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Genetics: Does DNA also encode mathematical values of lengths, distances and angles ?

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posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 06:27 AM

Originally posted by tauristercus
Oh, my apologies as I misunderstood that reference of 3 billion letters thinking that these might have been 3 billion "individual" letters ... actually they meant 3 billion instances of just those 4 A, G, C and T letters.

I made the same mistake! Although the link is thin on data I think they mean coding patterns that are in mutliple places so could be taken as a "letter" in itself in a higher language than the quaternary used in DNA.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 06:37 AM
reply to post by LightFantastic

The symmetry gradient only tells each growth system to alter is construction to be left or right handed.

I understand that if you visualise the human body as being trillions of many differnet cells organised in the correct position then it seems impossible.

Everything being in the right place is because each separate system branches or differenciates. For example the main arteries will grow first and part of these arteries will turn into the heart. These will then branch into the rest of the vascular system. Many other systems also start as a simple tube, such as the brain and the rest of the nervous system.

Yes, I can see how this might work if we're dealing with one cell at a time and symmetry gradient is in use ... but we're dealing with millions, billions or even trillions of cells all actively dividing and differentiating throughout a growing body simultaneously.
Each one of those active cells has to end up in the right place at the correct time and doing the right thing ... so that everything falls into place like clockwork.

An example:
A cell initiates the formation of a vein or artery that starts in one specific location within the developing body, grows through the body and ends up in a distant location within the developing body. The construction of this artery has to somehow be constantly updated that it's target destination is constantly shifting in 3D space (as the body develops due to other cellular divisions) and must make appropriate spatial corrections to arrive precisely where it's eventually needed. Most times the path from start to finish for the artery is not a perfect straight line ... instead it has to thread its way around, under, over other structures and yet still manage to zero in accurately on that one specific target location.

No matter how I try to visualize things, I can't help but feel that there's an underlying template and/or mechanism that we're ignorant of ... perhaps that's just a limitation in my imagination

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 06:44 AM
reply to post by LightFantastic

Did you look up any Genetic Algorithm stuff?

Sorry, I missed that part of your post ... just as well I decided to re-read it

I'll take a read of it tomorrow as it's getting late in my part of the world ... and the alarm clock will be ringing sooner than I'd like it to be in the morning.
Will check this thread tomorrow and answer any outstanding posts/questions and post any other thoughts that wrack my tiny brain overnight

Night all ... and thanks for all the interesting responses !

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 08:33 AM
good post

I think yes we have some the math information to be able to build ... but, I think that must be clear between cientists .. no:?

we need to google

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 08:51 AM
Developmental biology is still in its infancy. In the last decades a few groundbreaking studies have shown, that a certain set of genes - the Hox-genes are universally found in all metazoan (multicelled animals). These genes determine the general organizantion of the animal (posterior/anterior). Other genes, are responsible for the expression of growth factors, which also regulate growth and differentiation.
Link to a video (video is about 5 min long - needs quicktime or realplayer)

Hox genes:

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 09:10 AM
This post is complete conjecture, and I have absolutely no education in biology whatsoever! However, as an artist, I've stumbled upon a theory. I believe the reason how cells know where to go and how to grow is because we are a fractal construct. If we look at the shape of a sperm, it's a bulbous torus with an extrusion. A head and a tail, if you like. If we then look at early scans of a fetus, the predominant shape is the same - a bulbous head with the spine extruding out of it. Then, if we break apart our bodies, we see that same shape repeated over and over - our ear lobes with the spine of our ear, the bulb of our nose and it's bridge, our nostrils, and the list goes on. Our limbs are a series of this same shape repeated over and over, shoulder to upper arm, elbow to wrist, and the fractal extrusions of our fingers and thumbs. Same for our legs, feet and toes. Even our genitals are constructed from that same basic shape, an extruded torus.

If we take on board the unseen, we are told that each of us has an energy field surrounding us, coming out of the top of our heads, out as far as our arms reach, then down into the ground and back up inbetween our legs back into the trunk of our body. We are also told of the "silver cord" that supposedly comes out of the top of our heads. So, if we were able to see that visually, it would look like a big torus with an extrusion coming out of the top.

