Biophotons - The Light in Our Cells

Marco Bischof
522 pp., more than 160 illustrations, 5 color plates, extensive bibliography and index.
German publisher: Zweitausendeins, Frankfurt.
Publication date: March 1995
Actual edition (May 1998): 9th printing
Total number of copies sold in German-language market: 27'000
ISBN 3-86150-095-7
World rights: Zweitausendeins.

"This book is only available in German language and not yet published in English"

Short description

Marco Bischof's widely acclaimed book has already sold some 30'000 German-language copies (9th printing) since its publication in March 1995, and the success is continuing. It is the first comprehensive book on the world market for the general and scientific public on one of the hottest fields of frontier science which is about to lead to major conceptual breakthroughs and many useful applications in biophysics, biomedical science, biology, biotechnology, environmental science and food technology. Thousands of medical doctors, scientists, and interested laypersons in Germany, Switzerland and Austria who from the many newspaper and magazine articles and from several TV features in the last couple of years were aware of this development of potential breakthroughs in a number of scientific disciplines and wanted to obtain more precise and broadly accessible information have been waiting for this book that will remain the definitive publication on the topic for many years to come. Russian and Chinese translations are in preparation. The book has been awarded the 1995 Book Price by the Scientific and Medical Network (U.K.) and the Swiss Award 1997 by the Swiss Parapsychological Foundation.

What are biophotons ?

Biophotons, or ultraweak photon emissions of biological systems, are weak electromagnetic waves in the optical range of the spectrum - in other words: light. All living cells of plants, animals and human beings emit biophotons which cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be measured by special equipment developed by German researchers.

This light emission is an expression of the functional state of the living organism and its measurement therefore can be used to assess this state. Cancer cells and healthy cells of the same type, for instance, can be discriminated by typical differences in biophoton emission. After an initial decade and a half of basic research on this discovery, biophysicists of various European and Asian countries are now exploring the many interesting applications which range across such diverse fields as cancer research, non-invasive early medical diagnosis, food and water quality testing, chemical and electromagnetic contamination testing, cell communication, and various applications in biotechnology.

According to the biophoton theory developed on the base of these discoveries the biophoton light is stored in the cells of the organism - more precisely, in the DNA molecules of their nuclei - and a dynamic web of light constantly released and absorbed by the DNA may connect cell organelles, cells, tissues, and organs within the body and serve as the organism's main communication network and as the principal regulating instance for all life processes. The processes of morphogenesis, growth, differentiation and regeneration are also explained by the structuring and regulating activity of the coherent biophoton field. The holographic biophoton field of the brain and the nervous system, and maybe even that of the whole organism, may also be basis of memory and other phenomena of consciousness, as postulated by neurophysiologist Karl Pribram an others. The consciousness-like coherence properties of the biophoton field are closely related to its base in the properties of the physical vacuum and indicate its possible role as an interface to the non-physical realms of mind, psyche and consciousness.

The discovery of biophoton emission also lends scientific support to some unconventional methods of healing based on concepts of homeostasis (self-regulation of the organism), such as various somatic therapies, homeopathy and acupuncture. The "ch'i" energy flowing in our bodies' energy channels (meridians) which according to Traditional Chinese Medicine regulates our body functions may be related to node lines of the organism's biophoton field. The "prana" of Indian Yoga physiology may be a similar regulating energy force that has a basis in weak, coherent electromagnetic biofields.


First discovered in 1923 by Russian medical scientist Professor Alexander G.Gurvich (who named them "mitogenetic rays") and in the 1930s widely researched in Europe and the USA, biophotons have been rediscovered and backed since the 1970s by ample experimental and theoretical evidence by European scientists. In 1974 German biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp has proved their existence, their origin from the DNA and later their coherence (laser-like nature), and has developed biophoton theory to explain their possible biological role and the ways in which they may control biochemical processes, growth, differentiation etc. Popp's biophoton theory leads to many startling insights into the life processes and may well provide one of the major elements of a future theory of life and holistic medical practice based on such an approach. The importance of the discovery has been confirmed by eminent scientists such as Herbert Froehlich and Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine. Since 1992, the International Institute of Biophysics, a network of research laboratories in more than 10 countries, based in Germany, is coordinating research in this field which promises rapid development in the next decade.

