Dead animals’ cells may tell tales

Art and groundbreaking science intermingle in the latest exhibit at the Centre Gallery. Senior art student Hiroki Haraguchi’s Poached Wonderland & Transmutative Nano-Resonant Technology is about as mind boggling as the exhibit’s title.

Transmutative Nano-Resonance (tNR), developed by Haraguchi himself, is a sub-sect of Nano-Resonant Technology (NRT). The theory asserts that a creature’s cells independently retain information, or resonance, from experiences during the creature’s lifespan, according to the exhibit’s informational statement.

The purpose of tNR is to read and decipher minute alterations to an animal’s cellular structure.

The works on display in Haraguchi’s exhibit are the result of a meticulous poaching process of dead animals. This process, in culmination with tNR, grows crystals out of the animals’ cells.

Each crystal formation is unique to the creature it springs from, because its formation depends on the resonance left inside the animal’s cells. This means that, using Haraguchi’s acoustic technology, scientists may be able to determine how animals lived by reading the crystals their bodies produce.

“I hope that, using this technology, we could be able to learn some specifics about a creature’s life,” Haraguchi said. “Reading these crystals, we could learn an animal’s nutrition, where they lived, or maybe even the way they died and the emotion that went along with that death. This could essentially be a log of an animal’s

Archaeologist and assistant professor of anthropology Karla Davis-Salazar said she would support research in tNR to an extent.

“I don’t know much about it, but assuming that there is no harm done to humans or animals I would support more research into (tNR),” Davis-Salazar said. “I’m always interested in finding out more about the past, but we have to understand that there are already some methods of finding this sort of data that won’t damage the fossils, like stable isotope analysis. So as long as (tNR) is used only on a small (number of) extracted samples of fossils, then I’m fine with devoting more research to it.”

Though there has not been any research put into reading the crystals, some of the pieces in the exhibit indicate that there may be a legitimate reason to investigate this science further.

From what is understood right now, the resonance left behind by stimuli has a direct effect on both the color and shape of the crystals. After being dipped in the chemical poaching fluid and exposed to tNR, two of the pieces on display showed strikingly similar results.

A set of chicken feet and the heart of a pig exhibited nearly identical crystal coloration. These two specimens were collected from the same farm region. It could be a coincidence, but Haraguchi said that the color similarity may be a direct result of the environment in which these two animals lived.

If there is a chance that this technology could help people understand the lifestyles of other species, then it could open up a new area of scientific research. For this reason, Haraguchi said it is worth the risk of experimenting on fossilized remains.

“What is the use of a fossil except for the purpose of display?” Haraguchi said. “We can only determine so much about a being from its remains. We can observe its structure and use those observations to make inferences about its behaviors and environment, but what if we could learn about every aspect of its life? The crystals formed by the tNR can physically produce information that is contained in the resonance given off by the cells. Sure, you might blemish what (the remains look) like, but I think that it is a worthy sacrifice to obtain such

“I just want people to be aware of such an interesting technology,” Haraguchi said. “Even if it is still a few steps behind having practical use yet, I still want people to embrace technology and science as art.”

Poached Wonderland and Transmutative Nano-Resonant Technology will be on display through Oct. 17.

Editor’s note: The animals featured in Haraguchi’s exhibit died of natural causes Haraguchi said.