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What is the term “surprisingly complex” doing in science PRs about life forms these days?


From ScienceDaily:

Cell signals that trigger wound healing are surprisingly complex

The researchers were testing two prevailing hypotheses for the wound-response trigger. One is that damaged and dying cells release proteins into the extracellular fluid which surrounding cells sense, causing them to boost their internal calcium levels. This increased calcium concentration, in turn, triggers their transformation from a static to a mobile form, allowing them to begin sealing off the wound. The second hypothesis proposes that the trigger signal spreads from cell to cell through gap junctions, specialized intercellular connections that directly link two cells at points where they touch. These are microscopic gates that allow neighboring cells to exchange ions, molecules and electrical impulses quickly and directly.

“What is extremely exciting is that we found evidence that cells use both mechanisms,” said Shannon. “It turns out cells have a number of different ways to signal injury. This may allow them to differentiate between different kinds of wounds.”

The experiments revealed that the creation of a wound generates a complex series of calcium signals in the surrounding tissue… Paper. (public access) – Erica K. Shannon, Aaron Stevens, Westin Edrington, Yunhua Zhao, Aroshan K. Jayasinghe, Andrea Page-Mccaw, M. Shane Hutson. Multiple Mechanisms Drive Calcium Signal Dynamics around Laser-Induced Epithelial Wounds. Biophysical Journal, 2017 DOI: 10.1016/j.bpj.2017.07.022 More.

Surprisingly complex, compared to what? Darwinism? According to which it all just sorta happened?

See also: Brainless jellyfish shows purpose? “They’re not opportunistically grazing — they’re deliberately fishing. They’re targeting and catching fish that are at times as big as they are, and are far more complex animals. This is a really neat animal that is displaying a surprisingly complex prey capture strategy.”


Sea anemone is genetically part animal, part plant “In the last decades the sequencing of the human and many animal genomes showed that anatomically simple organisms such as sea anemones depict a surprisingly complex gene repertoire like higher model organisms. This implies, that the difference in morphological complexity cannot be easily explained by the presence or absence of individual genes. Some researchers hypothesized that not the individual genes code for more complex body plans, but how they are wired and linked between each other. Accordingly, researchers expected that these gene networks are less complex in simple organisms than in human or “higher” animals.”


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