DIEGO, CALIFORNIA WEDNESDAY, MAY 11, 1938
BARES STARTLING NEW CONCEPTIONS OF DISEASE GERMS AND THEIR
By Newell Jones
Three new and
revolutionary conceptions of disease germs and their activities
were disclosed today by Royal Raymond Rife, San Diego scientist,
as a climax to years of exploration by him in the mysterious
microscopic worlds of these little slayers of men. He:
previous brief reports of isolation of hitherto unseen,
filter-passing viruses to tell of discovery of many kinds of
them and to picture them as living entities, rather than mere
chemicals, and as players of more extensive and important roles
of disease than realized before.
discovery that organisms of disease have more forms of their
respective kinds than known previously.
startling finding that the organisms radically alter their
fundamental biology characteristics when "fed" upon
different substances, actually changing from one thing to
another in the case of one type.
announcements followed his revelation last week of discovery
that tuned radio waves will kill organisms of disease, and of
improvement of his high powered microscopes both reported
exclusively in the Evening Tribune. As is cautioning last week
that he "is not ready to claim Ďcuresí for disease
through radio waves, he continued today to offer his reports in
the cold, factual manner of scientists. Yet the inferences to be
drawn from the reports would imply material alterations of the
science of bacteriology.
The San Diego
scientist mentioned his bacteriologic findings briefly in
reporting his radio wave and microscopic work because all three
were closely linked, each helping to make the other possible.
His disclosures today broadened widely the extent and the
significance of the bacteriology discoveries.
most astonishing of the newly reported findings was about
alteration of fundamental biologic characteristics of the
organisms, although the other two discoveries may have a broader
practical importance in bacteriology.
Rife said his
research revealed that both bacteria and the viruses associated
with them-the small filter-passing, poisonous agencies somehow
linked with bacteria and considered to be more direct, inciting
causes of disease that the larger organisms themselves-can be
materially changed by changing the media upon which they are
cultivated in the laboratory. The actually exhibit changes in
metabolism-alterations in the chemical processes distinguishing
various forms of organic life, such as manís consumption of
this disclose would be, the scientist said, in the fact that
changes involved in the altering of the organisms are similar to
the variations occurring sometimes in metabolism of the human
" he commented, "might explain why disease bacteria
often can be present in our bodies without apparent harm and
then suddenly cause illness. Some metabolic change in the human
body, corresponding to the changes in the laboratory media, may
alter bacteria or their viruses from a harmless to a dangerous
In the case of
the bacillus of tuberculosis, the San Diegan reported, the
change is so radical as to constitute alteration of one thing to
another; the organism changes from a bacterial plant to a
fungus, to a microscopic form of life corresponding to such
visible plant life as molds.
activities, coupled with ability of the viruses to multiply in
laboratory cultures, Rife added, led him to another important
conclusion, the belief that viruses are living entities rather
than mere chemicals.
been considered by most research workers," he commented
"that viruses merely are chemical materials. But we believe
that the filter-passing bodies which we have isolated are
viruses, and in most instances, at least these bodies seem to be
living entities of some kind."
filter-passing viruses was, of course, one of the most important
steps in Rifeís studies. This took years of patient,
scientist worked for 7 years straight and few and studied about
20,000 laboratory cultures for a search for a virus of cancer,
he found nothing. Then, he recounted today, he became disgusted
and dropped the search temporarily, only to gain success
virtually by accident. Now, vigorously pressed in his Pt. Loma
laboratory, the hunt for viruses has revealed many through the
use of special means of culture and of his special microscopes.
filter-passing forms he reported isolated were those for cancer,
although he frankly declares that he is not yet positive that
this is the direct cause of the dread disease, b. coli, the
seemingly harmless bacillus, which always seems to accompany the
harmful typhoid bacillus, tuberculosis, sarcoma, the tumorous
disease similar to cancer, but less deadly; infantile paralysis;
streptococcus and staphylococcus infections and herpes
encephalitis and encephalitis lethargic, both infectious
ailments of the brain and nervous system.