Barring any errors in the fractal calculation, we are all pretty much identical, with enough mathematical variations to also make us unique.

Of course, if that is true, if we are all elements of a larger fractal pattern, the extruded torus, then it stands to reason that there would be higher levels of the fractal, beings that are identical to us, only more complex, larger in scale, and more advanced. Ultimately, if you understand fractals even a little, there must also be a single iteration of the fractal that contains all the lower variations - the top level of the fractal, a single all-encompassing version of the calculation. Some people call that God.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by TheIrvy

Sometimes it takes someone of an artistic bent to notice these things. Fractals are everywhere in nature so there is no reason why not with us. It is also known that limb sizes from upper to extremities etc are ratioed by Phi.

Did you also notice that our entire body from mouth to anus is also an extruded torus? Our body tube is coiled up a bit on the inside but we are still a tube.

PS I've just noticed we are nearly at the end of page 2 and there has been no bashing, arguing or mentions of the Lord. Excellent!

[edit on 11/11/2009 by LightFantastic]

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 10:29 AM

Originally posted by tauristercus
I agree that there must be certain chemical control processes that instruct a cell how many times to divide ... but surely without some form of input instructing the cell as to which direction the resulting divisions should go, you'd end up with nothing more than a mass or blob of cells with the original cell stuck in the centre of the mass.

Yes, it is Telomerase. It is a protein that binds the genetic strand, and "falls apart" after so many divisions. I believe it is something like 55 times. AFter so many cell divisions, the cells die.

Cells are "told" where to grow by many methods. Some are hormonal, some grow a certain direction because you can't grow the other way, sometimes it is a response due to the material being used.

Take the femoral artery as an example:
it's approximately 4 cm in length and divides into superficial femoral & profunda femoris arteries.

What instructs the femoral artery at each branch point which direction to take with further cell divisions so that it successfully locates and joins with it's intended destination ?
This femoral artery branching (and destination joining) occurs identically in billions of humans ... and in each instance, the branch arteries always end up in the right spot.
That has to involve some kind of template and/or distance-angle information decision.

The physical mechanism is something that likely eludes us. However, he process is simple: it is a fractal. All things in nature grow according to fractal templates.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 11:10 AM
reply to post by LightFantastic

PS I've just noticed we are nearly at the end of page 2 and there has been no bashing, arguing or mentions of the Lord. Excellent!

Only fitting for a thread of this calibur. I was torn between a" cut and paste"
and giving up the link. Very interested on how you gentlemen would recieve the information itself, and also it being in that forum.
I hope this thread carrys on. As I will be one of it's voyeurs. SnF

[edit on 11-11-2009 by randyvs]

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 12:24 PM

Originally posted by LightFantastic
...Good post by the way! Did you look up any Genetic Algorithm stuff? It is a good starting point to see how complexity can arise from very simple rules.

Yes -- As others have said, just take a look at a fractal (such as the Mandelbrot Set: zn+1 = zn^2+ c). From a relatively simple rule such as the Mandelbrot, a complex fractal can be created.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 12:41 PM
I've thought about this very thing in college. It's always been my view that DNA acts more as an antena. The DNA must receive information from some external source and direct the cells accordingly. DNA, among species vibrates at a specific frequency measurable by the EMR it emits. It is possible that the DNA tunes into the species specific vibrational frequency, obtains the required information and directs the species cell division. The species information would be stored in some sort of data bank which changes according to what works for the species resulting in the observable 'evolution' of the species. Makes sense to me. I have always wondered if there were a way to scientifically test this theory.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 12:42 PM
I'm surprised in this whole thread, only 1 person, as of yet, has mentioned HOX genes. HOX genes dictates exactly what the OP described. If you want to read up on some current research on these genes, just go to Google Scholar and search for 'hox genes' like any regular search engine. Most current text books do not yet delve much into the topic for two reasons: 1.) like drunken mentioned, it is a relatively new area of research, and 2.) It is usually beyond the scope of the textbook. Most of what is taught in high school and even to a college biology major is only the basics of biology. To really learn and understand about the mechanisms of how to hox genes function, you gotta really be up there with the current research at the masters and phd level.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 12:56 PM
Will give a longer answer later (off to teach, and need COFFEE!) but it's basically "yes... but no" is the correct answer.

