Look at this little critter. Isn’t life just amazing! Such biodiversity.
Trillions of cells uniquely organized into tissues, organs and systems of function—the nervous system, immune system, gastro-intestinal system, endocrine system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system, osteoskeletal system, urogenital system, detoxification system, excretory system and so on—all working together towards the survival of this species. What is its common name and scientific name for the big prize? Many people have them as pets south of the equator.
We’re no different are we? Maybe a few more cells, around 10 trillion for the human body. But, it’s the same story, trillions of cells working together for our survival. So it is cells that are the basic building blocks for life itself—from one celled bacteria and plants to complex higher critters like ourselves and the creature above.
Cells are the engines that drive all life. The creation of a membrane separating the inner milieu of the cell from the external world—taking in substances selectively from the environment outside itself into its inner world, transforming it into useful molecules for energy, for work, for repair, for reproducing its own kind, while excreting its waste back into the external world for use.
Primarily, the microbial world had figured out the biological processes necessary to make the molecules of life, and these primitive pathways of metabolism drive our highly evolved human bodies today.
All body functions operate through metabolic pathways. Proteins are the building blocks of these pathways. Each of the millions of pathways within our body requires a unique sequence of proteins in order to function in a healthy way. It is in fact proteins that provide the structure and function for all biological organisms.
Here is a collection of illustrations of how pathways are constructed and how they work:
If the cell is the engine that drives all life, then what drives the cell—tells the cell when to produce proteins, how many to produce, and when to stop? Is it the DNA, the Genes—whose function is to produce proteins?
We used to think so, but the thinking has changed with the understanding about life coming from the emerging scientific discipline of Epigenetics. Under this new paradigm of thought genes are merely the blueprint for the production of the over 30,000 different proteins required for the different structures and functioning within our body. Who or what directs and orchestrates a gene to open up and produce (transcribe) its unique protein? That direction comes from the cell membrane, traveling through metabolic pathways within the cell’s cytoplasm to the cell nucleus—dictating the unfolding of the genetic blueprint to produce particular proteins.
To help us visualize the mechanical nature of a cell, I will share with you quotes for your contemplation from two wonderful books—Spontaneous Evolution by Bruce Lipton and Steve Bhaerman and Molecules of Emotion by Candace Pert.
Lipton and Bhaerman created an illustration of a cell with metaphorical parts—a set of gears, driven by a motor, controlled by a switch and monitored by a gauge.
A switch controls the function by turning the mechanism on and off. The gauge is a feed back device that reports on how the mechanism is functioning. Turn the switch on, the gears move and the function can be observed by monitoring the gauge.
The gears are the moving parts—in cells these are proteins. Proteins are physical building blocks that assemble themselves and interact to generate the cells behavior and functions.
The assemblies of protein gears that provide specific biological functions are collectively called pathways. A respiratory pathway represents an assembly of protein gears responsible for breathing. A digestive pathway is a group of protein molecules that interact to digest food. A muscle contraction pathway consists of proteins whose interactions produce the body’s movements.
The motor represents the force that puts the protein gears in motion. The motor is necessary because the primary characteristic of life is movement. Therefore life derives from the forces that put protein molecules into motion and thus generate behavior.
The switch is the mechanism that tells the motor to put the protein into motion. In living organisms the switches that reside in the cell’s membrane represent a conductor that harmoniously controls and regulates the cells various functional systems.
Biological gauges convey information via sensation.
Genes are simple blueprints used to make protein parts. The nucleus is the functional equivalent of the cells gonads, its reproductive system.
The coordinated activity of membrane switches enables the cell to sustain its life by orchestrating metabolism and physiology in response to an ever-changing environment.
Metabolism is the set of chemical reactions that happen in living organisms to maintain life. These processes allow organisms to grow and reproduce, maintain their structures and respond to their environment.
