Biological complexity: managing cellular oxygen levels (Introduction)

by dhw, Tuesday, October 08, 2019, 13:33 (234 days ago) @ David Turell

QUOTES: "Through their separate contributions, the three scientists uncovered how cells sense and respond to the availability of oxygen, that key ingredient complex organisms need to move, build tissues and perform the diverse jobs that keep them alive.
"When oxygen surges or plummets, cells have to adapt their metabolism accordingly — and quickly.

"Discovering the hypoxia-inducible-factor pathway answered the fundamental question of how cells adapt to less oxygen or to low oxygen, and ultimately how it allows cells, tissues and our human body to adapt. It’s a vital piece of fundamental research that’s got huge implications.'”

DAVID: Any time there is a cascade of critical control reactions it must be developed all at once, never by hunt and peck. Only design at the beginning will work.

With all forms of adaptation, the cells must find a way to adjust themselves, and if we take the example of bacteria, we know that millions of them may die before the correct balance is found. No doubt if organisms were once subjected to sudden changes in the oxygen level, there would have been millions of deaths until the cell communities found a way to correct the balance. Once the solution has been found, it will be passed on, and just as bacteria will then have a defence against the latest threat, so too will multicellular organisms inherit the new patterns that enable them to survive. What the scientists are now observing may have been at the cost of countless deaths until the hectic “hunting and pecking” produced the desired result.

Under "Magic embryology":

QUOTE: "'We are just beginning to understand how the 'software' of embryonic development (the electrical patterns) are created and interpreted by the 'hardware' (the cells' genes and proteins) to enable the cells to cooperate and organize into a highly-patterned body," said Michael Levin, Vannevar Bush Professor of Biology in the School of Arts & Sciences and director of the Allen Discovery Center at Tufts."

DAVID: Embryos just don't grow. They are design coded to follow designed plans electrically laid out.

The emphasis always seems to be on cooperation, with the cells creating and organizing patterns which must at one time have been new to life’s history. Once a pattern is successful, it survives. Every single one divinely preprogrammed 3.8 billion years ago, or separately designed by the cells themselves, using their perhaps God-given intelligence in response to new challenges and new opportunities?

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