregard)
- Louis Kervran, "Biological Transmutations and Modern Physics", Maloine, 1982, p.40ff.
- Report 2247 (May 1978), "Energy Development from Elemental Transmutations in Biological Systems" for the U.S. Army Mobility Equipment Research and Development Command, Ft. Belvoir, Va. Goldfein
- Vysotskii, V., et al. "Successful Experiments On Utilization Of High-Activity Waste In The Process Of Transmutation In Growing Associations Of Microbiological Cultures". in Tenth International Conference on Cold Fusion. 2003. Cambridge, MA
- Vladimir I. Vysotskii, Alla A. Kornilova, Igor I. Samoylenko (1998), "Experimental discovery and investigation of the phenomenon of low-energy nuclear transmutation of isotopes of metals (Mn55 TO Fe57) in growing biological cultures", in Philippe Collery, Metal Ions in Biology and Medicine, Volumen 5, John Libbey Eurotext, pp. 77–82, ISBN 2-7420-0214-6
- Prof. Vladimir I. Vysotskii, Kiev National Shevchenko University, Biological Nuclear Transmutations : Historical Perspective and Applications, Course on transmutations, ICCF 16, SRM University, Kattankulathur campus, Chennai, Inde, 15 Février 2011
- Nuclear Fusion and Transmutation of Isotopes in Biological Systems by Vladimir I. Vysotskii and Alla A. Kornilova, Moscow, MIR, 2003
- Nuclear Transmutation of Stable and Radioactive Isotopes in Biological Systems by Vladimir I. Vysotskii, Alla A. Kornilova, Pentagon Press, ISBN 978-81-8274-430-1, Publication Year: 2010
- (French) Une histoire des transmutations biologiques
- Thorough list of experiments going back to 1822:
- Roger Lewin (1972-12-21), "Biological transmutations by C.L. Kervran (Book review)", New Scientist 56 (825): 717–718