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on November 28, 2003
Here is a dedicated surgeon who spent three decades doing the step-by-step research necessary to determine what causes limb regeneration. During those years he and his colleagues had to run interferance against the most hideously uninformed, petty, self-serving agencies and beaurocracies, which are often made up of other scientists. Dr. Becker was studying something very important, and his conclusions flew in the face of the conventional views of science at that time, and also of today. He was way ahead of his time.
One of the most important parts of the book was the information on how we are bombarded every day by electromagnetic radiation which has proven to be harmful, but which is DENIED harmful because of economic interests. Studies showing it is harmful are delayed or buried. As a result of this radiation across America, people suffer from all sorts of ailments that doctors are unable to diagnose.
This man is one of the true pioneers of energy medicine. At the time he was doing his research, he had no idea that the electrical signals he was detecting in the bodies of both animals and humans, were part of the body's energy system, one of which is the Meridian system (along which acupoints are located). Against professional backbiting and the loss of all funds for further research, he persevered with his honor intact. This work was important because he was questioning why, if newts and salamanders can re-grow a limb, why can't we? If we continue to have a few scientists who buck the beaurocracy, and go public with their findings, and are able to withstand the ferocious attacks of peers and intrenched institutions, then we will have scientific progress. If not, we will continue to have most of our research projects done by mediocre follow-the-leader researchers on increasingly obscure projects which are far removed from the wholistic view of the human body that needs to be taken. I say "Bravo" to this man.
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on January 20, 2004
If you have not read Robert O. Becker yet you must, if you have any interest in health processes or the healing process. He was a very thorough medical researcher with a keen interest in regeneration and lays the basis of his work on a rich history of medical evolution from 2,000 BC forward. While he touches only lightly on silver, he was the first to certify that electro generated silver ions not only kill most pathogens but are also the only metallic ions to cause dedifferentiation of cells and thus rapid local regeneration. His primary application was as bimetallic (battery) implants to speed bone and other tissue healing but he opened the world to the electrical nature of cellular life processes.
Another interest I have always had was TENS or zapper units but after reading his works find 99% of applications are very risky due to mans constant desire to "make it stronger" - he found as little as a few billionths of an ampere and less then 1 volt triggered healing or regeneration and more was not only counterproductive but usually dangerous.
He gets bitter in the end, having been forced to close his lab, essentially banned from research by his peers because he moved forward too far too fast plus eventually got involved in attacking the electropollution man has introduced into our environment in the last 60 years. Our universe and thus evolutionary development are based on a low level electromagnetic environment with the dominant 10 hertz frequency of both our brains and gravity waves but man has increased the electropollution by 1,000 times,with the advent of 50/60 Hz electric lines blanketing the earth and pervase pulsed microwaves to the point we are effecting the Van Allen belt and thus weather, if not the general decline of many of mans bio-functions!
His followup book Cross Currents is slightly repetative but adds a great deal more, especially to his electropollution comcerns.
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on June 14, 2004
This is not an extremely technical book. You would have some trouble trying to reproduce the good doctor's experiments with nothing but this. But it is very influential, and very interesting. A collection of the Biological works of Robert Becker would not only get 5 stars from me, but would be the greatest scientific work of the 20th century, with the POSSIBLE exception of Einstein's "Collected Works on Relativity". Yes, Becker is that good.
My first exposure to Becker was a relatively unimpressive interview on 60 minutes when I was a boy. In college I watched this man's work almost singlehandedly bring back electrobiology, which (so said the books printed in the 80's) was dead. There is still much to do in this field. It's rare for an MD (no, he is not a PhD) to be able to figure these things out without having someone else tell it to him. That's a compliment, by the way. Hell, MD's keep saying the Atkins diet won't work, when bodybuilders and wrestlers have been using the same principles very successfully for decades. They just aren't progressive thinkers for the most part, but this guy has more to say (that you need to hear) than any PhD around today.
His early article in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery(an early inspiration for my thesis) is cited here, as are several of his later articles, so it gives you leads to follow. If you are a scientist or are studying to be one, I recomend this as something very important to read between semesters. If you are a laymen that is either interested in science or just worried about the potential hazards of electromagnetic pollution, I recomend it as a starting point.
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on March 25, 2003
This book finally leads medicine (and biology) from the early 1800's into the 21st century. That is, these areas have been stuck in a mechanistic, chemical-based view of how the body works since they elected to ignore Maxwell's work - work that has lead to all of the electrical gadgets and technology we all love so dearly.
For some reason those in who study life have elected to ignore Maxwell's work and concentrate on chemical reactions. As was pointed out back in the 1920's (and earlier even) this approach precludes life so it is no wonder that medicine has not advanced very far.
Becker lays the groundwork for understanding ancient traditions such as Qigong (the Taoists certainly understood the concept of the energetic body) in addition to exposing the widespread pollution we are now exposed to. One wonders when people will wake up and realize that the electromagnetic pollution is no doubt doing at least as much as the chemical pollution in causing changes to the planet's biosphere.
Excellent book in addition to the newer "Cross Currents".
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on June 9, 2004
"The Body Electric" (1) and "Cross Currents" (2)These books are the basis for electro-medicine good/harmful effects. They (the first one especially) provide cogent explanations on the cancer
mechanisms; bone/tissue/organ regeneration and electromagnetic effects. One can deduce how wrong and primitive mainstream thinking is in these matters.

