Bacteria on the Radio: DNA Could Act as Antenna via “Wired”



The original report of bacterial radio transmissions was made by French virologist Luc Montagnier, who in 2009 described how inductor coils wrapped around flasks of bacteria-enriched water and hooked to an amplifier detected signals in the 1-kilohertz range.


Something is happening around a kilohertz,” said Widom, lead author of a paper posted April 15 on the preprint website arXiv. “You have to look for natural energy levels in the system that would give you a kilohertz frequency. With the lengths of DNA and the mass of the electron, you get the right frequency range for these signals.”



Note: Solving equations for DNA length & electron mass confirms Nobelist finding on bacterial DNA emitting 1KHz signals




Figure: Screen capture from above publication


Widom noted that electromagnetic radio transmissions were not in principle so different from electron transmission between bacteria connected by nanowires. Such bacteria have been described in recent years. Their nanowire-enabled transmissions may allow networked microbes to communicate.


“This could be a wireless version,” said Widom. “Bacteria that set up nanowires are, on an evolutionary scale, fairly old. It’s occurred to me that more modern bacteria may use wireless.”




How Bacteria Could Generate Radio waves via the “MIT Tech Review”


“The notion that bacteria can transmit radio waves is controversial. But physicists now say they know how it could be done”


“(…) Many types of bacterial DNA take the form of circular loops. So they’ve modelled the behaviour of free electrons moving around such a small loop, pointing out that, as quantum objects, the electrons can take certain energy levels.


Widom and co calculate that the transition frequencies between these energy levels correspond to radio signals broadcast at 0.5, 1 and 1.5 kilohertz. And they point out that exactly this kind of signal has been measured in E Coli bacteria.”





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A Novel Evolutionary Concept: Primitive bacteria use nanowires and modern bacteria may use wireless


Excerpt from Wired article:


Widom noted that electromagnetic radio transmissions were not in principle so different from electron transmission between bacteria connected by nanowires. Such bacteria have been described in recent years. Their nanowire-enabled transmissions may allow networked microbes to communicate.


“This could be a wireless version,” said Widom. “Bacteria that set up nanowires are, on an evolutionary scale, fairly old. It’s occurred to me that more modern bacteria may use wireless.”




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Bacterial DNA emits electromagnetic waves in resonance with ambient electromagnetic background (e.g. 50Hz power lines)


DNA functions as a loop wire, where electrons move. It functions as an antenna.


Specific sequences identified, such as a gene linked to host binding and therefore pathogenicity.


In 2009, French virologist Luc Montagnier, 2008 Nobel laureate for the discovery of HIV, places an inductor coil around a flask of E.coli and detects electromagnetic emission of bacteria.


Notes from publication:

Montagnier, L. et al 2009. Electromagnetic signals are produced by aqueous nanostructures derived from bacterial DNA sequences. Interdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci 1:81-90



In preliminary experiments, upon addition of 1% formaldehyde which leads to protein denaturation (and therefore bacteria destruction), but does not affect the genetic material, the same signal is emitted. This suggests that the DNA could be the source of the signal.


Indeed, upon DNA isolation with classic methods, the same signal is detected as from intact bacteria. (And DNAse treatment eliminates it).


An interesting phenomenon emerges upon serial dilutions:

A low dilution (e.g. presence of 1000 molecules) is a non-emitter.  

A medium dilution (e.g. 100 molecules) is an emitter.

A high dilution (e.g. 10 molecules) is a non-emitter.


In the image below the signal from another bacterium, Mycoplasma pirum is presented. The control shows very low frequencies up to 50Hz probably generated at least in part by the 50/60 Hz ambient electric current. Fourier analysis of the M. pirum signals showed a shift towards higher frequencies close to 1000 Hz and multiples of it.



Figure: (Figure 2 of the publication) "Detection of EMS from a suspension of Mycoplasma pirum: Left: background noise (from an unfiltered suspension or a negative low dilution). Right: positive signal (from a high dilution D-7 (10-7)). (a) actual recording (2 seconds from a 6 second recording) after WaveLab (Steinberg) treatment; (b) detailed analysis of the signal (scale in millisecondes); (c) Matlab 3D Fourier transform analyzis (abcissa: 0-20 kHz, ordinate: relative intensity, 3D dimension: recording at different times); Frequencies are visualized in different colors; (d) Sigview Fourier transform: note the new harmonics in the range of 1 000-3 000 Hz.


