Letter from Walter A. Heiby to Marshall W. Nirenberg
Heiby developed a theory (similar to homeopathy's law of infinitesimals) known as the reverse effect, that states that
"there is a good probability that a vitamin, mineral, or drug that causes or exacerbates a certain disease at one concentration
may reverse its role and molify or cure that same disease at another concentration, and vice versa." This is the third
letter sent to Nirenberg asking for his comments on the theory, which Heiby promised to include on the jacket for the book.
Item is a photocopy.
Number of Image Pages:
1 (92,111 Bytes)
1988-03-23 (March 23, 1988)
Heiby, Walter A.
Nirenberg, Marshall W.
Reproduced with permission of Walter A. Heiby.
Beyond the Laboratory: Professional, Personal, and Political Life, 1967-2002
[Handwritten note: The jacket design will soon be completed. I'd like very much to include your comment.
Walter Heiby 3-23-88]
March 1, 1988
Dear Dr. Nirenberg:
I have just completed my latest book and am enclosing an unjacketed copy. The theory of the reverse effect states that there
is a good probability that a vitamin, mineral or drug that causes or exacerbates a certain disease at one concentration may
reverse its role and molify or cure that same disease at another concentration, and vice versa. I speculate (on pages 57,
72, 75-76, 81, 250, 276, 453, 857 and elsewhere) that mutagens, at different concentrations, may assume either a carcinogenic
or a cancer-curing role. There are 52 entries under Cancer, reverse effects on index pages 1098-1099. The book discusses
a total of over 250 reverse effects.
Will you do me a favor? Will you write a brief comment about my book The Reverse Effect to appear on its jacket? My book
will receive much better attention from the scientific community as well as from intelligent laymen if you, as a Nobel laureate,
would give it favorable comment.
If you believe the theory of the reverse effect may lead to nutritional and medical revolutions I hope you will write accordingly.
If my work can be compared, even in just a very minor sense, with any of the concepts or books of the past that sent science
in a new direction I'd be pleased if you would make the comparison. If you believe, as I do, that successful therapies
for cancer and for other diseases may result from application of the theory of the reverse effect I hope you will say so.
I know that the demands on your time must be very great indeed. May I, therefore, suggest that you read just the Preface,
Introduction and chapter one plus anything relating to your own special interests. (The indices should be especially helpful.)
Then, before reading on, may I ask you to mail your comment for use on the jacket? In just a few weeks I hope to send you
a second copy of The Reverse Effect -- this one with your statement featured on the jacket.
[Handwritten note: Your work is cited on pages 580-581.]
Yours in admiration,
Walter A. Heiby
P.S. Perhaps you'll want to encourage a colleague to write a book possibly titled The Reverse Effect in Medicine. Pages
II (not numbered), 73-74, 164, 260, 326, 786, and 868 suggest the possibilities. I am awaiting receipt of comments from you
and other distinguished scientists to complete the jacket. I hope that, if at all feasible, I can have your comment in about
[Handwritten note: Dr. Nirenberg: Please -- I do, so much, want your words on the jacket]