Cells, Gels, and the Engines of Life

Chapter 1 DEBUNKING MYTHS On the surface everything seems to be in order. Virtually all known cellular processes are by now accounted for by well-described mechanisms: ions flow through channels; solutes are transported by pumps; vesicles are moved y motors; etc. But as we shall see as we probe beneath the surface of these solutions, a bewildering level of complexity hints at a situation that could parallel the epicycles. I propose to step back and regroup. Firm ground needs to be identified. I begin by considering two elements thoughts to be fundamental to cell function: membrane pumps and channel. Pumps transport solutes across the cell boundary against their respective concentration

Collagen : Holding the Body Together

Collagen is the glue that holds the body together. The word comes from kolla, the Greek word for glue, and our ancestors made glue by boiling down the skin and sinews of animals. When we make broth, we turn skin, cartilage, tendons, and ligaments into gelatin-rich liquid glue. Cooking breaks down collagenous protein into gelatin which provides the amino acids the body needs to make the “glue” we call connective tissue. In the form of twisted cables, collagen strengthens the tendons that connect muscle to the bone and the ligaments that connect bones together. As vast, resilient sheets, collagen supports the skin and internal organs, helps skin retain its youthful firmness, suppleness and

Thalamus-Depression / Basal Ganglia-Anxiety

FUNCTIONS OF THE LIMBIC SYSTEM (LS) Sets the emotional tone of the mind Filters external events through internal states Tags events as internally important Stores highly charged emotional memories Modulates motivation Controls appetite and sleep cycles Promotes bonding Directly process the sense of smell Modulates libido In a paper published in 1878, French neurologist Paul Broca noted that deep in the middle of the brain all mammals possess a group of areas that are different from the surrounding cerebral cortex. Using the Latin word for “border,” limbus, Broca named this collection of areas the limbic lobe. They form a ring around the brain stem below the cortex. From an evolutionary sta