The brain is actually the cell membrane, not the cell nucleus. Built into the membrane are protein switches [receptor sites] that respond to the environmental signals by relaying their information to internal protein pathways. A different membrane switch exists for almost every environmental signal recognized by a cell. Some switches respond to estrogen, some to adrenaline, some to calcium, some to light waves, etc.
Candace Pert in her book, Molecules of Emotion reminds us that:
If the cell is the engine that drives all life, then the receptors are the buttons on the control panel of that engine, and a specific peptide or other kind of ligand is the finger that pushes the button and gets things started.
There are three kinds of ligands: neurotransmitters, steroids and peptides.
The ligand-receptor system represents a second nervous system…. It is a system that is indisputably more ancient and far more basic to the organism….. The receptors and their ligands have come to be seen as information molecules—the basic units of a language used by cells throughout the organism to communicate across systems such as the endocrine, neurological, gastro-intestinal and even the immune system.
Thus the new science of epigenetics says that environmentally derived signals activate membrane switches, sending secondary signals into the cells nucleus. Within the nucleus, these signals select gene blueprints and control the manufacture of specific proteins. This is far different from the conventional belief that genes turn themselves on and off. Genes are not emergent entities, meaning they don’t control their own activity. Genes are simple molecular blueprints and it is the receptors sites in the cell membranes through protein built metabolic pathways that directs the genetics within the cell.
Pathways are built with proteins. Receptor sites are make up of proteins. Cytokines and chemokine and the majority of communication molecules are protein or at least peptides. I think we can all agree, proteins are very very very important toward the functioning of our body.
The Power of the Therapeutic Foods Platform.
Protocol Number One: basic protection
- Wild Blueberry Daily- one capsule daily.
- Organic Chlorella- four to six tablets daily.
- Cruciferous Sprout Complex- Two to four capsules daily.
- Number Seven Systemic Booster- one-half to one teaspoon daily.
The ingredients: see last week’s Forward Thinking
It’s the Fall/Winter season and we’re all seeing colds and flus around us, knocking on our door. The above platform along with a good diet keeps me strong. However, if I have a hint of something like a soar throat coming on, I simply add a couple of capsules a day of our organic garlic, for a couple days, and that almost 100% of the time escorts any sore throat right out the door. Try it, it’s good.
PS open the garlic capsule in water, let them react for a minute and swig it down. IT will coat the whole esophagus.
The Last Quiz Answer: The blobfish (Psychrolutes marcidus) is a deep sea fish of the family Psychrolutidae. Inhabiting the deep waters off the coasts of mainland Australia and Tasmania, it is rarely seen by humans. They live at depths where the pressure is several dozen times higher than at sea level, which would likely make gas bladders inefficient for maintaining buoyancy. Instead, the flesh of the blobfish is primarily a gelatinous mass with a density slightly less than water; this allows the fish to float above the sea floor without expending energy on swimming. Its relative lack of muscle is not a disadvantage as it primarily swallows edible matter that floats by in front of it. Blobfish can be caught by bottom trawling with nets as bycatch. Such trawling in the waters off Australia may threaten the blobfish in what may be its only habitat. It is currently facing extinction due to this practice (Wikipedia).
Food Democracy Now is a great website to enable us to efficiently participate as activists in the cause for good food for all people. This week it focused on the importance of the passage of the Tester-Hagan Amendment that will be voted on by congress this week. Its importance has brought out two of the biggest voices in the sustainable food movement to lend their support for family farmers.Yesterday food experts and authors Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser released a statement urging swift action in passing the food safety bill and the Tester Amendment:
S.510 is the most important food safety bill in a generation. The Tester amendment will make it even more effective, helping to ensure food safety while protecting small farmers and producers. We both think this is the right thing to do.
After years of following these issues, meeting with hundreds of farmers and victims of food safety outbreaks, both Pollan and Schlosser are convinced that these important provisions are needed to improve food safety and protect family farms.
If you click on the Food Democracy link above, you will be able to add your voice and vote towards its passing.