Water, Cells, and Life: Dr. Gerald Pollack (Full Transcript)

DrGerald Pollack is a professor at the University of Washington. At the present time he is the leading authority in the field of water structuring.

Following is the full text of his TEDx talk titled “Water, Cells, and Life” at TEDxNewYorkSalon.


Water, cells, and life. That covers a lot of ground.

But I want to be more specific. I want to talk about: Where do we get our energy?

Now, obviously, we get a lot of energy from food, but I’m going to introduce the idea that we might get additional energy from light.

Now, why do I raise this question? Well, I raise the question because nature commonly uses light to supply energy, for example, green algae, they photosynthesize – they take in light and the light creates energy.

And the same is true of some bacteria; they also photosynthesize. But what we know best, of course, is green plants.

So green plants soak up light and convert that light into chemical energy, and that chemical energy, then, drives whatever the plant does, the metabolism, growth, bending, you name it. And all of this works through water – the roots of the plant absorb water, and that water goes to the leaves, and what happens in the leaves is that when they receive light, they take the water that’s inside them and split the water into positive and negative – H+, OH-. This is the first step of photosynthesis, and it’s driven by light.

So you might say light creates this kind of battery with plus and minus. And the question is, are we also solar powered? Do we use light to get some of our energy? And I’ll show you that we actually do – we engage in the first step of photosynthesis, that is, the splitting of water into the negative and positive.

Mother nature, when she created us, hasn’t forsaken this wonderful mechanism of using light to get energy. And I’ll show you also that that leads to many insights in terms of our own health.

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Everybody knows that our body is mostly water, and in our laboratory at the University of Washington, we’re studying water, and we came upon something really interesting.

When water meets certain materials – these are hydrophillic, or water-loving materials, which means that if you have a surface and you drop the water, it spreads out instead of beading up the way it does, for example, on Teflon.

So what happens is that the water molecules split into the positive and negative, and the negative ones line up, as you see here, next to the hydrophilic material.

This negatively charged water is, in fact, a different phase of water. It’s not even H2O, it’s actually H3O2, is what we found. And we refer to this fourth phase, if you will, of water, that is beyond solid, liquid, and vapor, this fourth phase is semi-crystalline water, as EZ.

So what’s EZ?

EZ stands for “exclusion zone.” And the reason we called it exclusion zone when we found it is as this phase of water builds, it pushes out everything that’s inside of the water, that is, solutes, particles, whatever; and so we called it, logically, “exclusion zone,” and EZ, is, well, easy to remember.

So, essentially, this is potential energy because it’s just like a battery of water. And all batteries need to get charged, and the question is, well, where does the energy come from to charge this battery? Your cell phone needs to get charged, it’s battery, and this is another battery.

And the answer came from a student who was doing something that he was not supposed to do, so – He was carrying out an experiment, and this experiment is using some hydrophilic material and putting water next to it, just as I’ve shown you.

He took a lamp – the lamp was sitting right next to the experimental chamber – and just for fun, he shined the lamp on the chamber, and what he saw was really astonishing. He noticed that because of the illumination, the exclusion zone, or EZ, expands, and it expanded hugely.

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And when he took the lamp away, it came back to its original shape, which is a thin band of EZ – you can see at the upper left running parallel to the surface, so.

Well, it didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, you shine light, it gets bigger, and maybe the light is what’s responsible, the photons are responsible for providing the energy to grow this exclusion zone.

So obviously, we were really impressed by this student’s result, and we began to study different wavelengths of light, ranging from the ultraviolet, through the visible light, through the infrared light, and we found that by far, the most effective light was infrared.

Infrared is actually all over – it’s hard to get rid of, and it’s not just inside, it’s outside too. And this is literally free energy – we learned about free energy in our chemistry textbooks, but this is literally free, it doesn’t cost you a nickle; it’s there.

And because it’s there all the time, it means that when you have water next to a hydrophilic material, you always have EZ water.

And of course, if you add more light, then the EZ grows, you see? So light is basically feeding the growth. So this feature, this light-induced separation of charge can also be used to get electrical energy from light and water. All you need to do, at least in theory, is stick two electrodes in – one in the negative, one in the positive – and you ought to be able to get electricity to light a lightbulb.

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