French Nobelist Escapes ‘Intellectual Terror’ at China


PARIS—Virologist and Nobel laureate Luc Montagnier announced earlier this month that, at age 78, he will take on the leadership of a new research institute at Jiaotong University in Shanghai. What has shocked many scientists, however, Montagniers departure from France but what he plans to study in China: electromagnetic waves that Montagnier says emanate from the highly diluted DNA of various pathogens.

Montagnier, who won a 2008 Nobel Prize for his discovery of HIV, claims that those signals which he described in two little-noticed papers in 2009can reveal the bacterial or viral origins of many conditions, including autism and Alzheimers disease.

The work could suggest novel therapies, he says.

But Montagniers new direction evokes one of the most notorious affairs in French science: the water memory study by immunologist Jacques Benveniste. Benveniste, who died in 2004, claimed in a 1988 Nature paper that IgE antibodies have an effect on a certain cell type even after being diluted by a factor of 10 120

His claim was interpreted by many as evidence for homeo pathy, which uses extreme dilutions that most scientists say cant possibly have a biological effect. After a weeklong investigation at Benvenistes lab, Nature called the paper a delusion.

Science talked to Montagnier, who is founder and president of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention, last week. Questions and answers have been edited for brevity and clarity.

Read full interview :

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