I think these books should be required reading by any MD/researcher/engineer worth her/his salt.
Incidentally Dr. Becker, far ahead of his time, is the king of stem cell research, however, he was hounded by the mainstream as his research would have put much of the wrong headed & self serving research funding in jeopardy and he hardly ever gets credit for his ground breaking work.
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VINE VOICEon January 1, 2006
Electric current, nerves, and dedifferentiated cells form blastama that will different into tissue, bones, and organs. Becker discovered negative charged electric current after limb injury. He observed tissue repair for CNS, Brain, Bone, and heart in Salamander specimens. The heart of regenerative technology is the ability too create artifical dedifferentiation. Current causes the puromycin blockage to be lifted. The cells differentiate into new tissue and bone structures in the damaged area. The electric forces unlock the repressed genes. Mammals followed a similar pattern, Blastemas form around electrodes flowing with low current and redifferentiation proceed into tissue regeneration. Becker used Rats too test out the idea. The rat had regrown a shft of bone extending from the severed humerous, new muscle, and new nerve. At least ten different kinds of cells had differentiated out from the blastema. The regeneration was not complete but offered promising potential for complete regeneration in the future.

By mid-1978 Becker had successfully treated fourteen osteomyelitis patients with positive silver mesh wire. Five of them had healed nonunions. The silver mesh wire had stimulated bone-forming cells, cured stubborn infections from all kinds of bacteria, and stimulated healing in skin and other soft tissues.

Cartiage damage from arthritis. Becker reasoned that since cartiage was made from one kind of cells they could get it to regenerate. A orthopedic surgeon removed the cartilage layer from one side fo the femar at the knee of a white rabbit. They then implanted silver-platinum couplings into the bone and extending to the region where the cartilage was removed. All rabbit great improved repair. However, two of the rabbits completely healed with hyaline cartilage just like the original material.

The Lazus heart involved the surgical removal of the scar tissue, placing an electrod at the damage site, injecting embroyonic stem cells and sealing the region with a tissue patch. Beck seemed hopeful that one day the procedure would be used to heal massive heart damage.

Spinal cord injury involved debridement of the cord ends, injecting cutured embryonal ependymal cells, and a ectrode to DC generator, close the wound an allow regenerating between the cord ends.
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on February 10, 1999
This is a book that will enlighten a lay person that has limited knowledge in the sciences and interest the educated. It focuses on: Regeneration, Politics in Medicine, and Electromagnetic pollution. It slows down a bit when the author chooses to voice his opinions on politics in the medical field, but quickly picks up in the end when he explores the effects of electro-magnetic fields on the human body. I recommend this book because, in short, I found it very interesting.
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VINE VOICEon August 18, 2007
Honestly, if I could give this book 10 stars, I would.

