Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Curing Cancer Through Music

As I'm sure many people can relate, multiple important people in my life have become ill or passed away from cancer. My family history of cancer has brought the importance of finding a cure to the forefront in my life. One of my family members is even working in Chemistry to help find a cure. A devastating and difficult-to-comprehend illness, researchers across the world are looking for answers. However, one wouldn't think that someone with a musical background would be in the running for finding the latest cure.

After cancer researcher Jonathan Brody gave a talk at his alma mater stressing the importance of outside-the-box ideas to find a cure for cancer, his former music teacher Anthony Holland, PhD, approached him with something more outside the box than I would ever assume. A composer who has performed at Carnegie Hall and a professor at Skidmore College, Dr. Holland has also always been interested in physics and acoustics. Along with these fields, Anthony sat in on microbiology courses in the past. His idea for curing cancer through frequencies came about after reading about about a "lost science" of destroying microorganisms using the right frequencies. From there, Dr. Holland began his experimentation.

Holland says, "I learned to use microscopes and to grow and safely keep bacteria--and later cancer cells--in an incubator."  Before working on cancer cells, Dr. Holland experimented with different frequencies (and adding multiple frequencies) in order to create change in the organisms he experimented on. He says, "When I added the eleventh harmonic, I looked through the microscope and discovered that the microorganism had shattered. It reminded me of how a crystal glass shatters when a soprano hits just the right note." He was later approached by former student Jonathan Brody, who gave him the idea to try the same approach with cancer cells.

Dr. Holland now works with Jonathan Brody, PhD, to create the right frequencies to effectively change cancer cells. Their work is still in preliminary stages, but a documentary The Cure will be coming soon detailing their work on this revolutionary idea. Dr. Holland and film director Gabriel Rhodes also appeared on NPR's This American Life on November 11, 2011 to discuss the film and Holland's progress. You can listen to that program here.

If this idea does come to fruition in our lifetime, it could be the most radical cure for cancer so far. This truly creative idea is just one example of how passion for one field can bring extraordinary progress in another.

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