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The Secret Inner Life of a Cell - Get Some Perspective

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posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 07:01 AM
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We live in a universe of seemingly infinite morphospaces of existence. Anthropomorphizing our scale of reality as a standard to define life is not a picture in line with modern biology.

Euclidean intuitions and geometric properties of the underlying morphospace, whatever its actual topology or scale might be, will not stand with time.

You have something in the range of 50 million million (50 trillion) cells. That is more than the amount of observable stars in the Galaxy, by many factors.

The reason for this thread is this video. The sheer complexity is staggering. This was made by scientists at Harvard that really did make this video as accurate as they possibly could. This is inside one of your trillions of cells.

This is happening in side you, right now.



Now if that does not inspire you about how powerful science is, how much we have started to find out yet how much more we have yet to understand, then there's no hope for you; go and watch some Justin Beiber.


The Inner Life of a Cell animation illustrates unseen molecular mechanisms and the ones they trigger, specifically how white blood cells sense and respond to their surroundings and external stimuli.

Nuclei, proteins and lipids move with bug-like authority, slithering, gliding and twisting through 3D space. "All of those things that you see in the animation are going on in every one of your cells in your body all the time," says XVIVO lead animator John Liebler, who worked with company partners David Bolinsky, XVIVO's medical director, and Mike Astrachan, the project's production director, to blend the academic data and narrative from Harvard's faculty into a fluid visual interpretation.

"First, we couldn't have known where to begin with all of this material without significant work done by Alain Viel, Ph.D. [associate director of undergraduate research at Harvard University], who wrote and guided the focus to include the essential processes that needed to be described to complement the curriculum and sustain an interesting narrative. I've been in the medical animation field for seven years now, so I'm a little jaded, but I still get surprised by things. For instance, in the animation there's a motor protein that's sort of walking along a line, carrying this round sphere of lipids. When I started working on that section I admit I was kind of surprised to see that it really does look like it's out for a stroll, like a character in a science fiction film or animation. But based on all the data, it's a completely accurate rendering.


Some interesting facts:

* We shed our skin cells about every 35 days
* Red blood cells live about 120 days, platelets 6 days and white cells less than a day
* Most of the adult skeleton is replaced about every 10 years
* The average age of a fat cell seems to be a
bout 10 years
* a 25-year-old heart replaces about 1% of all its cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells ) over the course of a year, while a 75-year-old heart replaces about half a percent
* Our neocortical neurons, the cell type that mediates much of our cognition, are produced prenatally and retained for our entire lifespan




EDIT:

Originally posted by ZeuZZ
Using this concept of morphospaces of existence within others you can expand this to get a better perspective of where we fit in the universe. There could be huge intelligent beings studying us with fascination, just as we are studying these individual cells inside us with fascination.

I wonder what role a higher intelligence would say we are playing on the cellular type concept of the Earth.

This is very much related to the Gaia hypothesis first developed by James Lovelock, which has now been accepted by the mainstream scientific establishment.

At least the weak version has (basic environmental interdisciplinary feedback loops), the strong version is a still a bit hard for most to digest.

"Strong gaia theory argues for the system to be considered an organism, and some take it further to talk about an organism with a singular purpose or even consciousness."

Within gaia theory it not be reasonable to assert Earth shows traits of an organism in its own right. Even attributes that share similarities to conscious entities instincts for survival. Making it a self correcting system, with complex defense mechanisms for its long term survival. That encompass all the earth bound sciences, from biology, natural selection, geology, micro-biology, atmospheric physics, climate change, etc, all working in symbiosis. The complexity and interconnectedness of which we don't currently understand, but should strive to as scientists.


Oliver L. Reiser had also developed a strong version of the Gaia hypothesis as he proposed the earth was a global organism and that human beings act as cells involved with the "embryogenesis" of the earth. Another form of the strong Gaia hypothesis is proposed by Guy Murchie who extends the quality of a holistic lifeform to galaxies. "After all, we are made of star dust. Life is inherent in nature". Murchie describes geologic phenomena such as sand dunes, glaciers, fires, etc. as living organisms, as well as the life of metals and crystals. "The question is not whether there is life outside our planet, but whether it is possible to have "nonlife".


I guess this comes down to how you define nonlife.



Reality is great


Thanks for reading
edit on 24-9-2012 by ZeuZZ because: (no reason given)




posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 07:18 AM
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Excellent thread. The kingdom is huge and this society is not built to support enquiry in a mature informed manner so most run scared or simply blank out at its confrontation. Thanks for sharing.



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 07:32 AM
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The average age of a fat cell seems to be a bout 10 years


So I have 40 fat cells?...Do I need to be worried?



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 07:42 AM
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Excellent thread s+f

The society in which you live has fooled you into believing that you are your Body. You are the Force of The Universe dreaming that you are Human. Wakey wakey
edit on 24-9-2012 by Samuelis because: removed large quote



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by SarnholeOntarable



The average age of a fat cell seems to be a bout 10 years


So I have 40 fat cells?...Do I need to be worried?


Depends how good at maths you are.
edit on 24-9-2012 by ZeuZZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 08:52 AM
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Originally posted by ZeuZZ




Just as a reference for that picture and the facts therein, Richard Dawkins (one of the most respected evolutionary biologists) quotes it word for word at a TED talk, you can watch it here: www.ted.com...



