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Of the complexity of biological life (State of our ignorance)

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  • Of the complexity of biological life (State of our ignorance)

    I quote this one from AlaskaDenise

    Trying to understand this virus is becoming the perfect example of the old adage - the more you know the more you know you don't know!
    It's so true and it's even more true when you apply this adage to the whole complexity of life of all kinds.

    Every process of all cells that builts all life forms is link with DNA in a cascade of biochemical reaction, every one of them in equilibrium with one another in that process called homeostasis who keep life alive until it find a way to replicate itself and the life goes on it's way...

    Just 4 nucleic acid bases ( ATCG ) that form DNA is able to code for every protean that life built with a simple code of three of those letter.

    All thoses proteans (an infinite possibility) is as complex as the hemmaglutinnin we have talk about here.
    All of them have a biological activity that can be use to:
    -Built the frame of cells (structural, Ex:hair, keratin)
    -Be the catalysys of other reactions (enzyme, ex proteases)
    -Have immunological uses (Antibody, antigen,
    -Or have all kind of functionnal activity ( ion pump, metabolic catalyst...)

    So every other biologicals substance like saccarides (sugars or polysugars like starch or even wood) or lipid (grease, oil, cell membrane,) are made by those protean, themselves code by DNA.

    From this domino chain, emerge the whole complexity of life.
    Every little piece builting another next one.


    If every enzymes code by every genes is as complex as the hemagglutinin that we discuss, just imagine how a whole human body is.

    Influenza with his 8 little gene is just a sand grain in the gears.

    Just look a this poster.
    metabolic pathway.bmp
    Last edited by Mingus; May 8, 2006, 10:31 PM.

  • #2
    Re: Of the complexity of biological life

    Ok Ok, it's too dense an writen too small you don't see anything.

    But every arrow on this picture represent a reaction mediate by on enzyme which is code by a gene or sometime more than a gene.

    Every of theses reaction is in equiliblium with one another in every cell of your body.

    And... this is just what modern science knows

    Everyone of theses reactions have been study by a scientist somewhere in the world during many years of works.

    if we look close we sould see something like this.

    micrometabolic.jpg

    Black are the product of reaction
    Red are the enzyme(protean) that catalyse them

    and remember that the 3d shape and the location of these product is important for theyres function.

    Mini-metabolic-in-the-cell.gif

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    • #3
      Re: Of the complexity of biological life

      I said it again every reaction (biochemical) is dependent of one another because theses biological enzymes-mediates reaction are reversibles unlike the reaction of mineral chemistry.

      look again at this summary of the metabolicals pathway of a cell.
      This one have no reaction writen on it, just the path of reaction.

      Metabogeneral.gif

      To understand the notion of equilibrium, imagine them as water canals control by the valve of enzymatic reaction.

      If you add pressure on one side, all the system react, the pressure must go somewhere, another reaction somewhere will be affected.

      Now if you think that research traditionnaly focus on one reaction of one product at a time, you can understand the big amount of things we and the scientific community as a whole just dont know and understand.
      Nobody can study this whole dynamic in all the details




      Now I'm sure you readers never will said again "LIFE IS SIMPLE"

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      • #4
        Re: Of the complexity of biological life

        For those not familiar with the graphic of the saying Mingus quoted:




        The circle of knowledge


        Area outside circle is infinite. It is what we don?t know

        Area inside circle is what we know

        The circumference represents what we know we don?t know.






        <O:p
        As the area grows, the circumference grows, hence the adage?.

        <O:pThe more we know, the more we know we don?t know

        "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation

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        • #5
          Re: Of the complexity of biological life

          Wow, that circle picture is cute.
          A nice analogy

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          • #6
            Re: Of the complexity of biological life

            an influenza virus has about 12400 nucleotides, that's 24800 bits of
            information. Or when you consider the amino-acids only,
            then the virus with all its proteins is encoded with 19250 bits.
            But only very few of these are funktioning flu-viruses.
            Only some few thousands are in the database and many of
            these occur twice or more, so I expect that there are maybe
            only some million different working flu-viruses possible.
            Evolution tried these through millions of years, so most possible
            flu-viruses have maybe already been tested.
            We can design some new viruses by including the mutations
            in the 2d-strain, but we can't well predict how this folds in 3d and
            which properties the virus will have.
            But can't we do some statistics about the possible mutations
            and estimate how many panflu-viruses are expected to exist ?
            Independent of the question whether evolution will "find" it ?

            This question can be splitted and answered separately:
            how likely will (virus-)evolution find a random given H5N1-panflu-virus ?
            I'm interested in expert panflu damage estimates
            my current links: http://bit.ly/hFI7H ILI-charts: http://bit.ly/CcRgT

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Of the complexity of biological life

              Originally posted by Mingus
              Wow, that circle picture is cute.
              A nice analogy
              I first heard about this circle in college when someone asked why those people with the highest educations never give definiate answers. The prof said it was because they knew so much they knew there was a lot they didn't know. Everyone thought that was strange until he drew the circle and gave the explanation.

              I have never run into a subject that was so overwhelming as the genetics of that little tiny virus and its reactions with a host - I'm awed.

              Thank you Mingus for making it more understandable (even if it is to explain that it's unbelievably complex).

              .
              "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Of the complexity of biological life

                Originally posted by gsgs
                ....This question can be splitted and answered separately:
                how likely will (virus-)evolution find a random given H5N1-panflu-virus ?
                I think this was answered by the people who came up with the RO analysis. It's not a simple model, because of the selection process. But the RO model makes sense to me, because it utilizes selection.

                .
                "The next major advancement in the health of American people will be determined by what the individual is willing to do for himself"-- John Knowles, Former President of the Rockefeller Foundation

                Comment

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