Originally posted by tauristercus
So where is the information stored that determines the "physical" 3 dimensional shape (internal and external) of the organism ? Presumably also somewhere within the DNA

It's a bit more complex than that. The genes also contain "alarm clocks" that say "this is the time for this tissue to grow along this side" and "now turn it off." Errors in this processing produce differences, including fatal flaws such as severe scoliosis (to name one of millions of things.)

Otherwise if cells were allowed to simply divide and position themselves randomly, the foetus would most likely end up with a blob or some other weird shape for an arm.

In a bizarre application of this, they have learned how to grow ears and other body parts on bodies of mice. So it has to do with the tissue that's there as well as the "turn of and turn off" sequences. You also have to have the underlying structures (the ears don't actually hear; they're just skin flaps that are ears.

Again, where does all the required physical length, distance, quantity, time information come from ? how is it stored and retrieved ? how does the bone or blood vessel know that its grown long enough in a certain direction and distance ? how does the vessel or bone know that it needs to continue growing but in a different direction and distance ?

Hormones and chemical controls that tell it 'grow' or 'not grow'.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 01:46 PM
Very interesting. I'd have to say that onewould have to admit that the cells are, at least to some degree, conscious. If one is not willing to at least admit that, then we have even a bigger mystery because then there is a question that has to be answered. If the cells are not responsible and conscious of what they are doing, what is?

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 01:52 PM
reply to post by sonicbloom

i enjoy your answer, as it fits well with my personal metaphysical philosophy. although i am studying in this field in college, i would like to speculate.

the first several iterations of embryonic mitosis develop into the heart of the creature. the HEART is created first. i have seen research which indicates that information is modulated (or encoded) onto the frequency patterns of the heartbeat, similar to digital modulation of electromagnetic waves.

i am curious, and would like to get more information about what information might be encoded onto the heartbeat, if anyone has any? it seems possible that the cellular structures are following the command of the heart, which acts as the construction engineer. perhaps the heartbeat forms an aetherical template.

re: the phi ratio/spiral. tissue develops into this ratio as it dies and calcifies. because the tissue stops developing parallel to the timeline, it seems to me that phi is a directional element of time and gravity. in other words, phi is manifested during the transition from life to death by the factors of time and gravity on the body.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:22 PM
Darwin's Black Box is a great book on this subject. The term used in this book for a system that cannot function if one part of the system is taken away is "irreducibly complex." For example, the mitochondrian provides the energy within a basic cell to perform all of its functions, but how and why these seperate parts came to work together to perform more complex functions is an enigma. Why even have the ability to create skin cells without the initial need for skin? At what point in time do one-celled organisms even "decide" to create a heart if there is no blood to pump through a body? Why create blood if there is no body to pump the blood through? What came first, the chicken or the egg? There is absolutely no reason that all life should not be one-celled organisms unless, hypothetically, there were no ends to justify it.
My head hurts just trying to ponder it.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:28 PM
Very thought provoking topic. Glad to see such a forward-thinking thread raised.

I can't help but think of Pi and the Mandlebrot Set.

A combination of a unique equation that never repeats itself, yet at the same time, repeats itself for infinity. I know - it's a contradiction in thinking.

I have to wonder, was there ever - in the history of the human race - another human being that look, talked and acted exactly like I do? Will there ever be? Thinking in terms of eternity, you would have to imagine the coding sequence would repeat itself at some point, if it hasn't already. But, as you implied in the OP, it's hard to imagine this would occur with the quadrillions of cells that a human body builds in it's lifetime - not to mention that the origin of information for that being was derived from a combination of two other beings.

The simplest way to grasp what I'm getting at is to think of the graphic representation we apply to a strand of DNA itself. You never see the "beginning" or "end" of the double-helix because there is no such. It's a continuous structure made up of genes that carry the codes for building proteins.

It's a very mind-boggling topic you raise.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 02:36 PM
How did asexual life suddenly split into male and female versions of itself (and compatible male and female versions, they have to "fit" if you'll pardon the term)? Asexual reproduction is essentially self cloning, which kind of doesn't really allow for the amazing change needed - you need a male and a female to be born, both genetically different enough to not pollute their own gene line.

