• Solar cycles and their relationship to human disease and adaptability.

      Davis, George E.; Lowell, Walter E. (2006)
      In this paper, we show that 11-year solar cycle peaks predispose humans to disease, but also endow creativity and adaptability. We give several examples of diseases that are modulated by light and present evidence for an effect of intensity and variation in sunlight, primarily ultraviolet radiation (UVR), on the human genome. The birth dates of nearly 237,000 unique clients in the Maine Medicaid database collected from 1995 to 2004, inclusive, were related to solar cycle irradiance for the past seventy-one years, encompassing seven solar cycles. The sample was divided into four general categories of disease: mental/behavioral illnesses; metabolic diseases; autoimmune diseases; neoplasms. The birth months for those clients born in any given year were arranged in the form of a winter/summer ratio in order to more clearly appreciate the seasonality inherent in each disease category. Solar cycles were separated into chaotic (approximately three times as irradiant) or non-chaotic according to the Gutenberg-Richter power law and the uncertainty inherent in predicting solar storms. The results show that radiation peaks in solar cycles and particularly in chaotic solar cycles (CSCs) are associated with a higher incidence of mental disorders, suggesting the sensitivity of ectodermal embryonic tissues to UVR. Autoimmune diseases have intermediate sensitivity, while the neoplasms in the study, primarily of endoderm, appear suppressed by peak UVR intensity. The ratio of the number of clients born in CSC cycles to non-CSC cycles was highest for the more genetic mental diseases, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, but as that ratio decreased, the clients with diseases like multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis showed more environmental features manifested as a greater winter/summer birth month ratio that was significantly different than that of the average client in the whole data set. The paper presents evidence that latitude, e.g., variation in light, is an added stress to the immune system (especially at 53-54 degrees N. latitude) that is involved in nearly all human disease. We hypothesize that introns, the presumptive engenderers of gene control, modulate the effects of UVR, particularly for the neoplasms studied. We conclude that intermittent and largely unpredictable peak solar cycle radiation has been the fundamental engine of evolution, forcing organisms to adapt to mutagenic UVR and producing enough damage to instigate genetic variation. Probably a chance genetic mutation over 80,000 years ago produced a human brain capable of abstract thought and consciousness. The slight genetic instability that favored an adaptable, creative brain also produced other somatic variations that present phenotypically as disease, but largely expressed after natural selection (reproduction) and associated with the inexorable entropy of aging.