[Fis] Fwd: Re: Cancer Cure? (Plamen S.)

Pedro C. Marijuan pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es
Thu Jun 2 18:00:56 CEST 2016

Dear Plamen, Bob, and FIS Colleagues,

I respond to ideas previously expressed on the connection of living 
cells with physics. SOC may be one of the ways, but there are other 
instances, eg "constructal law", catastrophe theory, tensegrity (at 
least, all of these are well related to development), and many others... 
My own bet regarding the centrality and potential extension of the 
construct is "molecular recognition". Elevating beyond heterogeneity, 
its conflation with symmetry makes sense on the polymerization and 
supramolecular strategies of life.

Molecular recognition appears as the key element from which the whole 
biochemical and evolutionary universe is constructed. Like any other 
chemical reaction, recognition between molecules is based on the “making 
and breaking of bonds”. This ––and only this–– is what makes possible 
the mutual recognition and the formation of complexes between 
biomolecular partners. The big problem with biomolecular recognition 
instances is that they involve an amazing variety and combinatorics of 
almost any type of chemical interaction: hydrogen bonds, hydrophobic / 
hydrophilic forces, dipole forces, van der Waals forces, ionic 
Coulombian forces, etc. Dozens or even hundreds of weak bonds 
participate, for instance, in the formation of a protein-protein 
specific complex. Quite probably, measuring molecular recognition and 
establishing its crucial parameters and variables can only be realized 
biologically on a case-by-case basis. At least this is the current trend 
in most molecular biological and molecular dynamic approaches. But a few 
"classic" references have provided some interesting insights about 
molecular-recognition generalities. First, *W. Meggs* about “biological 
homing”, mainly from a Coulombian “lock and key” combinatory point of 
view; then *Shu-Kun Lin* about the changes in thermodynamic entropy of 
mixing derived from molecular similarity changes; and finally *M. 
Carlton*, with original proposals for measuring the information content 
of any complex molecular system.

Anyhow, the result of the whole organization of molecular recognition 
instances would remind our artificial computers--is it interesting to 
connect them "meaningfully" with physics? Yes, the physics is all 
around, but it is submerged very deep into the architectural and 
functional constraints of the living system. No royal road, no "camino 
real" to explain the entirety, a pleiad of disciplines has to be 
involved. For cancer, or for biomaterial engineering, recombination of 
multiple disciplines becomes the basic research enterprise of our times. 
We have to combine the surfing of many disciplines with the occasional 
fundamental insights (from physics, maths, symmetry, information 
science, etc.). But neither reductionism, nor wholism, nor 
phenomenology, nor perspectivism, nor... are going very far making sense 
of the whole social intelligence caught into action (blind spots 
included). We made the "artistic" drawing below.

Enough for today. Greetings to all, and congratulations to Xueshan for 
his Magnus Opus! --Pedro

*Disciplines involved in modern biomaterial research. The representation 
is based on the description made by bioengineer **James Kirkpatrick 
(2009) and also del Moral et al., (2011).*

El 02/06/2016 a las 13:20, Pedro C. Marijuan escribió:
> On Tue, May 31, 2016 at 6:54 PM, Robert E. Ulanowicz <ulan at umces.edu> 
> wrote:
>     > 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.

Pedro C. Marijuán
Grupo de Bioinformación / Bioinformation Group
Instituto Aragonés de Ciencias de la Salud
Centro de Investigación Biomédica de Aragón (CIBA)
Avda. San Juan Bosco, 13, planta X
50009 Zaragoza, Spain
Tfno. +34 976 71 3526 (& 6818)
pcmarijuan.iacs at aragon.es

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