[See ref 18
What are the natural emitters of pulsating infrared signals in the world of cells? We know of no
inanimate object around cells that emits pulses of near infrared light.
Therefore, we need to look inside cells for them. The best candidates
appear to be the mitochondria because they contain the vast majority of porphyrin (heme-)containing proteins
in tissue cells, namely the cytochromes. In phase contrast microscopy they are only visible
in the thinner parts of the cell body (see below).
However, as shown in the fluorescent micrograph below, each cell contains a large number of them.
Fluorescence micrograph of rhodamine stained live mitochondria of a single cell. Each bright, squiggly line
is a mitochondrion. The nucleus does not contain mitochondria and, therefore, appears
as a dark circle in the middle of the cell.
The possible role of heme-related molecules in the reception and emission
of near infrared light
The heme group is derived from the porphyrin molecules which is essentially a
network of 36 conjugated bonds arranged in a flat disk.
Basic molecular structure of porphyrins. The side chains are not specified.
The center of the heme group and other
related molecules contains a metal ion. Such a system of many conjugated bonds may generate energy states which have
properties somewhere in between the discrete energy levels of single atoms and the
continuous energy band structure of (infinite) solid state crystals. The charge of the
metal ion is able to fine-tune the energy levels. These energy states may
lie very close to each other and yet not allow transitions between them for
reasons of the conservation of momentum and spin. Thus they may accumulate
and store small packages of energy such as infrared photons well protected from the
ubiquitous thermal chaos of the cellular world until a very
specific trigger discharges them. The discharge may
release photons of higher energy than the single photons that build up the
charge and it may also generate sudden electrical conductivity of the
molecule because electrons moved into the higher energy levels that are
comparable to the conduction bands of crystals. In other words the porphyrin
molecule may serve as a powerful accumulation and amplification mechanism
for the small energy of the individually absorbed photons.
All chlorophylls contain the heme group as the chromophore which
absorbs the light energy used for photosynthesis. Some of the chlorophylls
such as bacteria-chlorophyll absorb at the same near infrared wavelength which
most attracctive for the tissue cells in our experiments. Therefore, bacteriochlorophyll
may be considered as a model for the unknown pigment molecules in the centrioles
of the light sensitive tissue cells that absorb the near infrared light.
Heme proteins may also serve as models for the unknown emitter substances
of the pulsating infrared light because there is no principal reason why
the quantum-mechanical absorption mechanism could not also be an emission
mechanism. For example, I have shown recently that bacteriochlorophyll is
able to fluoresce in the near infrared range
[See ref 18].
As mentioned above,mitochondria contain practically all the heme proteins of
tissue cells. Therefore, they appear to be excellent candidates for near infrared
emitters of cells. It is also likely that they would emit the light in pulses
whenever they discharge a load of ATP molecules that they have synthesized in the course of their normal function,
namely oxidative phosphorylation.