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Schwabe News Volume 2 | Issue 1 | February 2011

News from the world of homoeopathy

French nobelist takes high dilution research further

Dr. Luc Montagnier, the French virologist who won the Nobel Prize in 2008 for discovering the AIDS virus, has surprised the scientific community with his strong support for homoeopathic medicine. In a remarkable interview published in Science magazine of December 24, 2010, Professor Luc Montagnier, has expressed support for the often maligned and misunderstood medical specialty of homoeopathic medicine. 

Montagnier, who is also founder and president of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, asserted, "I can't say that homoeopathy is right in everything. What I can say now is that the high dilutions (used in homoeopathy) are right. High dilutions of something are not nothing. They are water structures which mimic the original molecules." Here, Montagnier is making reference to his experimental research that confirms one of the controversial features of homoeopathic medicine that uses doses of substances that undergo sequential dilution with vigorous shaking in-between each dilution. Montagnier's research (and other of many of his colleagues) has verified that electromagnetic signals of the original medicine remains in the water and has dramatic biological effects. Montagnier affirms that these new observations will lead to novel treatments for many common chronic diseases, including but not limited to autism, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and multiple sclerosis.

Montagnier's new research evokes memories one of the most sensational stories in French science, often referred to as the 'Benveniste affair.' A highly respected immunologist Dr. Jacques Benveniste., who died in 2004, conducted a study which was replicated in three other university laboratories and that was published in Nature. Benveniste and other researchers used extremely diluted doses of substances that created an effect on a type of white blood cell called basophils. Although Benveniste's work was supposedly debunked, Montagnier considers Benveniste a "modern Galileo" who was far ahead of his day and time and who was attacked for investigating a medical and scientific subject that orthodoxy had mistakenly overlooked and even demonized.

In this new interview in Science, Montagnier also expressed real concern about the unscientific atmosphere that presently exists on certain unconventional subjects such as homoeopathy, "I am told that some people have reproduced Benveniste's results, but they are afraid to publish it because of the intellectual terror from people who don't understand it."

Montagnier concluded the interview when asked if he is concerned that he is drifting into pseudoscience, he replied adamantly: "No, because it's not pseudoscience. It's not quackery. These are real phenomena which deserve further study."