Speaking of Science

November 2014’s selection of notable quotes

By The Scientist Staff | November 1, 2014

My comment: The quotes are scattered from across disciplines, but can be linked to what is known about conserved molecular mechanisms of biologically-based cause and effect that, in context, make sense of them.

1) Cell type differentiation occurs via amino acid substitutions in the Ebola viruses. Identification of two amino acid residues on Ebola virus glycoprotein 1 critical for cell entry

2) What is known about nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled sex differences in cell type differentiation via amino acid substitutions appears to extend from non-living viruses to the differentiation of all cell types in all individuals of all species.

3) See, for example: “Excitatory amino acid transporters: recent insights into molecular mechanisms, novel modes of modulation and new therapeutic possibilities

4) Place it into the context of “The Mind’s Eyes: Human pheromones, neuroscience, and male sexual preferences.

5) It should come as no surprise to learn that ecological variation leads to ecological adaptations manifested in the connectome and in unconsciuos affects associated with face perception and cognition. Arguably, the only pathway that links the epigenetic landscape to the physical landscape of DNA in the organized genomes of species from microbes to man is the gene-cell-tissue-organ-organ system pathway.

6) We used that pathway in our 2001 review Human pheromones: integrating neuroendocrinology and ethology.

7) Panksepp et al, (2002) followed with Comparative approaches in evolutionary psychology: molecular neuroscience meets the mind.

Unless excitatory amino acid transporters somehow evolved due to mutations, they appear to exemplify how nutrient-uptake and the pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction link ecological, social, neurogenic, and socio-cognitive niche construction. Niche construction links increasing organismal complexity based on what is known about conserved molecular mechanisms that link physics to the chemistry of protein folding and RNA-mediated events. The RNA-mediated events link the Ebola viruses to human ignorance of biophysically-constrained cause and effect.

Biophysically-constrained cause and effect is often attributed to mutations and/or natural selection that somehow leads to the evolution of biodiversity and the evolution of “Excitatory amino acid transporters”   in the context of the connectome via cell type differentiation in our brain. There is no experimental evidence that cell type difference in the brain have evolved; all experimental evidence shows that the cell type are nutrient-dependent ecological adaptations.

The fact that “…seemingly simple amino acids can exhibit surprisingly complex pharmacology…” (Jensen et. al., 2014) in the context of seemingly futile thermodynamic cycles (see the citation below) of protein biosynthesis and degradation does not suggest anything except an across-species link from the conserved molecular mechanisms of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled cell type differentiation in microbes to cell type differentiation in the brain of all primates.

Cited in (Jensen et. al., 2014) Reyes N, Oh S, Boudker O: Binding thermodynamics of a glutamate transporter homolog. “The thermodynamics of Na+ and substrate binding to cross-linked double cysteine-mutants of GltPh trapped in outward-facing and inward-facing conformations are investigated at using ITC and fluorescence-based assays. Na+ binding to the transporter is found to induce a site capable of substrate binding and undergoing subsequent conformational transitions. Thus, cation binding and unbinding events are the driving force of the EAAT transport cycle.

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