Success in the
search began to come when Dr. Arthur L. Kendall, head of the
department of research bacteriology at Northwestern university
medical college, joined him in a phase of the work and suggested
a culture medium which proved to be a phase in making the
hitherto unseen viruses visible.
medium is a mixture of pig intestine and Tyrode solution, the
latter a standard mixture of chemicals. Kendall and Rife worked
with this medium in the Rife research laboratory on Pt. Loma, in
the Northwestern collegeís laboratory of research bacteriology
and in Pasadena hospitalís pathological laboratory, where Dr.
Milbank Johnson, prominent Los Angeles physician and surgeon,
cooperated with them. They inoculated culture tubes of the
medium with ordinary typhoid germs. They cultured the material,
carefully triple-filtered them through the finest Berkfeld
porcelain filters, and then examined, under one of Rifeís
microscopes, the portions which had passed through the filters.
In these filtrates they saw small, oval motile, turquoise-blue
work in the California and Western Medical Journal for December,
1931, the two "surmised that these turquoise-blue bodies
are indeed the filter-passing forms of the bacillus
attached the findings, and the Rife microscope with them. Then
Dr. E. C. Rosenow of the famed Mayo clinicís division of
departmental bacteriology, joined Rife and Kendall at
Northwestern for a review of the typhoid study. "The
ovalmotile, turquoise-blue bodies described previously by
Kendall and Rife were demonstrated unmistakably," Rosenow
reported in the Proceeding of the Staff Meetings of the Mayo
Clinic for July 13, 1932.
Rosenow defended the Rife microscope and also reported that he,
Rife and Kendall later had found filter-passing bodies from
streptococcus cultures which might be the viruses, the actual
inciting agents of infantile paralysis and herpes encephalitis.
today that the Kendall medium makes it possible to produce the
filter-passing forms for study at will by somehow causing the
bacteria to assume a "transitional state" in which
they shed the smaller bodies which are their viruses then, by
means of the special illumination and the high special
illumination and the high magnification in his microscopes, they
can be made visible.
But neither the
medium nor the microscopes were sufficient alone to reveal the
filter-passing organism Rife found in cancers, he recounted. It
was an added treatment which he found virtually by chance that
finally made this possible, he related. He happened to rest a
test tube of cancer culture within the circle of a tubular glass
ring filled with argon gas activated by an electrical current,
which he had been using in experimenting with electronic
bombardment of organisms of disease he recounted. It happened to
rest there about 24 hours, and then he noticed that its
appearance seemed to have changed. He studied and tested this
phenomenon repeatedly, and finally one day he discovered
filter-passing red-purple granules in the cultures.
three sets of experimental animals, he reported the red-purple
granules produce tumors typical of cancer.
perfected procedure for isolating the red-purple granules, the
scientist explains, a culture is first developed in Kendall
medium. Then it is subjected to the argon treatment, with the
gas-filled tube lighted for 24 hours by a 5000-volt electric
current. Next the culture is treated in a water vacuum.
that the operation under the gas-filled tube ionizes the cancer
material in some way, the treatment in the water vacuum, where
the material is kept at normal human body temperature,
counteracts the ionization by oxidation, and the result of the
two processes is the chemical constituents of the organism are
so changed that it is brought within the visible spectrum, when
examined in the special illumination of his microscopes.
commented, this special illumination reveals the filter-passing
organism, in characteristic individual colors.
far," he related, "no two kinds or forms of organisms
have been found to have the same colors. Only one has been found
to have dual coloring."
organisms, besides those from typhoid fever and cancer, their
variations in form and the startling metabolic changes occurring
when they are subjected to alterations to their chemical
environments, Rife recounted, were revealed as years more of
study and experimentation were added.
exhausting, painstaking laboratory studies, Rife had, besides
the cooperation and counsel of such professional men as Johnson,
Rosenow, Kendall, the help of a laboratory assistant, F.S. Free.
He and Free almost have lost count of the thousands of cultures
of organisms prepared and examined in the search for the
work connected with the isolation of the organism, there were
innumerable tests of the infectious qualities of the germs in
experimental animals, Rife commented, has demonstrated the
disease-causing properties of each of the viruses for which he