Archive | July, 2012

Water: a not so simple molecule…

23 Jul

They call me deranged. The hope is that they are right. It is of no greater or lesser import for another fool

to wander the earth. But if I am right and science is wrong then may the Lord God have mercy on mankind.

Viktor Schauberger

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of all tapestry. – Richard P. Feynman, in The Character of the Physical Laws (1965)

Almost everybody take water for granted, at least in developed countries. Water is at the basis of the form of life we know. But this apparently “simple” molecule represented in diagrams and chemical equations under the formula H2O, in reality, constitutes very complex systems, as it has been shown by X-rays diagnostic.

Water is made up of oxygen and hydrogen. Electrolysis can separate them but once they recombine we need to heat them to 2900 ºC to break them again.

Water electrolysis is simple to do. Image credit:

With hydrogen you can move a car, or a motorcycle, watch the video below (in Portuguese, but it is the most clear I found).

One crucial property of water in what concerns life is the angle of 104.45º that hydrogen do with each other. This property is a static one, because in truth the water molecule possess vibrational motion, characterized by its three normal modes of vibration (See figure 3 of [1]). This motion does not cease when we go to the absolute zero, because even so there is still zero-point motion. This fact, i.e. the quantum nature of the molecule, plays a crucial role in some fundamental biological processes.

Water molecule. Image credit:

Water has a lot of important properties and practically all are weird:

  • it is the only natural substance that exists on Earth in three phases: gas, liquid and solid;
  • Freezes at 0º C and boils at 100ºC;
  • Is the unique substance that expands when cool down; that’s why ice floats; when liquid, water is almost incompressible, and when it freezes, it expands by an eleventh of its volume.
  • Has a high specific heat, it can absorb a lot of heat before it starts boiling;
  • Has a high surface tension, that’s why it forms drops instead to spread in a form of thin-film. And this property plays an important part in our veins ability to transport many substances (valuable nutrients, minerals, and chemicals) all through ourselves.

With new techniques and apparel we can investigate deeper. It was recently discovered that water molecules form a plane of “flat ice” on a platinum surface, and the importance of this finding stays on the fact that water molecules form the most important type of layer on a metar surface, and its study is crucial to understand better corrosion [1a].

Flat ice. The structure of water bound to a metal surface is flat–not buckled, as was previously believed. The hydrogen atoms (white) bound to alternate rows of oxygens (blue) point down, instead of up. Image credit: H. Ogasawara/Stockholm Univ

Viktor Schauberger had a curious mind and stories are told about him that worth attentive reading. Olog Alexandersson wrote an interesting book about his ideas, a book entitled “Living Water” [2]. What interested Schauberger was to develop an “Technology of Water”, it means, to develop a science to control water to help progress, based on new laws. A scientific purpose that reminds the movie “The Abyss”, where supposed Alliens control water to save humans from insanity (see the video below).

You can do a simple, but surprising experiment with water, see video below.

Water is chemically hydrogen oxide. Up to 90 % of the body weight of some organisms, up to 60% of the human body is made of water. Our brains are composed of 70% of water, the lungs are made up of 90% of water, and even our blood is made up of about 83% of water. That’s why we should drink at least 2.4 L of water daily (by way of drinks and food) in order to maintain balance in our organism.
Listen to one of the best specialist on water.

This specialist talks about all unexpected properties of water that we start to recognize. In the past, this knowledge was obtained through extensive interest and research [3-5]{*2,*3}, but unfortunately it was soon forgot.

Another experiments done at the International Space Station with a bubble of water.

Phase diagram of water/ice. Inset: The medium pressure range showing the melting curves of metastable ices IV and XII. Image credit:

Water properties depend largely on the H-bond (see figure above) network which can be formed by two or more water molecules. These bonds are characterized by a binding energy with values between 1 to 50 kJ/mol, depending on the type of network and geometrical configuration that this network can possibly do. The H-bond network is responsible by many weird properties of water, and specialist start nowadays to recognize that water is not a “simple liquid”…Water has unique properties that heal a lot of diseases. The search of a “fountain of youth” has been permanent in our inquisitive mind. Herodutus seems the first historian to take account of such kind of fountain, in his work “History“, written in 440 BC:

The Icthyophagi then in their turn questioned the king concerning the term of life, and diet of his people, and were told that most
of them lived to be a hundred and twenty years old, while some even went beyond that age- they ate boiled flesh, and had for their drink nothing but milk. When the Icthyophagi showed wonder  at the number of the years, he led them to a fountain, wherein when they had washed, they found their flesh all glossy and sleek, as if they had bathed in oil- and a scent came from the spring like that of violets. The water was so weak, they said, that nothing would float in it, neither wood, nor any lighter
substance, but all went to the bottom. If the account of this fountain be true, it would be their constant use of the water
from it which makes them so long-lived. When they quitted the fountain the king led them to a prison, where the prisoners were all of them bound with fetters of gold. Among these Ethiopians copper is of all metals the most scarce and valuable. After they had seen the prison, they were likewise shown what is called “the table of the Sun.”