I was worried this would be some hippy-dippy, new age ride, based on some of the chapter headings. But concealed behind the facade of odd chapter headings is a truly amazing scientific work. I'm blown away. Becker & Selden go into excruciatingly beautiful detail of any number of experiments exposing some of the electrical plumbing and electrical signaling going on in complex bodies. This includes bone regeneration through electrical currents, partial or complete limb regeneration in Rats and salamanders through electrical processes. It refers to known cases of young children (under 11 y/o) regrowing fingertips that have been severed in accidents and NOT been operated on, or had skin grafts that inhibit the regenerative process. They also go into the removal of bacterial infections with positive silver electrodes approximating the body's natural healing electrical currents. (I think I now know why colloidal silver is popular as an anti-infections agent and silver nitrate {I think?} is used when babies are born to ward off infection...)

This book is written with the lay reader in mind. You don't need a medical background to understand and be enraptured by this book. As I may have said already (or not), I can't put it down. It's THAT GOOD! I hope this stuff is taught in medical school and more research goes into this field. I have the feeling it holds the key to higher level human regeneration and life extension (through making use of and maintaining the body's existing electrical systems)...

Just... WOW!
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on April 3, 2013
I bought this book after extensive research in occult teachings, namely Jewish mysticism. Western and Eastern Esoterisicm for centuries has taught, both subtly and obviously, that our bodies, our planet, our solar system, and our universe are essentially circuits. Although The Body Electric is a scientific journey, the writer ends up reaching the same conclusions the ancients understood long-long ago. We still have a long ways to go to recapture that ancient knowledge. (Afterall, the writer eventually starts studying acupuncture, which just further supports my point.)

I love this book because it speaks our modern-day language and brings ancient, esoteric conceptions down to a level most people can at least attempt to grasp. Otherwise, you would have to spend a lot of time, research, and soul searching to come to similar conclusions about our physical and spiritual composition.

Here are the areas of the book that stood out for me:

1) The writer found that you can put an animal to sleep by running a current through its head. There's no need for anesthesia. You just flip off the current to wake the animal up. The animal literally feels no pain during the time the current is being used, and there are few to no side-effects once the animal wakes up.

2) The military industrial complex has been gobbling up fringe research like what is found in The Body Electric for completely different purposes. Imagine putting to sleep an entire legion with a giant ray gun? It sounds like science fiction now ...

3) Peer review is flawed and riddled with sleazy people who steal ideas and find ways to back stab. This really isn't new information if you work in the "publish or perish" workforce, but it's refreshing to see another brave soul blow the horn on this bureaucratic creature from the black lagoon that repeatedly gets love letters from universities across the globe. In today's world with GMOs even insects won't eat, rapid rates of cancer (namely brain cancer from cellphones), so-called "genetic pandemics" of autism, and rising cases of infant mortality in our "advanced" society, you have to be a complete idiot not to see that our technology is killing us. The Body Electric spells it out for you.

4) Kirlian photography was debunked. The aura you're seeing around plants, hands, people ... is created by the machine itself. What I love, though, about the book is that it doesn't take that fact as an opportunity to condemn auras and say they are all folklore and mythology. The author makes a very open-minded observation that auras are still very real and he produces other research and investigations to show just how that's possible.

5) What happened to the author of the book is still going on today. Yes, the book was originally published in the 1980s, but researchers are being blacklisted far more today. If you stand outside the status quo in your thinking, you are thrown out, your research is stolen, and somebody privately uses the results to produce things for self-serving industries. The world was a scary place; it's even scarier now. It's going to get a lot worse before it gets better, and people centuries from now are going to look back at 21st century societies and wonder how we could ever be so-so-so stupid.

Science without philosophy is a dangerous thing. That statement sums up the spirit of The Body Electric quite well.
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on March 12, 2001
"The Body Electric" is a ground-breaking dissertation on human health as it relates to small electrical fields. Being a scientist, I was suspicious of the book's initial hypothesis, but I was later convinced by the overwhelming clinical data provided in the book. Very well written, easy to read, and extremely valuable. I highly recommend this book.
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