In 1953 James Watson, Francis Crick, and Maurice Wilkins published a paper titled “A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid [DNA].” The first sentence states, “We wish to suggest a structure for the salt of deoxyribose nucleic acid (D.N.A.).” The sentence is significant. It informs us that DNA is a biological salt and, therefore, also can be accurately described as dust.
After losing positively charged hydrogen ions, DNA phosphates (phosphate and sugar comprise the backbone of the DNA double helix — the handrails of the spiral staircase of the double helix) become negatively charged. Consequently, they bind to a cation (a positively charged ion) to achieve electrical neutrality. In the DNA molecule, Na+ (sodium, an alkali metal) is the cation. That makes the DNA polymer a “salt” of [Na+] x [DNA-].
Physicists Perepelytsya and Volkov describe DNA as a salt of alkali. In his book, Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life, Russian scientist Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetskii tells us that DNA, despite being called an acid, is also salt. He further states that calling it acid is an error of the highest magnitude. It could be compared to the error by referring to ordinary table salt as hydrochloric acid.
Under what circumstances does biological dust also qualify as a biological salt? It occurs when an ion of alkali metal, such as sodium, bonds with the DNA backbone (the two sides of the double helix spiral ladder). The two sides are composed of a phosphate group, which is the acid in DNA, bonded with 5-carbon sugar). Thus, DNA is a salt which is also classified as dust.
In James Watson’s personal account of the discovery of the structure of DNA, we discover the seeds of future breakthroughs in the role of biological water in the structure and function of DNA and the genes within the molecule of DNA. Watson writes:
[Rosalind Franklin aka Rosy] had had evidence for a new three-dimensional form of DNA. [The structuring] occurred when the DNA molecules were surrounded by a large amount of water [all emphasis SML]. … Since the middle of the summer Rosy had had evidence for a new three-dimensional form of DNA. It occurred when the DNA molecules were surrounded by a large amount of water.
“Tight shells of water molecules” as Rosy described it.
Approximately seventy years after this conversation took place, the science of cellular biology has advanced to the degree that we are able to begin to see water as really alive and moving. Nobel Laureate Albert Szent-Gyorgyi characterizes life as “water dancing [SML] to the tune of macromolecules.” Another researcher characterizes this watery dance, as it was referred to by Szent-Gyorgyi, as a sort of quantum “jazz” which is always being improvised in response to its environment. It is also coherent beyond our wildest imaginings. Our body is a liquid crystalline (liquid stone) organism that is, in fact, quantum coherent.
Dr. Gerald Pollack, University of Washington professor of bioengineering, has developed a new theory of water that has been called revolutionary. He has discovered a fourth phase of water consisting of exclusion zones that are bounded, uniquely structured via the natural incorporation of hydronium ions (H3O+). These hydration shells, which coat virtually every solid cellular surface in the body, can project from a nucleating surface by distances up to a full meter (0.4+ inches). It takes millions of layers to create that depth of layering.
The discovery of structured water is revolutionizing our understanding of how the body functions. One thing it has opened our eyes to is the profound interaction between bio-living water and photons of light. It seems that when God teaches us about Living Water and the light of Truth, he wasn’t only referring to the spiritual. In fact, because of this new understanding, we now can suggest how the Holy Spirit uses bio-living water to stop the decaying process that should occur in the deceased saints who are miraculously kept fully or partially incorrupt. It also suggests the possibility of the instrumentality of water in cleansing the physical bodies of those who are receiving the Sacrament of Baptism.
In all honesty, to accept that DNA is a salt, is not a prerequisite for understanding the molecule’s chemical underpinnings. What is essential is to recognize it as an irrefutable scientific fact. However, the role of salt is critical to our understanding of DNA and life. Currently, there is a hypothesis that life began in a high-salt environment. A research team at Florida State University College of Medicine headed by structural biologist Michael Blaber is championing the hypothesis. He believes the emergence of life (known as abiogenesis) began through the presence of ten pre-biotic amino acids (amino acids are the “building blocks” of DNA-produced proteins) existing in a high-salt environment. As of this writing, they were 80% of the way towards proving their hypothesis. Their findings were published in the Journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2013.
Excluding matter we consume (water and food), we are, from the top of our head to the tip of our toes, nothing but cells (I have seen estimates ranging from 10 to 100 trillion cells in the human body). In every one of those cells, we have a complete copy of our salt of DNA. We have so much salt of DNA in our bodies. If we were to place every strand end-to-end, it would extend ten billion miles; enough to go to Pluto and back. So yeah, I’d say we’re all pillars of salt.
Knowing the meaning of salt in Scripture, what conclusions can be drawn concerning the deeper meaning of dust, stone, and rock in Scripture? First, let’s examine why, in physical creation, it is proper to refer to the Son of God as a stone or rock. According to St. Hildegard, of the three qualities of a stone, the one that denotes the Son is the solidity of touch because it signifies the ability of man to see, touch, and know him.