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:25 AM
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Originally posted by ZeuZZ

Originally posted by ZeuZZ




Just as a reference for that picture and the facts therein, Richard Dawkins (one of the most respected evolutionary biologists) quotes it word for word at a TED talk, you can watch it here: www.ted.com...


I have never seen that quote before. I knew that our cells replace themselves but never put it together from such a philosophical stand point. Really scores a point for the life after death crowd.



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 09:43 AM
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reply to post by ZeuZZ
 





* Our neocortical neurons, the cell type that mediates much of our cognition, are produced prenatally and retained for our entire lifespan


Therefore, the neocortical neurons I have now, did experience my youth. duh. your statement in the neat picture is coincidentally contradicted by the very statement above it. LOL


"Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made" I don't like this statement either. seems like some kind of double negative or something, people that talk in loops like this must be educated. LOL seriously I am of which I am made. don't make me to be not of which I am whatever stuff that is. OH my god now I'm doing it ...
edit on 24-9-2012 by nrd101 because: additions


Ok, now what if the earth was just a molecule, and the galaxies are cells to a being so colossal that it doesn't even know that intelligent life exists within its very self. Maybe God exists but doesn't know we do, because he doesn't have the right microscope.
edit on 24-9-2012 by nrd101 because: added crazy theory



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 10:13 AM
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* Our neocortical neurons, the cell type that mediates much of our cognition, are produced prenatally and retained for our entire lifespan


Therefore, the neocortical neurons I have now, did experience my youth. duh. your statement in the neat picture is coincidentally contradicted by the very statement above it. LOL


How do neurons experience youth?

It's you that experiences, not individual synapses. Even though what you said is technically correct.

You're materializing non physical things as material.


Maybe God exists but doesn't know we do, because he doesn't have the right microscope.
edit on 24-9-2012 by nrd101 because: added crazy theory


Please don't mention God or religion. Nothing to do with this thread.
edit on 24-9-2012 by ZeuZZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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To clarify the above and why I don't want this to be seen as idea in support of God, when I say 'higher intelligence' I simply mean something far bigger and more omnipotent than current science can comprehend. I just don't like the religious connotations of calling that higher intelligence 'God', and vindicating bad science literacy.

Most religions are founded on the fear of the many and the cleverness of the few. Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.

Our ignorance is God; what we know is science.

To surrender to ignorance and call it God has always been premature, and it remains premature today.

When one person suffers from a delusion it is called insanity; when many people suffer from a delusion it is called religion.

I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.

I did pray to god recently, though.

"God, please save me from your followers!" is pretty much all I said.

He has not replied yet.

EDIT: Ok, I've just sort of brought up the very subject I did not want to
Oh well.
edit on 24-9-2012 by ZeuZZ because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 24 2012 @ 02:54 PM
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reply to post by ZeuZZ
 

The video is wildly inaccurate in one sense. All that stuff happens thousands of times faster in real life. As to the motor protein walking along what I assume is microtubulin (if not then it's actin filament), there are actually at least three different families of these proteins and they all deploy rather different strategies for movement, yet based on some conserved domains in them, it appears that they all evolved from just one gene.



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 03:59 AM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros
reply to post by ZeuZZ
 

The video is wildly inaccurate in one sense. All that stuff happens thousands of times faster in real life. As to the motor protein walking along what I assume is microtubulin (if not then it's actin filament), there are actually at least three different families of these proteins and they all deploy rather different strategies for movement, yet based on some conserved domains in them, it appears that they all evolved from just one gene.


I can upload it at a 0.001 times speed if that would make you happier?



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 08:50 AM
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Originally posted by ZeuZZ
I can upload it at a 0.001 times speed if that would make you happier?

No it's ok. Another remark, the movement of that motor protein is probably very different IRL, i.e. it doesn't resemble smooth walking, but abrupt changes in conformation, i.e. really jerky movement...



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 11:45 AM
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Originally posted by rhinoceros

Originally posted by ZeuZZ
I can upload it at a 0.001 times speed if that would make you happier?

No it's ok. Another remark, the movement of that motor protein is probably very different IRL, i.e. it doesn't resemble smooth walking, but abrupt changes in conformation, i.e. really jerky movement...


Regarding this movement: Are we talking electromagnetic, electrochemical, molecular or atomic forces here?



posted on Sep, 26 2012 @ 04:10 PM
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Originally posted by ZeuZZ

Originally posted by rhinoceros

Originally posted by ZeuZZ
I can upload it at a 0.001 times speed if that would make you happier?

No it's ok. Another remark, the movement of that motor protein is probably very different IRL, i.e. it doesn't resemble smooth walking, but abrupt changes in conformation, i.e. really jerky movement...


Regarding this movement: Are we talking electromagnetic, electrochemical, molecular or atomic forces here?

If I recall correctly, the conformational changes in the protein come about because guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) changes a bound GDP to GTP (which is present in cells in much higher concentration). Then GTP is hydrolyzed to GDP while movement happens, and round we go. So, I suppose it's mostly electrochemical stuff. I was never any good in chemistry though
edit on 26-9-2012 by rhinoceros because: (no reason given)





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