EcoBiotics

Leonardo da Vinci's Vitruvian manMicrobial EcoBiotics

The Human Body is Not a Machine

For centuries, the Western world has treated the human body as if it were a machine. In fact, the Vitruvian Man, Leonardo da Vinci's idealization of the body's mechanical proportions, has been described as the single most recognizable image in all of Western art.

Given this emphasis, it's not surprising that our medical systems have gotten really good at the mechanical aspects of healing. Things like fixing broken bones, replacing damaged organs, and killing off infectious germs. Even though these medical capabilities are important - often absolutely lifesaving - the problem remains that many of our most challenging health concerns can't be completely understood in this way.

Chronic conditions such as allergies, migraines, chronic fatigue, depression and anxiety, arthritis, fibromyalgia, autoimmune disorders, heart disease and cancer don't easily fit the mainstream model. In spite of billions of dollars spent on research and treatment, an American adult is 30 times more likely to die of cancer or heart disease today than they would have been in 1900 - even when adjusted for differences in life expectancy. Clearly, something has gone terribly wrong.

The failure of mainstream medicine to address many important aspects of chronic illness is one of the reasons why so many people have begun to explore alternative medical traditions like acupuncture, homeopathy, and herbal medicine. And while each of these ancient systems has an impressive historical legacy and a great deal to offer, they also have profound limitations - especially in our increasingly more toxic modern world. In spite of its growing popularity, traditional medicine does not a represent a comprehensive alternative to mainstream ideas and methods.

The Genius of Ecosystems

Nature is always our greatest teacher. And one of the most profound lessons nature teaches us is that absolutely no living thing can exist in isolation - everything is deeply interconnected. We call the sum of all these connected relationships an ecosystem. The key insight of EcoBiotics is that not only is each of us connected to the larger "circle of life" beyond our own skin - the oceans, the atmosphere, the other beings on our remarkable planet - but each of us is also an amazing, self-contained ecological system. Health exists when the many dynamic factors of this system are in balance. Consider the following example:

In any forest, trees living at the edge will naturally receive more sunlight than tree living deep in the shade. Because they receive more sunlight, these trees have more energy available to them, and so naturally, their living cells can work harder to produce essential nutrients. But all the trees need these nutrients, not just the ones that get a lot of light...

It turns out that under the forest floor, countless strands of fungal threads - called mycelia - wrap themselves around the roots of the trees and create a giant network. Trees that have a surplus of nutrients can send them along these mushroom fibers to feed trees that live in the shade. In other words, the mycelial web acts as a circulatory system for the whole forest!

At the same time, the trees are able to chemically unlock nutrients that the fungi need to grow - nutrients that they can't make for themselves. So while the mushroom network is acting as a circulatory system for the trees, the trees are acting as a digestive system for the mushrooms!

The most amazing thing about this example is that without knowing about this relationship, how can we really hope to understand the life of the forest at all? It's not just that understanding these ecological relationships deepens our understanding - it's absolutely fundamental! We are practically blind without it.

Amazing, isn't it? And when we shift our focus from treating the body as a machine - with parts that sometimes work and sometimes break - and instead, start to think like the forest, we discover a whole new world of connections - and a whole new way to help the body recover its original sense of balance.

EcoBiotics organizes the ecosystem within the human body into three levels of increasing subtlety. The first two are fairly well known if sometimes under-appreciated. But the third, most subtle level, is a unique layer of insight central to EcoBiotics and DIAD Microscopy.

Three Levels of the Human Ecosystem

Level 1. Friendly Flora (Commensal Symbionts)

E. Coli are natural partners in the human intestinesThe first, most apparent level of our internal human ecosystem is quite well known. Throughout the ages, humans have entered into a living partnership with numerous bacteria and other microorganisms that permanently live inside our digestive tracts and other boundary tissues of the body. These so-called "friendly flora" (technically referred to as commensal symbionts) - like those we get from yogurt and other naturally fermented foods - play a number of critical roles within the body. Supplements containing Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium bifidum and many other organisms can be found in health food stores as supplements called "probiotics."

Through their natural metabolic processes, they manufacture certain substances that our bodies require, and can greatly assist in our digestion and assimilation of nutrients. They also "defend the terrain," occupying our interior spaces and making it more difficult for other, less friendly microbes to take up residence. Antibiotics and other drugs sometimes kill off these friendly flora and can trigger an ecological crisis which may have lifelong consequences. These partners aren't a luxury - they form an integral part of our physiological processes. They also play other, more subtle roles - including the generation of regulatory substances that help preserve our internal biological balance.

Level 2. Sub-Cellular Partners (Endosymbionts)

Our bodies are built on a foundation of a second, more subtle level of ecological interdependence. This level is fully appreciated by a fairly small number of biological specialists and I doubt that most physicians and other medical professionals understand its key role in human health.

