Scientists Are Now Using Sound Waves to Regrow Bone Tissue
The future of regenerative medicine could be found within sound healing by regrowing bone cells with sound waves.
The use of sound as a healing modality has an ancient tradition all over the world. The ancient Greeks used sound to cure mental disorders; Australian Aborigines reportedly use the didgeridoo to heal; and Tibetan or Himalayan singing bowls were, and still are, used for spiritual healing ceremonies.
Recently, a study showed an hour-long sound bowl meditation reduced anger, fatigue, anxiety, and depression, which is great news for mental health. But now, a new study out of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia, showed physical healing using sound waves.
Scientists used high-frequency soundwaves to turn stem cells into bone cells in a medical discipline called ’tissue engineering,’ where the goal is to rebuild tissue and bone by helping the body to heal itself.
The researchers shot sound waves at tissue cells for 10 minutes a day over the course of five days. This magnified image shows stem cells turning into bone cells after being treated with high-frequency sound waves.
Co-lead researcher Leslie Yeo explained, “[W]e can use the sound waves to apply just the right amount of pressure in the right places to the stem cells, to trigger the change process.”
Professor Yeo and his team have spent over a decade studying sound wave effects on different materials, and have learned to use sound waves above 10 megahertz for the best results. In the past, the researchers point out, experiments to turn stem cells into bone cells were cost-prohibitive to scale up, and as cells had to be harvested from patients’ bone marrow, it could be extremely painful. But in this experiment, they used multiple types of cells, even fat cells that are much easier to extract from a patient.
They further argue that since the sound waves created in this experiment were generated by a low-cost microchip, their process will be quicker, easier, and less expensive than other methods. The next major challenge ahead: scaling the process so it can be put into medical use.
A New Phase of Matter Appears to Defy Laws of Thermodynamics
Scientists have created a new phase of matter known as time crystals, a quantum phenomenon appearing to defy the laws of thermodynamics. Could this discovery upend our understanding of classical physics?
A team of researchers developing Google’s Sycamore quantum computer announced the successful creation of a time crystal that lasted for 100 seconds. This novel phase of matter appears to defy the second law of thermodynamics, which states that entropy, or chaos and disorder, always increases in an isolated system. In other words, energy must be put into a system in order to maintain structure or motion. But time crystals have been observed to maintain a constant state of flux, without losing any energy.
Dr. Simeon Hein, director of the Institute for Resonance, explains the science behind this strange phenomenon.
“Crystals are in everything we do—they’re in watches—they’re in so many things because they’re regular, they create evenness, they create this consistency. And just like their pattern is very consistent, the energy that crystals transmit turns into a very regular pattern which is why you can use a quartz crystal in a watch,’ Dr. Hein said.
“You can put a noisy electrical signal in but it will come out as a very consistent beat, and that created the idea for some people, in this case, Frank Wilczek from M.I.T. in 2012, to propose the idea that you not only had crystals in space, you could have crystals in time. You could create an oscillating circuit, using specific quantum principles, you could create a very constant quantum beat.”
Time crystals have been described as the first “out-of-equilibrium” phase of matter, meaning they maintain order while in an excited state. But how do time crystals accomplish this, without expending energy?
“At a quantum level, they’re getting energy from something called the Zero-point energy field. The Zero-point energy field is the lowest ground state of quantum matter, but the lowest state doesn’t mean absolute zero like nothing’s happening. The quantum ground state is actually the base state of the universe, where even though there’s nothing happening, the field itself generates energy, causing random fluctuations and particles to pop out of nowhere, and all sorts of really interesting effects that normally, I should say most of the time, we don’t see in our regular, physical reality,” Dr. Hein said.
“So these coherently entangled particles would be deriving their energy from the quantum vacuum field. But if they’re getting their energy from the quantum vacuum, instead of our classical world, you can’t see any reason why they would eventually have to wind down like our regular clocks would, and energy would dissipate.”
With this new discovery of time crystals appearing to defy the second law of thermodynamics, how has mainstream science reacted, or tried to reconcile this paradox?
“A lot of these quantum phenomena seem to defy classical physics, the whole idea of quantum entanglement suggests faster than light interaction or communication, Einstein called it ‘spooky action at a distance,’ and experiments later confirmed that you could take pairs of particles and separate them, and you could do something to one of them, and the other particle would immediately react at farther and farther distances away,” Dr. Hein said.