[Fis] Fwd: Re: Cancer Cure? (Bob Ulanowicz)

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Thu Jun 2 12:20:40 CEST 2016

-------- Mensaje reenviado --------

Asunto: 	Re: [Fis] Cancer Cure?
Fecha: 	Tue, 31 May 2016 12:54:20 -0400
De: 	Robert E. Ulanowicz <ulan at umces.edu>
Responder a: 	ulan at umces.edu
Para: 	Dr. Plamen L. Simeonov <plamen.l.simeonov at gmail.com>
CC: 	Robert Ulanowicz <ulan at umces.edu>, Pedro C. Marijuan 
<pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es>

> Dear Bob,
> thank you for your response. What you said in the core - heterogeneity -
> resonated with the first suggested example I began this session with: the
> puzzle of registering the heterogeneity of cancer, both in the
> molecular-biological and histological level, both in space and time. It
> appears that exactly this elusive property of matter, liveness, from the
> single cell to entire eco-systems, which implies intelligence throughout
> all scales (as Brian Ford states) is what we still cannot in system(s)
> biology put on the feet of statistical mechanics and classical
> physics.Aren't tumors such intelligent clusters of heterogeneous cell
> computers interacting within internaly secured invasive networks that
> escape our medical enigma code breakers placed in our synthetic drugs and
> radiation devices? Also such undesired life is not easy to kill.  And yet
> cancer cannot win the battle unless our own internal systems surrender and
> become allies of the invador.

Dear Plamen,

To begin, please allow me to apologize for joining the conversation midway
without having read your earlier postings.

It's obvious that you also expressed the sense of what I was saying. There
are about 6 fundamental laws of physics, which allows for several hundred
combinations among the laws. Meanwhile, most living systems consist of at
least 40 identifiable constituents, which can interact on some 10^47
possible ways. It should be no surprise that (many?) more than one
combination can satisfy any specification of the laws. So the laws are not
broken; they simply lose their power to *determine* a unique outcome.

As you say, sufficiently heterogeneous living system can usually find a
way around most obstacles in their way.

> And yet, healthy systems have some sort of regularity, layered structure
> and hierarchies as those we observe in a skin biopsy sample.Genetic
> mutations do not remain local at the damaged spot; they are signaled to
> other "mentally weak" cells which are turned into traitors,also perhaps
> even via non-local induction. Are wandering "bad" cells and accelerated
> replication the only sources of growing agressive cancers? Here is perhaps
> where biosemiotics and phenomenology could help along with creating new*
> heterogeneous* SOC models, as you mentioned. You are right, the call for
> devising a mathematics that can handle heterogeneous sets,
> vectors,matrices, categories and other sorts of organisation in biology
> simultateously was already spread by Bob Root-Bernstein in his opening
> article to our 2012 edition of integral biomathics (see last link in my
> signature). We do not have such an underpinning mathematics and its
> related
> computation yet. Therefore we remain still stuck in the old system
> biological models rooted in physics at best.

I should have mentioned that SOC can also possibly apply to heterogeneous
systems. For example, we have plotted the countervailing properties of
networks -- their efficient performance vs. their reliability, and we have
found that ecosystems from various habitats all achieve about the same
balance between these two traits. (See Fig. 7 on p1890 in
<http://people.clas.ufl.edu/ulan/files/Dual.pdf>.) These metrics do have
heterogeneity built into them. (They are calculated on n-dimensional
networks -- each node representing a distinct constituent.) Some have
suggested that the balance point is very near a critical point. Ergo, SOC
can apply to heterogeneous systems.

> Many of us hope that the right answers to all this will be given once we
> understand quantum gravitation and master quantum computation. But I have
> my doubts in such hopes too.

I have severe doubts about quantum gravity -- at least quantum in the
sense of Planck. (Quantum logic is another matter, and may apply to
gravity.) The Planck constant and the gravitational constant are separated
by some 43 orders of magntude. The engineering rule of thumb is that
phenomena characterized by dimensionless parameters greater than 10^5 or
less than 10^(-5) are dynamically independent.

Quantum computing, on the other hand, might prove quite helpful in
addressing the combinatorics of heterogeneous systems. Let us hope.

> The questions I ask are those of an ex product planner colecting customer
> feedback to devise a new product. Perhaps we can succeed in doing that
> together. Thank you for this.

So then you are quite aware of the combinatorics and surprises connected
with dialogs! It's a complicated world!

Thank you for your contributions to FIS, and I apologize again for not
having read your earlier postings.

> All the best,
> Plamen



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