Ponce de Leon, the 16th-century Spanish explorer, allegedly thought a fountain of youth would be found in Florida. Quite strangely, in St. Augustine, the oldest city in the U.S., a tourist attraction claims to be the fountain of youth discovered by Ponce de Leon in Florida, in 1513. In this quest of new teraphies and natural human desire to live longer, new drugs were discovered, among them the rapamycin (a name that comes from Rapa Nui, the native name of Easter Island), a natural compound produced by bacteria that were found in an Easter Island soil sample around 1970. According to Suren Sehgal, then a senior scientist at Ayerst Laboratories in Montreal, where this drug was isolated in 1972, “We had the notion we were dealing with something novel” *4.

Painting by Austrian artist Eduard Veith, showing a scene at the mythical Fountain of Youth. Image credit:

It goes much unnoticed to the grand public, the scientific research done around the properties of water, included cancer treatment. Polysaccharides play an essential role in living organisms due to their participation in every aspects of physiological events, in fact similar to the one played by nucleic acids ad proteins. It has been shown that immunity is enhanced by protein–polysaccharide complex that promotes T helper cell (a type of white blood cells, that play an important role in the immune system) responses. In particular, the polysaccharide from Phellodendron Chinese Schneid (extracted from the bark of a tree, the Phellodendron chinense) have shown inhibitory activities by directly acting to immune system as well as increasing the number of circulating blood leukocytes and total peritoneal exudate cells [7]. Other treatments, based on water-based colloidal magnetic iron oxides, after introduced inside the body, are assimilated preferentially by tumor cells and can be heated by RF-sources [8].

I believe there is plenty of reasons to look at the water molecule not only as the basis of life, but also a promise of a different and better future.


[1] Water? What’s so special about it? John L. Finney, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal society B

[1a] Focus: Water Structure Down Flat, American Physical Society

[2] Olof Alexandersson, Living Water-Viktor Schauberger and the Secrets of Natural Energy

[3] ”Autothixotropy” of Water – an Unknown Physical Phenomenon, by Bohumil Vyb´ıral and Pavel Voracek, submitted to ArXives

[4] Can a Century Old Experiment Reveal Hidden Properties? by Elmar C. Fuchs, Water 2010, 2, 381-410; doi:10.3390/w2030381

[5] Water: now you see it, now you don’t, by MICHAEL LEVITT AND BRITT H PARK MINIREVIEW, Structure 15 December, 1:223-226

[6] Cell Cycle. 2011 Dec 15;10(24):4230-6. Epub  2011 Dec 15 “Rapamycin increases lifespan and inhibits spontaneous tumorigenesis in inbred female mice.”, by Anisimov VN, Zabezhinski MA, Popovich IG, Piskunova TS, Semenchenko AV, Tyndyk ML, Yurova MN, Rosenfeld SV, Blagosklonny MV.

[7] Carbohydrate Polymers, 87 (2012) 427– 434, “Novel highly branched water-soluble heteropolysaccharides as immunopotentiators to inhibit S-180 tumor cell growth in BALB/c mice”, by Zhiping Huang, Lina Zhang, Xiaobo Duan, Zongquan Liao, Hong Ding, Peter C.K. Cheung

[8] Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials, Volume 122, Issues 1–3, April 1993, Pages 374–378, “Synthesis and evaluation of colloidal magnetic iron oxides for the site-specific radiofrequency-induced hyperthermia of cancer”, by Daniel C.F. Chan, Dmitri B. Kirpotin, Paul A. Bunn Jr.



*1 – Stanford Synchroton Light source


*3-Water for dummies

*4-Rapamycin’s Resurrection: A New Way to Target the Cancer Cell Cycle

*5-Public Lecture ,Water: the Strangest Liquid, by SLAC scientist Andres Nillson

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