TEM of mitochondrionSurprisingly, many parts of the human body - structures that we normally think of as elements of our own human cells - originally evolved as separate, fully independent organisms! The simplest example is that our mitochondria - the tiny biochemical power plants within most of our cells - actually began, many millions of years ago, as autonomous bacteria. When the Earth's atmosphere shifted from containing low levels of oxygen to very high levels, these bacteria were the first to figure out how to use the oxygen (which up till then was primarily a poison) to make biological energy more efficiently than anything else on the planet.

At some point, a lucky cell "swallowed" one of these amazing new bacteria and, instead of killing the goose that laid the golden egg, allowed it live inside as a kind of domesticated servant. The host cell provided the bacterium with a warm and cozy home, and the bacterium sat there all day, producing energy - a perfect symbiosis.

Over evolutionary time, these bacteria "devolved" to the point where they can no longer live outside the host cell, and in fact, reproduce along with it each time the cell divides. But there's a catch. Our mitochondria - and other cellular structures that are believed to have originated through this kind of cooperation between multiple organisms - all have an ideal environment in which they function. In the case of the mitochondrion, it assumes certain chemical and electrical properties of the cell's internal fluid - the cytoplasm.

If these parameters change too much due to stress, toxicity, poor nourishment, inadequate elimination and a variety of other factors, the mitochondria's ability to fuel the body can become severely degraded. Like a row of dominoes falling over, this effect can ripple through the body and seriously impair our health. In fact, people with late stage cancer and other serious diseases tend to have a very unfavorable intra-cellular environment. Ironically, many highly assertive medical treatments for cancer and other diseases actually worsen these parameters, so that while they help in some ways, they may actually be degrading the more subtle intracellular terrain.

Level 3. The "EcoBiotic Toolkit" (Cryptosymbiosis)

Emergent syntact forms appear in response to a DIAD challenge of live bloodIt is at this third, extremely subtle level, where the unique insights of EcoBiotics become apparent. And while the methods of EcoBiotics, including DIAD Ecological Microscopy, work extremely well, this explanation of what is taking place is only a hypothesis. The theory, called Pleomorphic Provolution, is very speculative - but it matches thousands of observations made over a period of many years. Still, I want to be clear that even though these methods work extremely well in support of healing, exactly how they work is still an open question.

Here's what I believe is happening: Just like the mitochondrion that began it's evolutionary journey as an independent bacterium, I suspect that many other organisms have entered the bodies of our ancestors and subsequently devolved - streamlining and simplifying within the environment of the host's body. But unlike the mitochondrion - which is still recognizable as an entity within it's own cell-like membrane, some of these organisms devolved much more completely - in effect, dissociating into molecular "building blocks" that taken together make up a kind of biological "toolkit."

While the original process of devolution may have taken many, many generations, I believe that some of these remaining building blocks are able to re-connect within our own bodies, in effect reversing their previous devolution. I call this re-connecting process Pleomorphic Provolution, or just Provolution for short. Researchers as far back as the mid 1800s described this phenomenon (though not in these terms), and in the early 20th Century, brilliant researchers including Dr. Günther Enderlein and Dr. Royal Rife created complex biological forms from non-cellular materials in their laboratories.

Decoding EcoBiotic Forms in Live Blood

Since the beginning of the 20th Century, numerous researchers have attempted to describe and interpret the wide variety of complex forms that frequently emerge in live blood. These structures are not the familiar “formed elements” of the blood - the erythrocytes (red corpuscles), leukocytes (white cells), and thrombocytes (platelets), but a veritable bestiary of elements that are either not visible with most standard imaging techniques, or are routinely dismissed as accidental artifacts of no significance.

Among these forms, which are easily observed with a research grade darkfield microscope, are:

  • Spherical, tubular, and branched membrane-bound structures ranging from a fraction of a micron in length to 50 microns or more
  • Linear, articulated, radial, branched, and networked webs of flexible, filamentous strands
  • A wide variety of crystalline forms ranging from simple reflective masses to highly structured, fern like fields with a strikingly fractal appearance
  • Massive conglomerations of various characteristic shapes, textures, and colors

The following illustrations are typical examples of these forms, although there are literally hundreds of significant variations that are easily and routinely observed.

What is most interesting about these elements is that we can watch them form and subsequently make morphological transitions in extremely consistent ways – either spontaneously, or in reaction to specific types of in vitro challenges. For example, there is a rigid, butterfly shaped crystalline plate that can frequently be seen collapsing into a cluster of flexible strands anchored to a common center. If we put aside for a moment the question of what these form actually are, it is none-the-less possible to correlate their presence and transformational patterns with particular clinical conditions, making them useful as indicators for specific therapeutic options. This is the field of classical darkfield blood analysis and it is also the starting point for a more advanced and precise analytical technique called DIAD Microscopy (DIAD stands for Differential Isopathic Assessment in Darkfield).

