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An article on ground substance.


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So I was looking up and cross-referencing articles on ground substance for an article that I am labouring over. I have never submitted an article before...trying to thoroughly do my research...but I stumbled across this amazing article via wiki, and really it made me fall in love with the cell all over again. I saw it presented in a way that I had not thought of before, so I wanted to hear the snf's community's thoughts.

 

http://jeb.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/206/12/1955

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Maybe you want to start and remark on what you find most interesting in that article?

 

Thank you CharonY, I am terrible at starting threads. But I found this article intriguing...

 

The thesis is presented that none of these mechanisms is excluded by the cell itself. As a supreme survival machine, it embraces all, but some mechanisms are clearly more prominent at certain times than others and this will depend on the prevailing circumstance.

 

I think that this is an expanding thesis based upon elementary school knowledge which makes it easy to follow [the cell is the building block of life].

 

This:

 

The most important piece of information to impart is that, whatever constructs or equations we put forward to describe conceptually or mathematically how cells work, we will never be able to dismiss the involvement of diffusion, because it cannot be avoided and will inevitably play some part within the life and workings of a cell.

 

...became most relevant with this:

 

Schrödinger (1945) pointed out that if physicists had started with living systems as the focus of study, we would have a very different set of laws in front of us today. Similarly, Einstein knew that living systems were less amenable to analysis using only physical laws if for no other reason than their complexity.

 

---> diffusion is the intermingling of substances by the natural movement of their particles.

 

I guess I could stop here for a moment and go with Schrödinger's point...and expand, what would physical laws look like if we started from a living system?

 

I would also like to zip ahead and go into the impact of water on cellular structure.

 

 

No, I don't work for a water company! :lol:

 

I find ground substance an incredibly over-looked area, when dealing with the human body.

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what would physical laws look like if we started from a living system?

 

The same, or perhaps we'd have a far worse understanding of them. Living things follows the laws of physics too, only as mentioned they are more complicated. When working on a nearly intractable problem, you don't start trying to solve the most complicated aspects of it first, you start with the simplest aspects.

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Well, I agree that it is a nice expansion of school knowledge, though it is hardly on the forefront of biological sciences. An interesting part of that paper is actually the notion that diffusion plays smaller role than attributed to in many models in which metabolite movements within cells are simulated purely based on diffusion models.

Nonetheless the author is too generalizing when he repeatedly stated the truism that the system is too complex to be approximated by simple algorithms But that may be a different question altogether.

 

Physics is very strongly axiom driven and biological entities are hence not very amendable to physical methodologies. However there are strategies that biologists could learn from (and vice versa, obviously)

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The same, or perhaps we'd have a far worse understanding of them. Living things follows the laws of physics too, only as mentioned they are more complicated. When working on a nearly intractable problem, you don't start trying to solve the most complicated aspects of it first, you start with the simplest aspects.

 

I do agree with this, but isn't it interesting just to roll the concept around in your mind that it could be otherwise? I tried to wrap my mind around what a physical law that originated from the organic that was not precisely based on laws that were based on the non-organic (physical accepted terms of what constituted as scientific law) and could come up with any. I spent a whole day wondering if I lacked imagination.

 

Well, I agree that it is a nice expansion of school knowledge, though it is hardly on the forefront of biological sciences. An interesting part of that paper is actually the notion that diffusion plays smaller role than attributed to in many models in which metabolite movements within cells are simulated purely based on diffusion models.

 

Well, ya, I think that was in the synopsis but what I found really interesting was this:

 

Latterly, more and more investigators are concerned with the nature and state of the water inside cells and, especially, the properties it assumes when it meets any kind of surface or conditions within cells (e.g. vicinal water; Drost-Hansen and Singleton, 1992) or special kinds of molecular surfaces (primarily proteins) such that it becomes more gel-like (Pollack, 2001). There is a world of difference between these two extremes, and this is perhaps the most crucial message that has to be imparted in this article–that we need to know exactly how the state of water inside the living cell differs from that in a beaker of tap water, as depicted by Wheatley (1993b).

 

I have never come across anything where this was even a question with any credibility...what do you think?

 

Nonetheless the author is too generalizing when he repeatedly stated the truism that the system is too complex to be approximated by simple algorithms. But that may be a different question altogether.

 

I think that the author started down that line of thinking with his trump quote given by Einstein. I think that the specific was in the premise that diffusion plays a smaller role than what has previously been attributed and that the author feels that this is significant.

 

I thought that it was a nice set-up for this:

 

Thus, the interstices contain a thinner protein solution. Is this material that can transform quickly from gel to sol, or does it have to involve the making and breaking of the microtrabecular lattice, alone or together? If we knew the answers, or at least how to find the answers, our understanding of cell function would take a quantum leap.

 

The article was written in 2003 and I am open to any more recent research that involves cell function as it relates to ground substance if anyone can provide any. No woo woo, please. I have kind of hit a wall with my research on this, but if there is more, than I am open to it. (Maybe this should have been my opening thread topic. But I am not so sure I could there on my own.)

 

Physics is very strongly axiom driven and biological entities are hence not very amendable to physical methodologies. However there are strategies that biologists could learn from (and vice versa, obviously).

 

Very true...so what is the language between the two?

 

Thank you both for taking the time to answer some of my questions.

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I have never come across anything where this was even a question with any credibility...what do you think?

 

IMO it is pretty much common knowledge. For simplification purposes sometimes (maybe too often) free diffusion is assumed. However, it is well known that the extra- as well as intracellular matrix will have effects on Brownian molecule movement. As it is one of the more complex and yet poorly defined (as few methods exist that allow any kind of measurements in that scope and they usually are not too accurate) it rarely makes it into textbooks.

 

It is assumed to be a kind of common knowledge that only comes into play when necessary. The author is a bit overplaying his hand by highlighting things that are not as obscure as he may want others to believe.

Edited by CharonY
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