Aims of the book

To date the few books about biophotons have been highly technical and written mainly in German. Not even among these, there was any single book integrating all that is known today about this fascinating field of science which is likely to become soon a much discussed topic also in the English-speaking world. The author, who in 1994-95 has served as Managing Director of the International Institute of Biophysics at Neuss (Germany) and still is a member of the Board of Directors of this institute, has closely followed biophoton research since 1977 and so was predestined to write the first comprehensive account of the subject ever made. His aim was to reach a wider public among scientists, medical doctors and the scientifically aware. The book which embeds the more technical parts in a popular treatment of the historical antecedents of the concept of "energy bodies", "life energies" and biolectricity, and to the ages-old scientific controversy between vitalistic and mechanistic trends in biology and medicine, also appeals to a general readership interested in new developments in the biological and physical sciences and in medicine and in their interplay with consciousness research and new age ideas.

Table of Contents

The Structure of the Book

1. Elements of a physics of the living

What are photons ? / What are biophotons ? / What is the origin of biophoton emission ? / The coherence of biophotons / Regulation by the biophoton field / The network of light metabolism / The present state of the discussion / Biophoton theory and alternative medicine / Biophoton theory as a basis for a scientific theory of life appropriate to nature / The new concept of the cell / The big network / From the molecular to the field perspective / Significance of the new concept / Will biology turn out to be more fundamental than physics ? / Possibilities of misuse / Which philosophy will prevail ?

PART I. Prehistory

2. The Aura

The concept of nonmaterial "energy bodies" / Subtle bodies of light / "Mana" and "inner fire" / Indian, Tibetan and Chinese concepts / Visionary concept of the "essential light" of man / Paracelsus' "archaeus"

3.Electrobiology and vitalism

Bioelectricity / The vitalistic tradition / Romantic medicine: illness as a developmental crisis / Claude Bernard's homeostasis: self-regulation of the organism

4. Scientific Medicine

At the origin of modern electrophysiology: the injury current / The Berlin school of physiology: the "overcoming" of vitalism / The "Bernstein hypothesis" of the membrane potential: paradigm of the new "scientific medicine" / The link between electricity and life energy is severed / "Scientific medicine" conquers the US and the world / Ehrlich's "receptor theory"

5. From Mesmer to Reich

Mesmer's "animal magnetism" / Baron Reichenbach's "odic force" / Wilhelm Reich's "orgone"

6. The inconquerable aura

Kilner's aura screens / Albert Hofmann: the aura is subjective / A contemporary description of the aura / The biophysical basis of the aura

7. Electromagnetic man

Blondlot's "N-rays" / Hofmann finds "head and hand rays" / An early Swiss pioneer of electrobiology / The beginnings of modern electrobiology: Burr's "electrodynamic field" / Electromagnetic field structure at the beginning of embryonic development / Electrical determination of ovulation / The connection between electrodynamic field and the psyche / Electrical indications of illness / Robert O.Becker rehabilitates Matteucci's injury current / The body's own electrical regeneration system / Successful electrical stimulation of bone repair / The discovery of the "perineural DC system" / Brain and nervous system: a combination of analog and digital information coding ?

PART II: Beginnings

8. Alexander Gurvich and mitogenetic radiation

The onion root experiment of 1922 / Cells emit light at birth and at death / Cellular radiation and cancer / The theory of the biological field / The "unequilibrated molecular complexes" / Gurvich as a pioneer of modern biophysical concepts / The fate of mitogenetic research / The two schools of biophoton research / The reasons for the ending of Western mitogenetic research before World War II / After World War II

9. Fritz-Albert Popp: How a physicist came to the light

The riddle of cancer genesis / Light in the organism ? / The Kaznacheev experiment / The foundations for biophoton theory are laid

10. ....and there was light !

The first rigorous proof for the existence of the cell emission / Enormous enhancement of chemical reactivity / Experimental proof for Prigogine's theory

11. A stony way to knowledge

The "imperfection theory" / Lossless circulation of light in the cell / Is plant and animal tissue transparent for light ? / A challenge to laboratory physics / Recognition comes

12. From chaos to order : Prigogine's "dissipative structures" and Froehlich's "Bose-condensate"

The biochemical world picture / Dissipative structures / Coherent electromagnetic interactions

13. The bio-informatics of electromagnetic interactions

Our radiation environment / Ionizing radiation / Non-ionizing radiation / UV radiation / UV light and the immune system / The visible light / The role of the pineal / Antagonistic effects of colored light / How light enters into the body / Fundamental light sensitivity / High-frequency radiation / Electromagnetic pollution / Two opposite views on biological communication / ULF, ELF and VLF (low frequency) radiation / Weather radiation / The correspondence between weather radiation and brainwaves / On the search for a new explanation of radiation effects

