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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Scopolamine Addiction

Everyone already knows the tense bewilderment brought about by Mahler’s symphonies, the musical mathematics of Tool’s guitar cords, the sexual magnetism of Shakira’s poems, and the raw energy of Paul Oakenfield’s trance. Whereas we can all appreciate the physical and emotional affects of music, it is surprising to see how scientists are plunging into the depths of sound for medicinal use.

The idea of music as healing can be seen in human history. The Greeks believed that music had the power to heal the body and the soul, as reflected in their mythology, with Apollo – the god of music, giving rise to his son Aesculapius – the god of healing and medicine. Aristotle practiced psychocatharsis, a belief that those who suffered from uncontrollable emotions would relapse into their normal condition after having listened to music, which raised their souls to ecstasy. Today, advances are more complex, but are driven by this same instinct.

Sonocytology is the study of cell sounds which may one day allow doctors to ‘hear’ diseases. It all started when medical researchers realized that when living heart cells are placed in a Petri dish, they continue to pulsate. A series of experiments showed that cells make sounds, which can be detected through extremely sensitive equipment. The process of listening to cell sounds is analogous to sound processing in the digital realm: sound is converted into an electronic signal, amplified and projected utilizing a speaker. Resent results have shown that dead cells produce a low rumbling sound, and pitches become higher when cells are saturated with alcohol. Genetic mutations produce different sound waves in comparison to healthy cells. Even DNA and RNA chains resonate harmoniously with the tone of Earth’s rotation. These scientists are hoping to use this technique to detect cancer, which arises through changes in the cells genetic makeup.

It has been known since the time of the sirens that music affects blood circulation. Current experiments have shown that when cancer cells and microbe cells are subjected to music of 4 different types: classical, popular, rock, and medieval hymns; the latter has a strong impact. The interaction between the vibrations and cells is very complex. Amazingly, different types of music can boost and suppress cell growth. These studies will help scientists understand cellular processes and the movement of malignancies.

Further research into musical impact on the brain shows that aggressive music causes greater blood circulation in both hemispheres, in comparison to other types of music. Since blood circulation is vital to higher order processes of the brain, it might just be the case that academics have to stop listening to Mozart, and start paying attention to the death metal guru’s Cannibal Corpses. Other studies show music can reduce the need for blood-pressure medications after heart surgery and help babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (ICU) gain weight.

Some scientists, however, are not looking for such humane effects of music. One scientist has created machinery with directional sound, called HIDA – High Intensity Directed Acoustics. This means that the sounds the machine projects cannot be heard outside the laser like area that the sound fills. It is being explored by the government as a form of weaponry, since it can be directed at an enemy and can cause anything from loss of equilibrium, vomiting, and migraines to the deterioration of the bones in your skull. All this goes to show that the power of music is so pervasive that it can tame the enemy, our cells, and most importantly our frustrated minds.

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