Scientists have come to doubt their long-held views that the brain is a network of neurons that communicate by chemoelectrical processes via axons. This is the standard view that the brain is alive with electrical current but it is caused purely as a result of chemical potential differences – positive (+) sodium ions passing through membranes to cause the interior of the neuron to become positively charged or positive (+) potassium ions flooding out of the neuron to cause the exterior to become positively charged. It all looks very chemical to them, and so they are quite content in thinking that this is all that is happening. The action potential once triggered then propagates down the axon like some sort of a snowball effect and then when it gets to the end of the axon it will be passed on to another neuron via a synapse, which again is described in great detail as a chemical transmission of the action potential.
Trouble is none of this is explaining what is happening with the myelin sheath. This is the coating of fatty material on the outside of the axon that acts as an insulator for the axons and is also said to be conducive to speeding up the flow of electricity. In an article in New Scientist (21 Feb 2015) “Meet your other brain” we are told that scientists are now shocked, ‘gobsmacked’ was the actual word used, to find that this myelin sheath is actually increasing or decreasing in real time. They had always assumed that the myelin sheath on the axons forms during development and then remains static as an insulator for the axons, and then as a result of aging processes begins to dwindle, thus bringing on diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.
There have been several findings recently that if you teach someone new skills, for instance a group of novices volunteered to learn how to juggle, it will bring about changes in their white matter (the myelin). These volunteers had never tried it before and the learning process meant that heretofore unused neurons in their brain began to fire up. It was already known that this activity would increase the density of the grey matter (the axons), but when they measured the white matter they found to their amazement that it had augmented as well. It has become clear that if you teach someone new skills which involve new neuronal activity, then there will also be a rapid increase in the myelin to accommodate the surge in electricity in that group of neurons. Alternatively if you suppress the brain’s ability to form myelin, then your subjects will not be able to learn new skills no matter how hard they try (These later experiments were performed of course on mice, not humans).
Plasticity! is the buzz word in neuroscience for all sorts of abilities that the brain has to grow and adapt to changed conditions. For instance if you dissect one section of the brain of an embryo, in many instances other cells in the brain can move in and take its place, and there will be no loss of functionality. So scientists have now latched onto this word ‘plasticity’ and they are saying that there are whole new regions of the brain that contain most of this white matter which exhibit this same ability to adapt to changed conditions. At this stage all they have is a name for this new discovery, or at least the plasticity word has itself developed plasticity, they have absolutely no idea as to what processes are occurring to bring it about. The trouble is of course that it doesn’t fit at all well with their time-honored theories that electricity propagates along axons as a result of chemical processes, and the myelin acts as an insulator. The burning question is how does the myelin know when it has to increase to accommodate increased electrical current in its axon. And what’s more, if you teach someone new skills for just six weeks, how can the myelin augment so quickly when the bulk of the white matter has been there static and unchanging for decades. Furthermore, how can this plasticity occur late in adulthood when the brain is no longer growing, and in fact the bulk of the white matter is in a gradual process of decay.
Needless to say, chemoelectrical traffic in the axons doesn’t really cut the mustard in terms of explaining what is happening here. “It’s not only that information is stored in the plasticity of synapses, but actually in the myelin as well,” says Gabriel Corfas at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Wait a minute! Are they talking about ‘information’ here. Yes, I believe they are. And not only in the axons and their synapses, they are also saying there is information in this fatty substance, the myelin, that insulates the axon. Still no clue as to how this information might be stored or propagated in chemicals, it all gets solved with this wondrous word “Plasticity”. The plasticity is just loaded with this information, just like your plastic credit card. No wait a minute, that has a magnetic strip or an embedded microchip, maybe the data is actually in that. No matter, no doubt all this info about everything we do, say, think, remember, and see, as well as all the information necessary to run brain processes that we are not even aware of, is somehow contained in these chemicals such as sodium and potassium and these fatty membranes and proteins, which are just so plastic.
