Science is only beginning to dig into how reliable and complex your body is. It keeps running day in, day out.
How reliable is your body? The first book of The Explanation series, Inventory of the Universe, paints a comprehensive picture of the major aspects of our Universe with particular emphasis on life, humankind and their brain and mind. The goal being to give readers an ‘encompassing’ reliable approach, one revealing the holistic nature of our planet and life on it. This overall presentation delves into some of the latest scientific findings to reveal just how interwoven and complex all the systems and procedures are, the ‘cogwheel concept’ as I call it.
Not being a scientist myself, I’ve tried to make it as accessible to non scientific minds while at the same time bringing you some reliable in-depth insights. I’ve also had a science editor go through the volume with a fine-tooth comb to weed out as much error as possible.
But biology and research into the smallest (quantic) and furthest away (astronomical) particles has gone through major upheavals over the last 10 years that most have not even heard about it. It’s surprising to realize that even journalists have not expounded on this explosion of data, not only the new concepts but the revolution in the way we’re considering fundamental aspects such as DNA, RNA, chromosomes and genes.
If you studied biology as little as ten years or even 3 years ago, there’s been a major upheaval of the most fundamental knowledge.
The last post looked at some vocabulary being used to describe this explosion of complexity. Here are a couple more concepts.
We all know what a light switch does, it turns on, off and can dim lights. Biologically these are signaling molecules that attach to various parts of DNA to either activate or deactivate a function. A protein called Sonic Hedgehog (don’t ask me where they got that name from) is a type of ‘dimmer’ in that its presence turns on or off the function and its concentration regulates the rate of a cell function, in this case the growth of fingers and toes on limbs in the embryo.
ENCODE found 4 million active switches, some active simultaneously in different places of DNA.
Transcription is the term for manufacturing RNA from DNA. The RNA goes on to make proteins. Once again, no details and I don’t want you to try to figure out the process. ENCODE found 18 thousand locations where RNA is produced (transcription-factor binding sites; TFBS) and 8 million regulatory factors. I’m going to quote Dr Daniel Rico of the Spanish National Cancer Centre as it relates to the image above.
Components of transcriptional regulation:
Transcription factors (TFs) bind to specific sites (transcription-factor binding sites; TFBS) that are either proximal or distal (close or distant) to a transcription start site. Sets of TFs can operate in functional cis-regulatory modules (CRMs) to achieve specific regulatory properties. Interactions between bound TFs and cofactors stabilize the transcription-initiation machinery to enable gene expression….
The point of the above exercise is to notice that:
- The transcription factors can be NEAR or FAR from the transcription site
- Transcription factors can operate in groups
- TFs can also interact with ‘cofactors’
ALL the above interactivity is ONLY to ‘regulate properties’ to stabilize the transcription-INITIATION machinery phase.
We’re not even talking about the actual fabrication of the RNA. Just think about the complexity of this… and add the word reliable, a subject for another blog. The point being that in all this incredible manipulation, taking place in split seconds, it’s reliable and dependable and the result keeps your and my bodies working optimally.
I’d be interested in your comments below on the mix of complexity and reliability in just this one tiny area of how the body functions.
Do you see how this ties in with ‘peace and prosperity’ with regard to reliable health? That’s why I’m giving you some small details of the BIG picture of the Inventory of the Universe.
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