October Update

Bought a standard poodle puppy.  Bringing him home October 5, so October will be full of housebreaking, and FUN.

Tags
« 2 Reasons to Wish for Time Travel | Main | Falling for Barry Lopez #3 »
Tuesday
Jul062010

Are Cells Naturally Social?

Two recent articles in the online science journal, TheScientist, intrigue me with the apparent sociality of cells.

         One article reports Philip Donaghue’s discovery of apparently multicellular fossils, similar to jellyfish, from over 2 billion years ago, 200 million years earlier than we thought multicellularity first began. 

         The fossils show only the outsides of jellyfish-like creatures, with hints of cell-to-cell communication mechanisms.  One problem is that some of the same mechanisms are used by groups of single-celled organisms.  So with no innards to go on, it’s hard to be sure these fossils qualify as multicellular. 

         Yet multicellularity has evolved many times, an indication that it is often a successful survival strategy.  It allows an organism to be larger, with nutrients and information passing to inner cells from outer cells.  Large size may keep an organism (and hence, its cells) from being eaten.  Or large size may increase the possible size and quantity of prey, a boon to all the cells involved.  Or it may make metabolism more efficient, providing the multicellular organism with time to move beyond mere food consumption to courting or nesting.  Or any number of other advantages.

          The second article reports Milica Radisic’s biomedical engineering of heart cells from stem cells.  She places the stem cells on a scaffolding of cardiac tissue and supplies them with nutrients and oxygen: Not only do these cells begin to “beat,” but they find each other, connect with one another, and form a beating tissue like the natural tissue of hearts.  And they do this in response to a series of electrical impulses that simulate the electric impulses that pass through natural hearts from their controlling nodes.

         So what gives here?  Two very different types of cells, some direct descendants of single-celled organisms, some stem cells that just become cardiac cells by finding themselves on a support structure of heart cells, all connect with each other and function cooperatively.  

         Yet another wonder in a universe of wonders, don’t you think?

´╗┐

References (77)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Response: Flawless Elite
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    blog topic
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Erik Pitoniak
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: saleh stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Erik Pitoniak
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: saleh stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: saleh stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Baby Boys names
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Saleh Stevens
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Dr. Rashmi Patel
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Dr. Patel Dentis
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Dr. Rashmi Patel
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Vince Malfitano
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Vince Malfitano
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Vince Malfitano
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Dr. Rashmi Patel
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: OneTwoTrade
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Dr. Patel Dentis
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Dr. Patel Dentis
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Rashmi Patel
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Rashmi Patel DDS
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Rashmi Patel
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Dr. Patel Dentis
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: similar web site
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: OneTwoTrade
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response
    Response: Imperial Advance
    Julie Simon Lakehomer: Science Writer - Wonder of the Moment - Are Cells Naturally Social?
  • Response

Reader Comments (1)

Interesting topic and your intensive research is admirable with the thought it never existed on the majority of our minds. We are all made up of cells so if we are social beings then our cells are the same.

March 17, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdog food

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>