At some point, however, the temptation to explore the nature of the objects themselves becomes compelling. Dr. Günther Enderlein (1872 – 1968) developed a comprehensive theory of bacterial and fungal pleomorphism and considered some of the forms he observed in the blood to be living bacteria and mold fungi. However, Enderlein’s theories are difficult to reconcile with contemporary biological knowledge, and parts of his opus appear frankly naïve and outdated.

In response, I have proposed a theory speculating that bacterial and fungal pleomorphism may be the result of a set of evolutionary ecological dynamics, and have hypothesized a novel explanation for the phenomena which I call “provolution.” The Theory of Ambimorphic Provolution (see contact information below to request a paper on the subject) suggests that some independently evolved microorganisms undergo a profound process of devolution within a lineage of host organisms – such as the mammalian line from which humans evolved. At some later time, responding to triggers within the host’s internal ecological system, a number of these devolved elements may recombine to produce active  biological structures. I use the term provolution to describe this process of “un-devolving.” It is not necessary that the provolved entities exactly match the devolved organisms from which they were derived. They need only have morphological similarity to act as indicators of a clinically significant process.

The idea of a three phase system – first, independent evolution of a microorganism in the wild - second, its subsequent devolution within an evolutionary line of hosts, and finally, provolution of the devolved elements to reconstruct a semblance of the original organism – may or may not be correct.

However, as a functional theory, that is, a set of assumptions and their observable consequences, it matches reality quite closely – albeit a reality that few contemporary researchers have spent time observing.

In Chinese Medicine, for example, a diagnosis of “hot wind in the head” is clinically consistent and therapeutically meaningful, even though we know that there are no hot air masses moving inside the cranium. DIAD Microscopy - the form of clinical analysis based in part on the theory of provolution – works extremely well, whether or not the explanations I offer are on target. 

For some time, I have suggested that many of the forms that emerge in the blood are probably not, as Enderlein thought, actually living fungi or bacteria, but rather, morphologically parallel structures that form from the precise reorganization of elements already present in the body. Clinically, I have proceeded from the assumption that when structures aggressively emerge in the blood that have the appearance of fungal hyphæ, this presentation suggests a mycophilic terrain – that is, a set of conditions within the body that are conducive to the growth and development of actual mold fungi.

In these subjects, living fungi may in fact be found in the mouth and gums, intestines, or other places favorable to their mycotic growth. On the other hand, the tendency for fungal provolution may exist in the absence of fungal overgrowth, as natural systems of the body work to effectively suppress their emergence. Even without the appearance of actual pleomorphic fungi or bacteria, this scenario still suggests health consequences arising from sustained high levels of immune activity, including the potential for hyper-reactive or autoimmune conditions, and correspondingly high levels of oxidative stress. These reactions can, in turn, result in adverse chronic health conditions as diverse as impaired enzyme systems and degraded neural polarity. Chronic fatigue and depression are two possible “macroscopic” consequences.

Whether or not the provolutionary theory is correct, clinical treatment proceeding from these assumptions have been remarkably effective. DIAD Microscopy adds another layer of accuracy to classical darkfield analysis, providing detailed information about the species of fungal and bacterial influences to be down-regulated.

The notion that we can infer useful information from parallel morphologies is not without precedent. For thousands of years, systems of traditional medicine have relied on clues such as those provided by the Doctrine of Signatures to infer and extrapolate the healing qualities of plants and other substances. The following quote is from an article about the Doctrine of Signatures by Douglas Hoff:

The Doctrine of Signatures is a very old notion which predates homeopathy and was already mentioned in the writings of the Swiss physician Paracelsus von Hohenheim (1493-1541). It proposes the idea that God gave everything in nature its unique healing powers and left a clue for us to discover in the appearance of each plant or substance. For example, the dark lines on the petals of Digitalis purpurea are reminiscent of blood vessels. Indeed, Digitalis is a well-known allopathic drug for heart problems and also has an affinity for this organ in its homeopathic preparation. Similarly, the yellow juice of Chelidonium majus reminds one of the yellowish complexion typical of patients with liver problems. Chelidonium is known for its affinity to the liver.

It is hard to imagine that  in our current day and age, anyone would seriously propose that the Doctrine of Signatures is a complete or universally valid foundation for healing. However, the outer resemblance of a living thing to the inner workings of another living thing may not always be a coincidence. To explore this notion, let’s start with something simpler than a living organism, namely, a quartz crystal.