It's when you get to that kind of detail that evolution as we teach it today makes very little sense, and the maths involved is astounding. The problem is that modern science is the attempt to explain the universe without the existence or necessity of a higher power or plan. It relies on accidental mutations that create a sustainable improvement, with absolutely no thought for the actual real world mechanics of it - the abberant mutated offspring being rejected by it's parent and left to fend for itself, which would mean certain death, and changes that require millions of years are absolutely no good to a species. A lizard with weakened, thinned down front limbs that are half legs, half wings, with half developed feathers that don't yet allow it to fly, they only trip it up, that's a lizard that's easy prey for any passing predator. Evolution as taught today as a means of species improvement would spell certain extinction for the species during the millions of years required to make the tiny little changes.

With the 2 sides seemingly being an immediate, 6 day creation by an intelligent force, or millions upon millions of years of accidental unplanned mathematically improbable mutations, I prefer to pick the 3rd side. I do believe that life has changed and advanced and become more complex, but I believe it's happened according to a plan, a progression, with the changes occuring from the soul out, if you will, rather than because of external necessity.

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:05 PM
I just wanted to expand on a few previous posts, for the benefit of the OP and anyone else interested.

Concentration gradients of hormones and growth factors can cause both locational and temporal coordinates within a developing organism, which affect cell division and specialisation, as well as cellular death. Additionally, though each cell contains the same genome, the methylation pattern varies from cell type to cell type. When a "C" is methylated in a specific region of our genome, it has the potential to silence a gene or make a gene more active (if the methylated/inhibited gene is an inhibitor). This is the basis for differential growth, as seen in cells that form the heart versus cells that form the kidneys, or any other organism, in the sense that differential expression of a gene (or set of genes) can radically alter how and when the cell develops (hence the "alarm clock" genes Byrd mentions above). This methylation pattern is both maternally inherited and controlled (to some extent) by the gradient of growth factors/hormones mentioned above.

As for the OP's question regarding the seemingly intricate and exact nature of vessel (and other structural) growth, the simple answer is, it's not exact at all. It's not uncommon for me to see a patient with two ureters draining a kidney, rather than the typical "one ureter per kidney" organization. The vessels of your circulatory system are also highly variable. For example, in the forearm, you have an anterior and posterior interosseous artery which arise from a common interosseus trunk artery. However, a sizeable protion of the population has either no trunk (the anterior and posterior arteries isntad arise directly from the ulnar artery), or a trunk with only an anterior or posterior branch (the absent branch is found on the ulnar proximal to the common interosseous, instead). This variability is seen in nearly every organ and vessel in the body, with a multitude of "normal" forms.

At the core of these variations is the concept I touched on above: concentration gradients. If a quirk of genetics causes a blip in the gradient, or perhaps a less-than-effective form on the growth factor, it can effect the speed/path of growth for a vessel, or it can cause an aberrant organization of a tissue, which will then alter nerve and vessel growth patterns.

Simply put, everyone is different, and that's perfectly normal.

(For credibility's sake, as much as it's worth on an anonymous message board, my credentials are a BS in molecular genetics, an MS in epigenomics, and I am currently a third year medical student focusing on clinical and developmental genetics).

[edit on 11/11/2009 by VneZonyDostupa]

posted on Nov, 11 2009 @ 03:28 PM
reply to post by tauristercus

S&F I'm glad I'm not the only one!

I have often pondered this situation. It almost seems that there is a biological form of quantum entanglement going on with 'spooky action at a distance'.

Thus far my conclusions have been rather wild, for I can buy the idea that all information for the whole body template exists in each and every cell. But how the hell does a heart cell know that it needs to be a heart cell and not one concerned with producing say a knee joint.

There has to be some form of spatial awareness within each cell, perhaps each molecule perhaps each atom. If so, once again you have 'spooky action at a distance'. This shouts to me that we are all entangled quantum objects, and this eventually brings me to the conclusion that every atom is quantumly connected to every other atom in the universe. And this leads me to the conclusion that if we only knew how to tap this informational matrix then we could teleport anywhere by the power of the mind by using this spooky action to tease recreatons of ourselves from other atoms in aother places.

[edit on 11-11-2009 by sharps]

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