The Spark of Life by Frances Ashcroft
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/book ... eview.html
There is a grandeur in the materialist conception of life. Far from sucking the vitality out of life, it forces us to suppose that everything is in some measure involved with the business of living and thinking; that living and thinking are things the universe does.
Frances Ashcroft’s second book – a sort of anthropocentric natural history of electricity – nudges us towards this cosmological perspective. (My edit; ????????? what does that mean?)
Flesh is electric. It is charged. The solutions inside our cells are high in potassium and low in sodium. Blood and extracellular fluids are low in potassium but high in sodium. This gives every cell around 60 to 90 millivolts of electrical charge. Our internal electrics are wildly dynamic. When we exercise, potassium levels in the blood rise to levels that would normally stop the heart. Only the release of adrenalin prevents the inevitable heart attack. Living things wage electromagnetic war on each other. The poisons spewed by spiders, sea anemones, frogs, snakes and scorpions are electrochemical agents, hijacking a victim’s nervous system.
http://www.york.ac.uk/news-and-events/e ... k-of-life/
What do a thoroughbred American quarter horse known as Impressive, a child born with diabetes, a herd of Texan goats, and a deaf person have in common? The answer is that all of them have errors in a particular type of protein, known as an ion channel, that regulates the electrical activity of the body. Each of us is a collection of many millions of individual cells. Ion channels are the guardians of these cells – they serve as gateways for the movement of substances into and out of the cell, and act as receptors for chemical messengers that enable cells to communicate with one another. It is therefore not surprising that a multitude of medicinal drugs work by regulating the activity of ion channels, and that impaired ion channel function is responsible for many human and animal diseases. Your ability to read this page and to understand its message, to laugh and cry, to think and feel, to see and hear, and to move your muscles, depends on ion channels. This lecture explains how animal electricity is generated by ion channels, the ways it regulates our lives and the dramatic consequences when things go wrong. In particular, it will show how understanding the function of a specific type of ion channel has enabled children with diabetes to throw away their insulin syringes. Mary Shelley once famously animated Frankenstein's creation with a bolt of lightening - this lecture considers the extent to which electricity is indeed the Spark of Life.
That puts Royal Rife in a very different perspective.