It is known that cells called oligodendrocytes, external to the neuron, are responsible for the production of myelin. I wrote to several leading researchers as well as the author of the article in New Scientist: “You call these changes in myelination “plasticity” as if that were some sufficient and complete explanation as to why the myelination should increase or decrease. Surely it is obvious that the instructions whether to increase or decrease must be coming directly from the DNA in the nucleus of the oligodendrocyte”. One of these researchers was kind enough to reply: “The surface of the pre-myelinating cell (not pre-existing myelin) is the target for signals from the neurons, and this is transmitted to the interior of the pre-myelinating cell and ultimately the nucleus by a chain of biochemical events known as an intracellular signaling pathway. This is the way of all signaling events between cells, since the DNA is hidden away in the cell interior far from direct contact with neighboring cells or the environment”. The pre-myelinating cells he is talking about are known as OPCs (Oligodendrocyte precursor cells) and you will see that he is very clear on the fact that the signals are a chain of biochemical events known as an intracellular signaling pathway. Nothing electronic here you might say, so end of story.
Well not quite. The author of the article in New Scientist wrote back to me as well: “And absolutely, the oligodendrocyte precursor cell’s DNA will change to allow for it to morph into an oligodendrocyte. But where does the signal to the DNA come from? Richard Kraig thinks it’s from microRNA delivered via exosomes, but there could be other ways. That’s a big area of research at the moment”.
Before I go any further I must explain to you that it is common knowledge that these oligodendrocytes are connected to the myelin on the axon by a network of microfilaments. In addition the oligodendrocytes and the axons contain microtubules. To call these conductors “micro” is actually a misnomer. Microfilaments have an average diameter of 5nm and microtubules have an outer diameter of 24 nm and an inner diameter of 12nm. They are actually “nano” structures. The microtubules are almost certainly semiconducting nanotubes and the microfilaments are conducting nanowires. Their operation is governed purely by the principles of quantum mechanics. Forget about chemistry, if you want to know what’s going on there you will need to read up on nanotechnology. See the article on my website “The Living Cell is a complex electrical circuit”. Hameroff & Penrose detected “quantum fluctuations” in these microtubules more than 20 years ago and thought this might be the source of consciousness. They did not however tip to the fact that microtubules are semiconducting nanotubes.
Following up on what the author of the article had said about exosomes being the possible signaling agent I thought I would google “Are exosomes connected by microfilaments”. I came up with a most interesting case study in Frontiers in Cellular NeuroScience: Telocytes, exosomes, gap junctions and the cytoskeleton: the makings of a primitive nervous system? It turns out that these exosomes are “mediated” by telocytes (TCs) and that it is abundantly clear that these telocytes are conductors that contain “electron-dense nanostructures”.
The journal article talks about these TCs forming “a dense convoluted network linking TCs with each other, and with many other cell types” including nerve fibers. They also state that connections by TCs with a wide variety of cells, including neurons, “are made both by electron-dense nanocontacts involving junctions, and via exosomes.” When they refer to these “electro-dense nanocontacts” they are referring to none other than the microfilaments and microtubules that permeate the cytoskeleton.
The authors specifically state: “Moreover, exosomes (with a diameter up to 100 nm) are delivered by TCs to a wide variety of cells… TCs may be involved in integrating neural, vascular and endocrine processes.” Recall that Richard Kraig is of the opinion that these exosomes and microRNAs are responsible for signaling to the DNA in the oligodendrocyte that more myelin is required. According to this paper in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience: “Several authors have suggested that TCs “integrate functions or processes,” but details are lacking. It is the purpose of this paper to explore some possible answers to this question. Gap junctions can transmit ions and small molecules in either direction, but they are too small to transmit protein molecules, let alone exosomes. They also transmit electrical signals. Recently the passage of siRNAs and synthetic oligonucleotides of approximately 2–4 kDa has been reported. Moreover, it has been shown that TCs express a broad range of microRNAs”. The microfilaments and microtubules are conductors of electricity, but because they are of nano scale it means that these “electrical signals” are actually governed by the laws of quantum mechanics. To give you a few basic examples, quantum mechanics determines the amount of energy that is required to make an electron jump from the valence band to the conduction band, and also when an electron jumps into the conduction band it leaves a positive charged hole in the valence band and the electron remains attached to that hole to the extent of the exciton Bohr radius. A variety of controls can be placed on these electrons in nano-scale structures – they can be gated. The point I am trying to make is that these electrical signals that have been detected in these TCs are purely quantum mechanical and are carrying information. It’s not simply a matter of a current running from a place of low chemical potential to a place of high chemical potential.
