Jump to content

Are microtubes the 'nerves' of cells?


Recommended Posts

Looks like some interesting work came out of NorthWestern

 

http://www.basic.northwestern.edu/g-buehler/nerves.htm

 

Signal transmission is unlikely to drastically change the microtubule structure.

 

If microtubules, indeed, conduct such signals one could hardly expect them to cause structural changes of the microtubules drastic enough to be visible in a microscope. Such an expectation would be analogous to the search for structural changes of the optical nerve every time the retina transmits images to the brain. Nevertheless, for several years I tried but failed to find any direct effects of pulsating near-infrared light signals on microtubules or other cytoskeletal components.

 

Signal transmission may alter the effectiveness of anti-microtubular drugs.

 

 

http://www.basic.northwestern.edu/g-buehler/contents.htm#cont3

 

the online reading

 

kind of like a course study on a hypothesis

 

any think this idea has merit?

 

perhaps some of the posters can add a bit and share with us

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nevertheless' date=' for several years I tried but failed to find any direct effects of pulsating near-infrared light signals on microtubules or other cytoskeletal components.

[/quote']

 

What evidence IS there?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He makes several very basic, obvious errors.

 

First and foremost, he ignores the role of chemical secretions. Cells can detect distances and the like via chemical concentration gradients, and most cells constantly pump out signalling molecules of all sorts. This can explain pretty much all of his observations, and has been thoroughly documented by a lot of researchers.

 

The responsiveness to near IR light isn't that special, either. Perhaps the cells are merely responding to the temperature, not the light, via detecting changes in enzyme kinematics.

 

Furthermore, he makes the silly suggestion thar a response to light indicates information processing, when in reality it could simply be an on/off response to light/dark. Hell, even multicellular organisms have simple responses like that.

 

All he's done is say "Whoa, cells don't move randomly! This must mean they can see like we do!" without considering other, much more likely, hypotheses.

 

None of his "experiments" actually test his central hypothesis or properly control for other factors.

 

He also falls into a common trap of medical folks - failure to acknowledge biodiversity. There *are* free-living protists with eyespots and definitive responses to light (Euglena is one). If response to light was part of all cells, why would Euglena need a specialized organelle, with specialized photoreceptors?

 

And finally, he fails to explain where this light is even coming from. As I've noted before, it's very dark inside of most organisms. Is the light being generated somehow? He never addresses this issue.

 

 

Given the *VAST* preponderance of work on how cells move via chemical signals, I cannot take this work seriously.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bishadi, you sure are obsessed with microtubules, although you seem to be confused as to what to call them. They aren't nanotubes. They aren't microtubes. They're microtubules:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microtubule

 

I assume from your obsession with them you have some passing familiarity with the Penrose-Hameroff hypothesis and its associated quantum mind mumbo jumbo?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bishadi, you sure are obsessed with microtubules, although you seem to be confused as to what to call them. They aren't nanotubes. They aren't microtubes. They're microtubules:

 

funny post

 

at least 'ub' is correct

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microtubule

 

I assume from your obsession with them you have some passing familiarity with the Penrose-Hameroff hypothesis and its associated quantum mind mumbo jumbo?

 

wrong assumption

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.