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Invisible Radiations of Organisms


HERE we behold mitogenetic radiation masquerading as the legitimate offspring of biochemistry and the quantum theory, and the unwary reader, finding ‘muscle radiation’ casually mentioned in a purely physical account of the photo-electric effect, may well suppose the scientific status of the two phenomena to be identical. On reaching p. 55 he may begin to suspect that in reality mitogenetic radiation was quite differently conceived; but up to this point the emission of such radiation by living cells, and even by simple systems undergoing chemical reaction, is treated as a predictable phenomenon related to chemi-luminescence, and is described with the same confidence as the dispersion of light by a prism. Even the too remarkable phenomena of ‘secondary radiation’, involving emission of fluorescent radiation of shorter wave-length and higher intensity than the incident radiation, and its propagation, by successive phases of absorption and re-emission, through an absorbing medium, are made to appear almost as inevitable as Newton's laws of motion.

Invisible Radiations of Organisms

By Prof. Otto Rahn. With an Introduction to the Physics of Radiation, by Sidney W. Barnes. (Protoplasma-Monographien, Vol. 9.) Pp. x + 215. (Berlin: Gebrüder Borntraeger, 1936.) 13.20 gold marks.

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Invisible Radiations of Organisms. Nature 138, 96 (1936).

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