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Another Layer on the Information Story: Quorum Sensing

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I was recently directed to a video lecture on the phenomenon of quorum sensing, the mechanism by which bacteria communicate with one another to establish the population density of micro-organisms of their own kind within their proximal environment. Bonnie Bassler, the lecturer in this video, does a masterful job of portraying fairly technical concepts and ideas to a lay-audience. Read More>>>

And of course Dr. Sheldon's recent article relates to the previous two posts: Fibonacci Forever "is there any physics in Fibonacci, or is it just a mathematician's curiosity?" Here's the physics that came back: a) AJ Meyer has looked at the galactic rotation curves, and pointed out that "rigid-body" rotation which is observed, can be obtained by having a mass which increases with radius. Now since we can look at galaxies from the side, and they don't get thicker with radius, it would seem that this increase in mass must be due to something else. Gallo argues that it could be dust, or non-glowing "dark" matter. Meyer argues that a logarithmic spiral distribution, like the arms of spiral galaxies, would contribute more mass at larger radii, exactly as required to match the rotation curves. In other words, there is no "missing matter" in spiral galaxies, but precisely the rotation curve for being a spiral galaxy. Of course, Meyer has no explanation for why the stars are arranged in Fibonacci spirals. b) Meyer also said that the Schroedinger equation which predicts wave behavior of electrons orbiting a proton, does have spots of zero probability, or "nodes" as they say in wave mechanics. The first two nodes of the "s-wave" solution give the "Golden Mean" which is also the ratio of two numbers in the Fibonacci series. His advisor, Perlmutter, thought it might be significant, but Meyer didn't publish what might be a simple coincidence. c) Ultracold atoms can attract each other magnetically, and then "resonate" around some stable point, like a vibrating string. The first 2 resonating modes are the Golden Mean again. d) Alan Newell thinks he may have a non-linear equation for which the energy minima lead to Fibonacci series in plants and pinecones. It's getting pretty messy out there, but perhaps future research will simplify it to a more general rule. http://procrustes.blogtownhall.com/2010/09/24/fibonacci_forever.thtml bornagain77
This relates to the preceding article: 1)The DNA spiral is a Golden Section 2)B-DNA has spirals in phi proportions 3)The DNA cross-section is based on Phi conclusion: no matter which way you look at it, even in its smallest element, DNA, and life, is constructed using phi and the golden section! http://www.goldennumber.net/dna.htm bornagain77
here is Another layer of 'mathematical' information that has been found embedded throughout genome: Codon Populations in Single-stranded Whole Human Genome DNA Are Fractal and Fine-tuned by the Golden Ratio 1.618 - Jean-Claude PEREZ - 2010 http://metapress.com/content/f564350073g75444/fulltext.pdf The following is a fairly excellent summary of the Perez paper (save for the 'self evolving part) In the 1940's, the eminent scientist Barbara McClintock discovered that if she damaged the DNA in corn maize, the plant would reconstruct the damaged section by making a copies of other parts of the DNA strand, then pasting them into the damaged area. This is almost like ripping an entire page out of a mystery novel and somehow being able to re-construct the missing text from other paragraphs elsewhere in the book, even though the page has been destroyed. How could a tiny cell possibly know how to do.... that??? A French HIV researcher has found part of the answer. (Hint: The instructions in DNA are not only linguistic, they're mathematical.) (Please see the following site for a fascinating look at the 'golden ratio' mathematical pattern, that enables such massive repair, that has been found throughout the entire genome): Part 2 of "Evolution: The Untold Story" - Perry Marshall: http://www.cosmicfingerprints.com/blog/mathematics-of-dna/ bornagain77
Pretty soon being a Linguist and a Cryptographer will be prerequisites to become a Biologist. Franck Barfety
Here is another video from TED, which readers might want to check out. Its Stefano Mancuso's talk on the intelligence of plants. http://www.ted.com/talks/stefano_mancuso_the_roots_of_plant_intelligence.html Oramus
Thanks, Johnathan. Interesting stuff. Bacteria Comunicate? Cooperate? Group think? Intelligent, and they(bacteria) know it!. That's why I am gonna have a conversation with myself and my bacteria groupies. Don't laugh. They can hear you, sense you, and will cooperate in your defense. What is that old piece of wisdom?: know thyself. Well, Bonnie is helping us understand that this wisdom is not crackpot philosophy but good-ole 1st rate intuition and wisdom, which always seems to be a step a head of THE evidence. By the way, I am getting more science from UD, ENV, and Hunter's site than anything I have seen over at PT. Keep up the good work and hope this pace continues. Oramus

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