Let us now consider the physiological m e c ha n i sm of sudden Z-radia tion, and of the biophysicochemical disturbances produced by this cosmic factor in the entire living organism or in its individual organs.
The specific reaction of volutin granules in C or y n e b a c t e r i a to solar "flares" has already been mentioned. This was the first step toward the study of this subject, some 30 years ago. It may be assumed that the impact of Z-radiation acts directly on the central nervous system. The Z-radiation may also affect the protein-colloid system of blood, lymph, and cytoplasm inducing colloidal-electrical changes that involve coagulation of the colloids, thereby leading to death under certain pathological condi tions of the organism. It is known that a minimum amount of electro magnetic energy may markedly lower the stability of the dispersed phase of certain colloidal fluids. Experiments have shown that radio waves from telegraphic transmitters caused relatively rapid precipitation of the solid phase of certain colloids, yet the field intensity is only of the order of 0.001 to 0.00001 of the intensity of the so-called electrical interference. When placed in sheet-iron chambers the same colloids were not affected by radio transmitters (Wilke and Muller). It has been known for a long time that milk curdles considerably faster on days with marked atmospheric-electrical disturbances (thunderstorms) than on other days. It was experimentally proved that the curdling is quite independent of bacterial processes. Evidently, under the effect of the factors men tioned above, syneresis and disruption of the protein-colloid system occurs in the milk. Experimental coagulation of milk by treatment with short Waves was reported, thus excluding from the process any thermal pheno mena (Kerber, Goetinck). Similar observations were made on various gels and emulsions in which the suspended phases precipitated during thunder storms (Wedekind and others).
Extensive experimental studies of the effect on animals of different electromagnetic waves failed to solve this problem directly, although many authors reported unfavorable changes in certain physiological functions after short-wave irradiation (Schlifacke, Dainton). In Russia work in this interesting field was started by V. Ya. Danilevskii (1900-1901), and by V. Ya. Danilevskii and A. M. Vorob'ev (1928). In this connection, Acade
mician V. Ya. Danilevskii wrote in his letter of 9 February 1928 to the author: "If we remember that we are separated from the Sun by a distance of only 107 Sun diameters, it is quite understandable that any disturbance of an electrical nature on the Sun must affect all creatures on Earth, since under certain conditions they act as resonators of these disturbances. I do not think that in general it is only the nervous system which is 'sensitive' in this respect. In principle, it cannot be denied that any living proto plasm may react functionally to these disturbances. When I observed in my latest experiments how sharply a nerve reacted to electromagnetic waves which did not excite but merely modified its physiological properties, I was immediately reminded of your theory." It is possible that the radiations in which we are interested lie within the range of ultrashort radio waves, i. e., between centimeters and hecto microns. These ultrashort radio waves are bounded on one side by deci meter radio waves and on the other by decamicron infrared rays. The assumption that the nervous system is endowed with "receivers" of milli metric radio waves is theoretically sound (Academician A. V. Leontovich).
The effect of electromagnetic waves of various wavelengths was studied, almost without exception, on healthy animals. In 1932-1933, we performed experiments which were basically different. Rabbits were treated with a sublethal dose of poison. The animals did not perish but were seriously affected by the poison. Another group of animals were inoculated with a rapidly developing infection. When placed in the field of electromagnetic waves generated by the mass radiator designed by Prof. A. A. Glagoleva Arkad'eva, most of these animals (80%), severely ill beforehand, perished within a short time. The control animals placed in a grounded metal cage failed to respond to treatment with electromagnetic waves and the disease or poisoning took its expected course. These experiments demonstrated that: (1) the electromagnetic radiations proved to be incomparably more injurious for the severely ill animals than for healthy animals; and (2) that metal screens may protect the organism against these electromagnetic radiations.