14. A scientific revolution

Meaningful event or blind mechanism ? / The Berlin and the Goettingen schools of thought / An antipode of molecular biology: Georges Lakhovsky / A pioneer of the new thinking: Vladimir Vernadsky / Presman's revolutionary concept / New approaches come to prevail only very slowly / Non-equilibrium thermodynamics and the principle of least effort / The two currents in science: mechanists vs. vitalists / Quantitative power thinking versus the wisdom of non-violence / The intelligence of nature

PART III . Fundamentals

15. The ecology and the physiology of light

The radiation of the sun and the self-regulation of "Gaia". Photosynthesis / Skin and eyes as "light valves" / The role of melanin in the transduction of light

16. Organisms as light stores

Coherent sunlight / The cavity model / Hyperbolic decay / Organisms are biological lasers

17. DNA: Light storage in spiral molecules

Replication / Repair / Transcription / Translation / DNA hyperstructures / The ethidium bromide experiment / DNA the most important source of biophoton emission / The exciplex model of DNA / DNA as lasering matter / The origin of Schroedinger's "order suction" (?) : Bose-condensation in DNA / Photon-phonon-interaction / DNA as a pulsating "light pump" / A hierarchy of light-active molecule systems / Molecular and cellular pulsations / Melanins as collaborators of DNA ? / DNA predestined to be the central control of the biophoton field / The antenna geometry of DNA

18. Coherent states: Organisms at the threshold between Yin and Yang

The bioplasma concept / The biological laser field: dynamic stability at the laser threshold / The peculiarity of biological coherence / The Dicke theory and "Cavity Quantum Electrodynamics" / Actual and potential information / Biological consequences

19. The genesis and development of life in the biophoton field

Matter consists of vibrations / Particles and fields originate from the "void" / Quantum physics treats reality according to acustical laws / Jenny's "cymatics" as a model of morphogenesis / The basic mechanism of morphogenesis: Interference / The importance of frequency / Light as the organizing principle of matter / Material structures as antennae for radiation / Evolution in the radiation field / The communication experiments / The residual light amplifier makes biophotons visible for the first time / When blood cells communicate / Evolution as the expansion of coherent states

20. The biophoton field as morphogenetic field: The development of the embryo

Field properties of organisms / The field description of the cleaving process shows harmonical laws / Holographic properties / Further stages of embryonic development: The dialectics of internal and surface cellular fields / The transition from cleavage to gastrulation: From point symmetry to axial symmetry / The genesis of partial fields / The phase of the genesis of germinal layers: a sensitive stage

21. The three germinal layers

Germinal layers as energy systems / Dissimilar degree of coherence of the three systems

22. The regulation of differentiation and growth by the biophoton field

Properties of organisms that are not determined by genetic activity / junk genes ? / The "c value paradoxon" / Non-genetic role of DNA ? / The exciplex model of DNA solves open problems in biology / The complementarity of growth and differentiation / The electromagnetic model of cell differentiation and growth confirmed experimentally

23. Biochemical regulation

Coordinated and ordered biochemical activity through the biophoton field / The biochemistry of the cell in a new light / The role of photon frequencies and of the particle geometry / Dynamical structuring of the regulating field / Are biological rhythms controlled by the biophoton field ? / Homeostasis through light-controlled entropy gradients / The entire metabolic work accomplished by biophotons ?

24. Harmonical structures

Mitotic spindle ordered by cavity waves ? / Microtubuli as optical waveguides ? / Cell skeleton built up by light ? / The role of water / Order and water metabolism in the cell are linked / Vibrating musculature / A complex resonance structure makes the organism react very sensitively / States of tension / Biophotons in the nervous system / Holographic biophoton fields in the brain / Altered states of consciousness / A coupling between the nervous system and other oscillators in the organism ? / Our odorous aura

PART IV. Applications

25. Illness and health

Health as a coherent state / Illness as a developmental crisis / Stages of illness / Immunological resistance and effectiveness of substances explainable through biophoton field

26. Regulation forms and types of illness

Polar ordering of regulation systems / Reactive types and the proneness towards certain illnesses / Yin and Yang illnesses / Pischinger's "Basic regulatory system" as a basis for all regulations

27. Cancer: Loss of coherence and of the ability to store light

Cancer tissue has different emission / The tumor is the symptom, not the illness / A fast and cheap tumor test

28. Homeopathic principles as a "guiding line" for modern medicine

Holistic regulation through vibrations / High potencies improve the coherence of the organism and are effective on the causal level / Homeopathic effects not explainable biochemically / Electromagnetic fields can substiute substances / The memory of water / Coherence therapy

29. Urine, blood, and breath tests; smoking test

The luminescence of urine indicates illnesses / Has blood radiation a diagnostic value ? / Blood and urine of smokers show stronger emission / Luminescent breath