Note: Use of device by Benveniste and Coll (1996; 2003) consisting of a coil (bobbin of copper wire with impedance of 300 Ohms) and an amplifier (x500) for the detection of signals produced by isolated molecules with biological activity. 


What causes this signal? It is an outside ambient source?

Place in mu-metal box that shields from ambient sources.

The emission will last several hours, sometimes up to 48 hours.


It therefore appears that this is a resonance phenomenon triggered by the ambient electromagnetic background of very low frequency waves. In this case, the DNA functions as an antenna.


A very more interesting phenomenon emerges when dilutions are brought in proximity:

When a low dilution tube (non-emitter) is placed next to medium dilution tube (emitter), the latter stops emitting.

Potential explanation: Interference of multiples sources emitting in same wavelength or slightly out of phase cancels out emission. Similarity to radio jamming.




Excerpts from publication:


“Emission   of   similar   electromagnetic   signals   was also observed with some other bacterial species such as:   Streptococcus  B,  Staphylococcus  aureus,  Pseudomonas  aeroginosa,  Proteus  mirabilis,  Bacillus  subtilis,  Salmonella,  Clostridium  perfringens,  all  in  the same range of dilutions observed for E. Coli, and only after filtration at 100 nM (and not at 20 nM).”


Most of the bacteria that are pathogenic for humans are emitters. “By contrast, probiotic “good” bacteria as Lactobacillus and their DNA are negative for EMS emission.”


“Importantly, the transfer effect between two tubes, one silent, one loud, was only observed if both contained dilutions of the same bacterial species. In other words, a Staphylococcus  donor  tube  could  only  “talk”  with a receiver tube containing a Staphylococcus dilution, and not with a tube of Streptococcus or E. Coli, and reciprocally. These results indicate that the transfer effect is mediated by species-specific signals, the frequencies of which remain to be analyzed.”


As pathogenicity is often associated with the capacity of the microorganism to bind eukaryotic cells, particulary mucosal cells, we focussed our analysis again to M. pirum DNA, where a single gene (adhesin:  126-kDa protein) is responsible for the adhesion of the mycoplasma to human cells. This gene had previously been cloned and sequenced in our laboratory (Tham et al., 1994)."


"In the case of E. Coli, we found that some strains used to carry plasmids for gene cloning were also negative (Fig. 8)."


"By contrast when the strain was transformed with either plasmids carrying an adhesin gene fragment, EMS were produced (Fig. 8). The two adhesin DNA fragments were then cut by specific restriction enzymes (...) isolated by electrophoresis in 0.8% agarose gel. Each DNA fragment was able to induce EMS (not shown)."



"Morever,  EMS  can  be  detected  also  from  RNA viruses,  such as HIV, influenza virus A, Hepatitis C Virus."


"In patients infected with HIV, EMS can be detected mostly in patients treated by antiretroviral therapy and having  a  very  low  viral  load  in  their  plasma."


Electromagnetic detection of HIV DNA in the blood of AIDS patients treated by antiretroviral therapy.



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Washington post article on Luc Montagnier


Luc Montagnier won the Nobel prize for the discovery of HIV




FEMS Microbiology Letters Review citing Luc Montagnier


Electromagnetic wave signal as a cause of microbial pathogenicity


Luc Montagnier won the 2008 Nobel Prize for the discovery of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, since 2009, he has proposed that novel electromagnetic energy signals emanate from the DNA of bacterial pathogens (Montagnier et al., 2009a). The electromagnetic radiation is of low frequency (about 1000 Hz) and survives extraordinary dilution, reminiscent of Benveniste’s highly diluted immunoglobulin molecules. Montagnier defended Benveniste’s claims (Enserink, 2010) and reported positive effects at dilutions at least 1018 times, using equipment designed by Benveniste (Montagnier et al., 2009a). The effect passed through filters that would hold back bacterial cells and was attributed to DNA in solution (Montagnier et al., 2011). The electromagnetic radiation passed from the initial radiation-emitting plastic tube to a nearby receiving tube. Montagnier et al. (2009b) also found electromagnetic radiation from DNA of HIV-infected cells from patients with AIDS. Of course, this is beyond the fringe. The negative reaction in France caused Montagnier to relocate to a new institute in Shanghai, China (Enserink, 2010).