A quartz crystal is formed when countless molecules of silicon dioxide are allowed to slowly bind together in a highly regular fashion. Within the Earth, this usually happens over a period of thousands, or even millions of years, as hot, mineral rich ground water percolates into underground gaps and slowly cools out of solution. Each silicon dioxide molecule has an “electromagnetic shape,” that is, a pattern of attractions and repulsions that make a kind of invisible “jigsaw puzzle pattern” in space. Under the right conditions, a neighboring molecule can snugly fit into the field created by the surrounding molecules, and in turn, creates a new layer of the 3D jigsaw puzzle. When this process is allowed to proceed in an organized fashion, the outer, macroscopic form of the crystal becomes a perfect reflection of the inner, microscopic field of each molecule.

Similarly, proteins, the fundamental building blocks of living things, are molecules whose behaviors are governed largely by their shapes. An antibody is a protein which has been genetically engineered within a lymphocyte to slip over the corresponding projections of an antigen, binding to it and interfering with its pathogenic action. An anabolic enzyme is often a protein that creates two or more “sockets” which cause other molecules to precisely align so that they can chemically react and form a new substance. Frequently, these “sockets” are folded into an inactive form until a modulating co-factor, such as a metallic ion, locks into the enzyme and converts its shape into an active form. When the enabling co-factor is removed, the enzyme reverts into its previous, non-reactive shape. For example, the enzyme carbonic anhydrase causes carbon dioxide in our blood to combine with water to make carbonic acid – but it only does so when it is activated by the presence of a zinc ion. Without the zinc, the shape of the enzyme is not conducive to the reaction.

Now, if a mineral crystal can create a macroscopic form from the precise interactions of trillions upon trillions of molecules, it is not so much of a stretch to imagine that proteins and other richly structured biological elements can produce larger forms that in some respect echo the morphologies of their components. It has recently been suggested that when Dr. Enderlein believed that he saw fungus emerging from human blood, this was only a coincidence – that he was actually seeing meaningless artifacts that accidentally resembled the mold fungi Mucor racemosus and Aspergillus niger. But in the light of the preceding examples, is it not possible that what Enderlein actually saw was a form made up, at least in part, of some of the same, morphologically textured elements involved in the biology of the real fungi? Indeed, when Schmidt, Enderlein, and others made preparations from these fungi, isolating specific components from true fungal cultures, the resulting substances turned out to have profound healing properties including a corresponding, measurable reduction in fungal infection. Could this entire chain all be mere coincidence?

To further explore these ideas, I would like to compare a series of computer generated images of simulated fungal growth with actual images of emergent blood elements, captured with DIAD Microscopy. The computer images were produced as examples of a Lindenmayer System – a particular type of mathematical fractal originally developed to model dynamic growth processes in multi-cellular biological systems. I find the correlations with actual blood forms to be striking.
 

The first example, at left, shows a Lindenmayer simulation of multi-spore growth from a common center (courtesy of the University of Manchester). Compare this with a DIAD Microscopy image of “fungus-like” growth from a highly disturbed Red Blood Corpuscle observed in live blood (right). Having observed thousands of similar forms in numerous intermediate states, both in the plain blood, and in response to specific biological challenges (via DIAD Microscopy™), I find it impossible to believe that the resemblance is coincidental.

The second example compares a Lindenmayer simulation of the branching hyphæ of the mold strain Mucor M41 on the left (courtesy of Fran Soddell) to a common type of networked web structure that often arises in the blood of individuals with fungal infections and other chronic health complaints (right) . 


Again, the similarities are striking, as they are in hundreds of other images I have captured over the years using my DIAD method. Indeed, there is nothing quite so irksome as being told that thousands of carefully correlated observations are nothing more than coincidence…by someone who has not made a single, comparable observation.

In light of these consistent morphological similarities, and in the light of the fact that isopathic remedies prepared from actual mold fungi promote healing – including the profound reduction of fungal disease and influence in the body – and in light of the fact that decaying mammalian tissues becomes overrun with exactly these same mold fungi – I find it impossible to believe that the pleomorphic observations of Béchamp, Bernard, Ahlmquist, Schmidt, Enderlein, Rife, Livingston-Wheeler and numerous others can simply be dismissed as coincidence! Indeed, Ahlmquist, commenting on the incredible complexity and diversity of pleomorphic microbial transformation said, “No one can hope to know all the possible variations of even a single bacterial species. It would be a presumption to think so.”

Indeed, the theories proposed early in the 20th Century by Enderlein (Bacterial Cyclogeny, Berlin, 1925) are in need of major revision. I have offered a number of creative hypotheses in my Theory of Pleomorphic  Provolution, which suggests that the forms we see emerging in the blood represent the re-organization of elements contributed by previously devolved microorganisms. I propose an ecological evolutionary model for how and why such un-devolutions (which I give the more elegant name “provolution”) would occur, and relate them to teleologically directed, adaptation seeking mechanisms beneficial to several layers of ecological intelligence. Whether that work is in any way correct remains to be seen, but I offer it, at the very least, as a creative attempt to reconcile 150 years of empirical pleomorphic observation with the rigors of modern cellular, molecular, and genetic biology.

 


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