“Way out there” paper claiming to merge physics and biology retracted
A German professor who claims to have developed “a self-consistent field theory which is used to derive at all known interactions of the potential vortex” will have at least two papers retracted, thanks to the scrutiny of a concerned economist.
This article has been officially retracted from the Journal.
However, Ulrich Berger, a Vienna University economist and president of the Austrian Society for Critical Thinking, who brought the matter to the attention of relevant journal editors, tells us that a proper notice will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal. The editor of the Journal of Cell Communication and Signaling also told Berger that a paper Meyl published there, “Task of the introns,cell communication explained by field physics,” would be retracted.
The proximate cause of the retractions would seem to be just duplication. As Berger notes:
Meyl submitted the same paper 5 days earlier to the journal DNA and Cell Biology, where it was accepted and published  online in Oct. 2011 and in print in volume 31 (4), 2012. He later submitted a shortened version of the same paper to the Proceedings of the Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS) 2012 in Moscow, where it was published a third time  in fall 2012. He also submitted this paper to the WMSCI 2012 conference, where it was published  a fourth time in the proceedings in summer 2012.
But it’s not clear the papers ever should have been accepted in the first place. We’ll let Berger tell you why:
The “scientific” content of the paper is utter nonsense, at times reminiscent of an involuntary Sokal-hoax. The nonsense is so obvious that even a non-biologist like me can recognize it, but just to make sure, I have solicited the opinions of a molecular biologist, a biophysicist and a geneticist. They all agree that the paper contains crazy science-fiction at best. To give you a glimpse of this: According to this paper, magnetic “scalar waves” (an invention of Meyl unknown in temporary physics) emanate from the DNA of human cells and bring these cells in resonance with each other, their environment, and other human beings. This, according to Meyl, explains not only epigenetics, but also the workings of telepathy, telekinesis, and the human “aura”. Moreover, it reveals why love will never be measurable.
Here, for example, is the abstract of the now-retracted DNA and Cell Biology paper:
DNA generates a longitudinal wave that propagates in the direction of the magnetic field vector. Computed frequencies from the structure of DNA agree with those of the predicted biophoton radiation. The optimization of efficiency by minimizing the conduction losses leads to the double-helix structure of DNA. The vortex model of the magnetic scalar wave not only covers many observed structures within the nucleus perfectly, but also explains the hyperboloid channels in the matrix when two cells communicate with each other. Potential vortexes are an essential component of a scalar waves, as discovered in 1990. The basic approach for an extended field theory was confirmed in 2009 with the discovery of magnetic monopoles. For the first time, this provides the opportunity to explain the physical basis of life not only from the biological discipline. Nature covers the whole spectrum of known scientific fields of research, and interdisciplinary understanding is required to explain its complex relationships. The characteristics of the potential vortex are significant. With its concentration effect, it provides for miniaturization down to a few nanometers, which allows enormously high information density in the nucleus. With this first introduction of the magnetic scalar wave, it becomes clear that such a wave is suitable to use genetic code chemically stored in the base pairs of the genes and electrically modulate them, so as to ‘‘piggyback’’ information from the cell nucleus to another cell. At the receiving end, the reverse process takes place and the transported information is converted back into a chemical structure. The necessary energy required to power the chemical process is provided by the magnetic scalar wave itself.
Berger shared some of the responses he got from editors about how the papers were published. They’re refreshingly frank. It sounds as though the papers took advantages of some weaknesses in peer review — reminding us of several retractions from Applied Mathematics Letters, one of which was because the paper made “no sense mathematically.”
In one case involving the Meyl papers, a reviewer suggested by the author requested just minor revisions, while another reviewer — not suggested by the author — called it “way out there” but said it could be right. The fact that scientists had recently discussed “bacterial communication by electromagnetic waves” gave the ideas some credence.
But in another case — in which the paper ended up published with typos and exclamation marks, clearly unedited — the editor said there was “an unfortunate mishap during the processing of this manuscript.” That editor said:
Scientific misconduct and forgery with publishing is simply not acceptable and those who take advantage of the involuntary and unavoidable weaknesses of the publishing system, have no place in our scientific community.
We’ve asked Meyl — who sells various equipment, including a 3,600-euro device that allows users to “construct an energy transmission line according to Tesla” — for comment and will update with anything we learn.
Update, 3:15 p.m. Eastern, 3/8/13: The notice has appeared:
Editor-in-Chief of DNA and Cell Biology, Dr. Carol Shoshkes Reiss, received an e-mail on January 11, 2013, alleging that an article that had been published in DNA and Cell Biology was republished several times in other journals. Upon investigation, it was determined beyond the shadow of a doubt that the text, figures, mathematical formulas, and references in the article entitled ‘‘DNA and Cell Resonance: Magnetic Waves Enable Cell Communication’’ by Konstantin Meyl, published in the April 2012 issue of DNA and Cell Biology (31:422–426), were essentially identical to publications in the following issues:
1. The Journal of Cell Communications and Signaling, 2012;6(1):53–58
2.PIERS Proceedings Moscow 2012;997–1000
3. WMSCI 2012 Proceedings 113–117.
The author was immediately notified of this intolerable behavior and of our decision to redact the article. We stand behind this decision to immediately retract the article from DNA and Cell Biology as the Journal firmly upholds the strongest standards of scientific publishing and does not tolerate any impropriety