DNA is a fractal antenna in electromagnetic fields


(Includes letter to the authors that is freely available and reply by the authors).




Electromagnetic Signaling - DARPA's "RadioBio" Program


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Nine most important ions for the human body

There are nine types of most essential ions of our body which play a dynamic role in supporting and sustaining health and life. Out of nine, five are positively charged ions and four are negatively charged ions. The positively charged ions are called cations as these collect at the negative electrode or cathode during electrolysis; these are Na+ (Sodium ion), K+ (Potassium ion), Ca++ (Calcium ion), Mg++ (Magnesium ion) and H+ (Hydrogen ion). The negatively charged ions are called anions as these collect at positive electrode or anode during electrolysis; these are Cl- (Chloride ion), HCO3- (Bicarbonate ion), PO43- (Phosphate ion) and OH- (Hydroxyl ion).




Non-thermal effects of Electromagnetic Radiation on Biological Systems and Magnetic Resonance


Excerpts from the paper The Cell Phone and the Cell - the Role of Calcium


This link contains formatting which makes the paper easier to read



Removal of Ca2+ from cell membranes by electromagnetic radiation

Cyclotron resonance/Magnetic resonance

When ions are in a magnetic field such as the field of the earth they precess with a characteristic frequency, they wooble/"orbit around its magnetic lines". "If they are simultaneously exposed to an alternating field at this frequency, they absorb its energy and increase the diameter of their orbits, which also increases their energy of motion and chemical activity."


"We have known since the work of Suzanne Bawin and her co-workers (Bawin et al. 1975) that electromagnetic radiation that is far too weak to cause significant heating can nevertheless remove radioactively labelled calcium ions from cell membranes. Later, Carl Blackman showed that this occurs only with weak radiation, and then only within one or more “amplitude windows“, above and below which there is little or no effect (Blackman et al. 1982; Blackman 1990).


Bawin SM, Kaczmarek KL, Adey WR (1975), Effects of modulated VHF fields on the central nervous system. Ann NY Acad Sci 247: 74-81


"However, the extra charges on the divalent ions such as calcium and magnesium are literally their undoing. They let weak alternating electromagnetic fields remove them selectively from the membrane, which can have dire metabolic consequences."



Frequency effects

"If they are to remove calcium in this way, the fields must be alternating. Low frequencies work best because they allow more time for dislodged calcium ions to diffuse clear of the cell membrane and be replaced by different ions, before the field reverses. Pulses are more effective than smooth sine waves because their rapid rise and fall times catapult the ions quickly away from the membrane and leave even more time for them to be replaced by different ions before the field reverses. This is probably why the pulsed radiation from mobile phones can be particularly damaging."


Radio waves

"High frequency electromagnetic fields such as radio waves have relatively little biological effect unless they are amplitude modulated with a low biologically-active frequency. In amplitude modulation, the signal strength of the radio wave rises and falls in time with the low modulating frequency (200 Hz – 800 Hz for most military/weather radars), but this has much the same effect in dislodging calcium ions as the raw low frequency.


Some low frequencies are unusually effective, either on their own or when used to modulate radio waves. This may be due to resonance. An example is 16Hz, which is the ion cyclotron resonance frequency of potassium ions in the Earths magnetic field.


Ion cyclotron resonance

Cyclotron resonance occurs when ions move in a steady magnetic field such as that of the Earth. They go into orbit around its lines of force at a characteristic frequency, which depends on the charge to mass ratio of the ion and the strength of the steady field (see Liboff et al. 1990). If they are simultaneously exposed to an alternating field at this frequency, they absorb its energy and increase the diameter of their orbits, which also increases their energy of motion and chemical activity.