30. A test for determining immunological resistance

Radiant phagocytes / A Tibetan drug under test / Biophoton measurements on the flu remedy Echinacine

31. Food quality analysis

In fact we eat sunlight / A concentration of the sunlight towards DNA / ATP as a light carrier / Not the caloric but the information content determines the quality of foodstuffs / The light storage capacity of the "living macromolecules" / Fats and sunlight / A test system for Popp's hypothesis / Free range eggs clearly distinguishable from battery eggs / Is it possible to discriminate biological from conventional foodstuffs ? / Different production and fertilization methods as well as contamination by pesticides and heavy metals engender different biophoton emissions / Bacterial contamination in beer can be detected at an early stage / Biophoton method is superior to biochemical analysis in some essential aspects / The result in the controversy about biological products / Detection of oxidative degradation of organic substances

32. Agriculture

Improvement of quality and yield through "resonance stimulation" by laser light / Bad quality and low resistance of glass-house products due to lack of UV light / Electromagnetic stimulation of growth (electroculture) / Acoustic stimulation of plant growth

33. Water research and "biological activity"

Water - an enigmatic substance / Water structures - facts and speculations / The memory of water / Are biological experiments and biophoton measurements more adequate than other methods of investigation ? / Is the structural aspect of water overemphasized ? / Different types of water can be differentiated / The discrimination of natural and synthetic substances based on their "biological activity"

34. Environmental pollution

Gaseous pollutants / Biophoton emission as a measure of the Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of ionizing radiation / Synergetic mechanisms of damage

35. Dying forests

Water lentils as bio-indicators / Nuclear plants and dying forests: is there a connection ? / Electrochemical smog and dying forests

36. Methods of bioelectronic diagnosis

1. The Bioelectronic Test according to Vincent / Bioelectronic measurements of body fluids to assess Claude Bernard's "terrain" / Cancer prognosis possible ?
2. Electroacupuncture / Electroacupuncture according to Voll (EAV) / Electroacupuncture according to Croon ("Electroneural diagnostics") / The "Ryodoraku method" of Nakatani / The AMI method of Motoyama
3. The bases of acupuncture / A possible participation of meridians in the formation of embryonic organs / Meridians may be not material channels but node lines of the biophoton field / Acupuncture points electrically distinguished / A new method shows if someone is healthy or ill / The stimulation of acupuncture points / Biophoton research furnishes bases for electrodiagnostics
4. Kirlian photography / Between bioelectrical measurement and biophoton measurement / Distribution of electrical charge on the skin is fundamental / Diagnostic evaluation still in its beginnings / New technical developments / Use for quality analysis of foodstuffs and liquids
5. Whole body biophoton diagnostics / The biophysical basis of the aura / The works of Gulyaev and Godik / Thermoregulation diagnostics / Biophoton measurements on humans / "Hand radiation" and healers / The whole-body biophoton diagnostics project

37. Methods of bioelectronic therapy

1. MORA and radionics
2. Electrotherapy / An old tradition / Electrotherapy in the 19th century / High-frequency AC therapy / ELF therapy
3. Chromotherapy (Therapy with colored light) / Ghadiali's chromotherapy / Beginnings of modern light therapy / The actual situation of chromotherapy
4. Laser therapy / Soft-laser applications with weak light / The work of Inyushin / Laser stimulation of tissue regeneration / Laser stimulation of acupuncture points / The mechanism of soft laser therapy / Resonance stimulation of the biophoton field

PART V. Outlook

38. The biophoton field - mediator between body and soul ?

Biophotons - to be analysed in the framework of current science / Is there an even more fundamental level of the organism "behind" the biophoton field ? / The rebirth of the "ether" / The zero-point energy of the vacuum / Bearden's "scalar fields" / Wheeler's "quantum foam" / Bohm's "implicate order" / Burkhard Heim's six-dimensional world model / Photons as mediators between matter and spirit ? / The consciousness-like aspects of matter / Coherence as a bridge to the realm of consciousness / Biophoton theory and the vacuum field / Organisms may control their own space structure and flow of time: Dubrov's theory of "biogravitation" / Pulsation between space and "counter-space": biological space and the ether in the anthroposophical doctrine / The polarity between levity and gravity / The pulse of life

Appendix. Concerning the state of the evidence in biophoton theory


Foreign rights agent for Zweitausendeins Publishers:

Ms. Barbara Guggenheim
Oberstrasse 80
D-20149 Hamburg
phone ++49-40-410 86 85
fax ++49-40-410 18 73