What makes DNA Classified as a Chunk of Rock / Stone/ Dust?
All rocks and stones (which come from rocks) are formed from two or more minerals (minerals are generally defined as inorganic solids that have a crystalline structure). Some minerals are composed of only one element listed in the Periodic Table. Others are mixed with other elements, such as aluminum, silicon, sodium, and magnesium. Further, some elemental minerals are classified as metallic, e.g., gold, silver, and copper.
For example, the minerals of sodium and potassium are both alkali metals that combine with the phosphate minerals of the DNA backbone (the two sides of the double helix ladder) to make it a salt — a salt that is also a stone. Furthermore, this cannot be overemphasized; the DNA itself has a crystalline structure, as do all minerals. It was x-ray crystallography that made it possible for James Watson, Francis Crick, Maurice Wilkins, and Rosalind Franklin to discover that the “B” form of DNA was in the shape of a double helix.
Our DNA is a bonded collection of very, very small stones — dust — held together by electrically charged ions and surrounded by dynamically structured water molecules (more on the importance of that fact later in the book). William Whitman, a microbiology professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, tells us that DNA by itself, absent any of the other biological systems that make for a living cell, is nothing more than a “rock.” That’s right — dust! Let’s recall the words of God to Adam: “In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Gen. 3:19).
 Watson, J., Crick, F., Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid. Nature 171, 737–738 (1953). https://doi.org/10.1038/171737a0.
 James D. Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA (New York, NY: Touchstone, 2001), 133.
 Ibid., pp: 80, 88, 160, 204.
 S. M. Perepelytsya and S. N. Volkov, “Counterion vibrations in the DNA low-frequency spectra,” The European Physical Journal E-Soft Matter (Spinger Berlin / Heidelberg) 24, 3 (November, 2007).
 Maxim D. Frank-Kamenetskii, Unraveling DNA: The Most Important Molecule of Life trans. Lev Liapin, Revised ed., (Reading, MA: Perseus Publishing, 1997), 60.
 Biologydictionary.net Editors, “Phosphate Group,” Biology Dictionary. Biologydictionary.net, https://biologydictionary.net/phosphate-group/, November 04, 2016 (accessed 8/8/2019).
 Watson, James D., The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, Scribner, Kindle Edition, p. 138.
 Ibid., p. 85.
 Gerald H. Pollack; Ivan L. Cameron; Denys N. Wheatley, Water and the Cell (The Netherlands: Springer, 2006), viii.
 Mae-Wan Ho, Zhou Yu-Ming, Julian Haffegee et al., “The Liquid Cyrstalline Organism and Biological Water,” Water and the Cell, eds. Gerald H. Pollack, Ivan L. Cameron, Denys N. Wheatly (The Netherlands: Springer, 2006), 220-221.
 Gerald Pollack, The Fourth Phase of Water: Beyond Solid, Liquid, and Vapor, (Seattle, WA: Ebner and Sons, 2013), Kindle Edition, pp. 66-67.
 Florida State University, “How life may have first emerged on Earth: Foldable proteins in a high-salt environment,” Science Daily, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130405064027.htm: Science Daily LLC, April 4, 2013 (accessed 04/07/2013);
Journal Source: M. Longo, J. Lee, M. Blaber. “Simplified protein design biased for prebiotic amino acids yields a foldable, halophilic protein.”Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; 110 (6): 2135 DOI:10.1073/pnas.1219530110.
 Weir, Kirsten. “20 Things You Didn’t Know About ... DNA.” Discover. June 13, 2011. Accessed April 8, 2017. https://www.discovermagazine.com/the-sciences/20-things-you-didn't-know-about-dna.
 St. Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias (Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press, 1990), 163.
 Dr. Michael Pidwirny. “Composition of Rocks”. Fundamentals of Physical Geography, (Kelowna, Canada: Okanagan University College, 1996, 2nd Edition 2006), Chapter 10 (d), http://www.physicalgeography.net/fundamentals/10d.html, (accessed 10/10/2011).
 Yinon Bentor, “Periodic Table: Sodium”, in Chemical Element.com, http://www.chemicalelements.com/elements/na.html (accessed 10/11/2011).
 Watson, The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA, 165-166; 183; 193; and 113-114.
 Ibid., 68-69, 167-168.
 University of Georgia, “Light Shed on Ancient Origin of Life,” Science Daily, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307110644.htm: Science Daily LLC, March 6, 2013 (accessed 03/08/2013).
Journal Source: F. Sarmiento, J. Mrazek, W. B. Whitman. “Genome-scale analysis of gene function in the hydrogenotrophic methanogenic archaeon Methanococcus maripaludis.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1220225110.