Potassium resonance is particularly important because potassium is by far the most abundant positive ion in the cytosols of living cells, where it outnumbers calcium by about ten thousand to one. It is therefore the ion most likely to replace any calcium that has been lost by electromagnetic exposure. An increase in the chemical activity of potassium will therefore have a major impact on its ability to replace calcium. Consequently, calcium loss is enhanced at the resonant frequency for potassium. Also, any metabolic consequences of this calcium loss may be similarly enhanced. So if we discover bioelectromagnetic responses that peak or trough at 16Hz, this is evidence that it may stem from divalent ion depletion in membranes.


In fact, many biological responses appear to peak at around the resonant frequency for potassium. These include stimulations of the growth of yeast (Mehedintu & Berg 1997) and higher plants (Smith et al. 1993), changes in rate of locomotion in diatoms (McLeod et al. 1987), and the especially severe neurophysiological symptoms reported by electrosensitive people exposed to the radiation from TETRA handsets (which is pulsed at 17.6Hz). All of this supports the notion that a large number of the biological responses to weak electromagnetic radiation stem from the loss of calcium (and possibly other divalent ions) from cell membranes."


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Ion Cyclotron Resonance


Bioengineering and Biophysical Aspects of Electromagnetic Fields

Link to book 





Electromagnetic Gating in Ion Channels

J Theor Biol. 1992 Sep 7;158(1):15-31.

Electromagnetic gating in ion channels.

McLeod BR1, Liboff ARSmith SD.


There have been many attempts to develop a theoretical explanation of the phenomena of electromagnetic field interactions with biological systems. None of the reported efforts have been entirely successful in accounting for the observed experimental results, in particular with respect to the reports of interactions between extremely low frequency (ELF) magnetic fields and biological systems at ion cyclotron resonance frequencies. The approach used in this paper starts with the Lorentz force equation, but use is made of cylindrical co-ordinates and cylindrical boundary conditions in an attempt to more closely model the walls of an ion channel. The equations of motion of an ion that result from this approach suggest that the inside shape of the channel plus the ELF magnetic fields at specific frequencies and amplitudes could act as a gate to control the movement of the ion across the cell membrane.


(abstract shared by Robert Duncan of facebook)



J Cell Mol Med. 2013 Aug;17(8):958-65.

doi: 10.1111/jcmm.12088. Epub 2013 Jun 26.

Electromagnetic fields act via activation of voltage-gated calcium channels to produce beneficial or adverse effects.

Pall ML1.





Thermal and non thermal effects of electromagnetic fields in bio-systems


Google books


(Please note that Chapter 2 is “The Rife-Bare device”).

2.3 Interaction with the living bodies at low frequencies


Each organ can be characterized by its complex refractive index n+jk which is expressed, at a given frequeny, with its relative dielectric constant εr and with its conductivity σ. In vivo, the modulus of the component of the electrical field orthogonal to the organ is divided by the square modulus of the complex refractive index (n2+k2) given in [2.1]. Based on the electric field modulus E found in Table 2.2.1, Table 2.3.2 gives the in-vivo electrical field modulus E according to various organs.


The in vivo magnetic induction field Bi is identical to the radiated magnetic induction field B given in Table 2.2.1 because of the presence of amagnetic medium [2.3].


(insert formula 2.3.1)


Table 2.3.2 gives the variation of the square modulus of the complex index of refraction in terms of the modulation frequency for different living bodies.


3. Pulse Magnetic Field Biological Effects


3.1 Nuclear Magnetic and Cyclotronic Resonances.




J. L. Kirschvink ferromagnetic transduction model

Coupling of biogenic magnetite particles in the human brain to mechanosensitive membrane ion gates may provide a mechanism for interactions of environmental magnetic fields with humans.





Extraits du pdf:


Comme le prof. Ferdinando Cazzamalli l’a démontré, le cerveau lui-même, chez des patients perturbés sur un plan psychique, émet dans l’environnement proche, dans une cage de Faraday, des fréquences situées entre 60 MHz et 400 MHz [2].