The authors specifically refer to other studies which “state that electron tomography reveals bridging nanostructures, which connect telopodes with stem cells”, and that these electron-dense connecting bridging structures may also occur between these TCs and a variety of other cells, including neurons, and then they ask the question: “Perhaps these nanotubes may also transport exosomes between cells?” If this is in fact the case then you have a complete explanation as to how the neuron or axon can signal to the OPCs that more myelin is required, and this signaling is done “electronically” and not “chemically.”
Recall what Richard Corfas said about the myelin containing information. The authors of the article state: “Alternatively the system could act as a series of OR gates. Molecular signals of a disturbed particular homeostatic function in either direction (for example increased inflammatory agents, antioxidants or toxic oxygen free radicals) transmitted via any of the gap junction inputs to the TC network could be carried along the network and trigger exosome release, with the resulting epigenetic modulation of the embedded stem cells”. Let’s be very clear on this. These authors are speculating that these electrical signals in these electron-dense nanostructures are performing basic logic functions, that is to say they are processing as well as transmitting information. In as much as these are electrons in the conduction band of these nanostructures that is doing this, the conclusion is inevitable that quantum computing is occurring. You will need to read my book where I explain these processes in detail.
Given what the authors have said about the nanoconductors containing logic gates, there can’t be any doubt that they are talking about quantum computing when they say: “A third possibility is raised by the hypothesis that electrical activity within the cytoskeletal framework of neurons may carry information… The cytoskeleton integrates converging signaling pathways, influences gene expression, coordinates membrane receptors and ionic flows, and localizes many cytosolic enzymes and signaling molecules. In the other direction evidence is accumulating that weak electromagnetic fields can modulate macroscopic oscillations at the network level. Coherent electromagnetic fields, produced by the longitudinal dipole oscillations in microtubules, could exert biological effects through a variety of biophysical mechanisms”. NB: Did you notice what was said here – weak electromagnetic fields can modulate macroscopic oscillations at the network level – you will need to read my book to find out about the weak electromagnetic radiation (biophotons) emanating from the DNA.
What is particularly significant is that the authors suggest that this quantum computing is occurring in the cytoskeleton of the cell. In my book I explain how the DNA acts as a quantum computer and transmits the output to the cell via electromagnetic radiation (biophotons), and these authors seem to be specifically asserting that nanostructures in the cytoskeleton are picking up the signal. “Furthermore… microtubules and actin filaments carry a high net surface charge and a quantity of electrical dipoles that may enable them to carry out electrical functions related to information processing in addition to their structural roles. They list a quantity of research that has focused on long-range signal transfer within cytoskeletal elements. They point out that the intraneuronal matrix connects synapses throughout the neuron so that electrical signals originated at the postsynaptic densities could propagate throughout the system. The matrix could integrate these signals, leading to electrical modulation of voltage-gated ion channels and inducing cytoskeletal reorganization via signal transduction pathways. This raises the possibility that the extensive cytoskeletal framework in TCs might exert a similar function. They have been shown to contain cytoskeletal elements including microfilaments, microtubules and vimentin”. It would be difficult to obtain a more complete statement of quantum computing processes without actually specifically naming it as such.
The point of the article in New Scientist was that researchers are amazed at how quickly this myelin augments in response to subjects learning new skills. This question of the speed of the changes to the myelin sheath is solved by the authors when they state: “In different organs TCs have been shown to possess different types of potassium, chloride and calcium channels. In view of the sheer length and thinness of the telomeres, the transmission of any kind of chemical signal is bound to be slow. Electrical signals… transmitted through the cytoskeleton would be practically instantaneous”.
Recall that the article in New Scientist talks of the white matter being another brain. The authors of this article in Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience conclude that there is indeed another brain operating, and it is made up of this intricate network of nano-scale conductors and semi-conductors in the cytoskeleton of the neuron: “In conclusion, we suggest possible ways in which TCs could function as an extensive intercellular information transmission system that utilizes small molecules, exosomes—and possibly electrical events in the cytoskeleton – to modulate homeostasis, stem cell activity and other functions in many organs. This network might well be regarded as forming a very primitive nervous system at the cellular level”. One wonders how there can still be leading researchers thinking in terms of all signaling events between cells being a chain of biochemical events known as an intracellular signaling pathway. They know that there must be information there. They are even saying that there must be information there. But they just don’t get it. They simply haven’t made the transformation to the information age. Hello!