Le prof. Cyril W. Smith indique dans son ouvrage "L’homme électromagnétique" [3] que l’intensité calculée de champ électromagnétique émis par les membranes cellulaires cérébrales permettrait la capture des ondes d’un cerveau humain normal à plusieurs milliers de kilomètres.


Les cellules vivantes sont des résonateurs F.A. Popp, et ses équipes ont montré dans leurs remarquables travaux que toutes les cellules vivantes captent ou émettent constamment de la lumière [6, 7, 8]. On attendrait que ce phénomène se limite à des cellules de la peau et pourtant, même les cellules de foie, de poumons, de reins, de pancréas ont cette curieuse propriété.


Relevons au passage que si nous regardons l’A.D.N. avec les yeux et la formation d’un électronicien, nous y trouvons la structure d’une antenne dont tous les segments s’alignent selon des angles particuliers et avec des longueurs bien définies. Cette antenne est conductrice du courant, donc parfaitement adaptée pour capter et émettre également certaines fréquences différentes des fréquences lumineuses.


D’autre part, au niveau de la membrane cellulaire, on peut estimer que des mécanismes de résonances électromagnétiques existent également. Ils permettent à des informations captées dans le milieu ambiant, de passer à l’intérieur des cellules (phénomène de transduction) (Fig. 3). Ainsi, si la stabilité de l’A.D.N. est assurée par des échanges photoniques lumineux et ultraviolets, nous dit F.A. Popp, il existe au sein de l’organisme, des fréquences électromagnétiques beaucoup plus basses (allant des fréquences extrêmement basses – ELF jusqu’à l’infrarouge) qui véhiculent la plupart des informations gérant les relations intercellulaires et inter organiques.  


Les travaux de l’équipe américaine de l’Université de Los Angeles, dirigée par V. Hunt ont montré que des électrodes d’un électromyographe, adapté pour les besoins de la recherche, captaient sur certaines zones du corps humain (chakras), des ondes électromagnétiques de fréquences comprises entre 1 Hz et 1500 Hz [10]. Les modulations de ces ondes (signaux) se modifiaient en fonction des stress et de certaines manipulations subis par le sujet. Deux chercheurs russes : S.P. Sitko et V.V. Gizhko ont publié des travaux dans lesquels ils montrent que les systèmes vivants répondent à des stimuli électromagnétiques situés dans la bande des gigahertz (micro-ondes).


Il est remarquable de constater que ces systèmes de résonateurs biologiques sont tellement sensibles qu’ils permettent la perception de signaux, même lorsque ceux-ci sont noyés dans le bruit de fond électromagnétique ambiant (brouillard électromagnétique). Le prof. Cyril W. Smith de l’Université de Salford (G.B.) l’a démontré dans les expérimentations sur l’allergie [16, 17]. De plus, nous savons aujourd’hui que les cétacés, par exemple, sont capables de percevoir des impulsions de champs électriques de l’ordre de 1 millionième de volt par mètre, ce qui est bien en dessous de la limite du bruit de fond ambiant (peut-être est-ce cela la cause de la présence de cétacés échoués sur nos plages suite au brouillage par des ondes électromagnétiques artificielles – sous-marins en plongée). Des champs magnétiques de fréquences de l’ordre de 10 Hz se propagent dans l’organisme sous une intensité d’environ 10-8 Gauss (1/100.000 de milligauss). Notre cerveau les capte et les interprète. L’énergie correspondant à ces champs se situe à peu près 1014 fois en dessous de la limite du bruit de fond magnétique ambiant. Les cellules vivantes sont donc des résonateurs aux qualités exceptionnelles. 



Literature search on Human Body Resonance and Electromagnetical Signaling

(IEEE) Human body position estimation system using electric field resonance 


Principles of Resonance
Intereting picture







Interesting link including instrumentation


Schumann Resonators - a note on car magnetisation


The effect of low-frequency electromagnetic field on human bone marrow 

stem/progenitor cell differentiation

recent studies showing that extremely low frequency (0–100 Hz) electromagnetic 

fields (ELF-EMF) affect numerous biological functions such as cell differentiation 

(Funk et al., 2009), gene expression (Mousavi et al., 2014), and cell fate (Kim et 

al., 2013), and have been reported to promote the release of necessary growth 

factors and enhance the differentiation process (Funk and Monsees, 2006).

Throughout this biological development process, electric fields (EFs) arise in the 

form of endogenous ionic currents (Levin, 2003 ;  McGaig et al., 2005).

piezoelectricity through bending strains associated with spatial gradients of 

permanent dipoles in collagen molecules.


In physiology, mechanical stress-generated potentials are formed by mechanisms 

such as: 1) the streaming potential, which is the electric potential difference 

between a liquid and a capillary, diaphragm, or porous solid in which the fluid is 

forced to flow; or 2) the entrainment of ions caused by fluid motion through the 

bone (Otter et al., 1998b). The EMF caused by either of these reactions is able to 

penetrate tissue, and the MF component can induce electric currents in the bone or 

muscle tissue via Faraday coupling. Faraday coupling is a form of inductance by 

which the current in one system induces a voltage in another. Vibrations of human 

muscles induce mechanical strains on bone and currents in the range of 5–30 Hz 

frequencies during quiet muscle activity (standing), and < 10 Hz while walking 

(Antonsson and Mann, 1985).

These signal transduction processes have been reported to show a correlation 

between the presence of EMF gradients and cellular response in embryogenesis (Funk 

and Monsees, 2006 ;  Sundelacruz et al., 2013). For hBMSCs to differentiate, there 

must be effective exogenous stimuli providing direction for their differentiation 

capabilities. One such stimuli is sinusoidal low-frequency EMF (0.3–100 Hz), which 

produces fields that are coherent (Adey, 1993), and produce regularly recurring 

signals — that must be present for a certain minimum duration (Litovitz et al., 

1993). This resonant coherence is the key to inducing large effects with low 

thresholds (Panagopoulos et al., 2002). Conservative estimates show that a 1 μV 

induced membrane potential can be detected after 10 ms by fewer than 108 ion 

channels; therefore a strong EMF is not required. According to several different 

authors (Jacobson, 1994; Jacobson and Yamanashi, 1995; Sandyk, 1996; Persinger, 

2006 ;  Persinger and Koren, 2007), picoTesla–nanoTesla intensity EMF is effective 

with appropriate resonance as a function of the charge and mass of the target 

molecule (Jacobson, 1994; Jacobson and Yamanashi, 1995; Persinger, 2006; Persinger 

and Koren, 2007 ;  Sandyk, 1996).

MOST IMPORTANT: Endogenous EMF frequencies act on a cell at the molecular level 

through extremely low endogenous frequencies (Funk et al., 2009). It is these 

endogenous frequencies that can be entrained to follow exogenous EMF of the same 

This entrainment (via harmonic resonance) is what influences the differentiation 

of BMSCs. 
Effective EMF stimuli are coherent, presenting a series of recurring signals that must be present for a minimum amount of time (Adey, 1993).

While high frequency (900–1800 MHz) EMF, such as that derived from microwave and mobile phone communication, acts through mixtures of modulated and carrier frequencies, research to-date has focused primarily on the thermal effects of radiation at a tissue-specific absorption rate known as SAR.

Liboff suggested that the transport of Ca2 + through channels of the cell membrane involves a resonance-type response to the applied EMF, which is the mechanism that activates ion flux, receptors, kinases, and even transcription factors (Liboff, 1985). Ca2 + efflux transported from the cytosol to the plasma membrane has been found to be initiated by exposure to EMF, and as reported by McLeod et al., to transport Ca2 + across the membrane (McLeod et al., 1987). This modulation of Ca2 + creates a harmonic resonance pattern in which the innate ions follow the wave function of the exogenously applied EMF.

EMF with frequencies below 100 Hz induce physiological effects as a result of ionic interactions (Funk and Monsees, 2006 ;  Gartzke and Lange, 2002).

EMF resonance treatment

Literature search on Human Body Resonance and Electromagnetical Signaling

(IEEE) Human body position estimation system using electric field resonance 









Handbook of Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields




Biological effects of electromagnetic fields : mechanisms, modeling, biological effects, therapeutic effects, international standards, exposure criteria
by Stavroulakis, Peter