(Excerpts from book: MIND POWER (1980) CH 9, Author - Swami Vijnananand (S.V.), Manashakti publication)
· Some scientist say that plants too feel.
· Laws of Biology hold good at every step, though they become complex.
9.1 Cell, the mysterious links.
Though, comparatively imperfect, the knowledge of one cell can be applied to other types of cells. However there are two general classes of cells.
1) Prokaryotic cell – Typical of bacteria and blue – green algae
2) Eukaryotic cell - Found in all other organisms, plants and animals.
It is suggested that plant and animal cells have been derived from the early cell, or more likely, both forms might have a common ancestor. If so, the intermediate stage remains a mystery
9.3 Chemical picture of cell.
(I) Both plant and animal cells contain organic substances and mineral salts. The organic substances, whose composition is very complex, are represented by proteins, nucleic acids, carbohydrates, fats and fat like substances known as lipids.
(II) Liver cell in human body:- In the human body, for example, liver cell contains
· 60 % water.
· 12 % protein
· 5 % fat
· 2 % nucleic acid
· 1 % (or 21 %?) carbohydrates and other substances.
(iii) Proteins are the most important and indispensable constituents of cell they contain:-
· 50 to 55 % of carbon.
· 25 t0 30 % of oxygen.
· 15 to 19 % of sulfur
· Occasionally – iron, phosphorous, iodine, zinc, magnesium, and other elements.
(iv) Certain rare derivatives apart, nucleic acid derivatives contain:-
- 5 nitrogenous bases.
- 2 purines – adenine (A), guanine (G)
- 3 pyrimidine – cytosine (C), uracil (U), thymine (T)
There are two main types of nucleic acids.
· DNA (De-oxyribo Nucleic Acid), containing the sugar de-oxyribose with adenine – thymine and guanine – cytosine as bases.
· RNA (Ribo Nucleic acid), which contains ribose sugar and adenine, guanine, cytosine, and uracil (instead of thymine) as nitrogen base.
9.4 Cell division.
The vitally important process of cell division occurs either through karyokinesis or through mitosis. (Cell division)
(Karyokinesis = kernel i.e. cover, movement)
(i) Division of cell begins after a more or less protracted (longer than expected) period, known as interkinesis or interphase; the operative condition of the cell, when its inherent physiological functions are most active. In the interkinetic nucleus, the chromosomes are not visible, but instead appear as long, thin, intervened threads.
(ii)At this stage the cell is already being prepared for mitosis. At a definite stage of interphase, known as synthetic, the quality of DNA in the nucleus doubles.
iii) During the preparation for mitosis, the cell center divides and begins moving apart to the opposites or poles of the cell. The chromosomes threads coil up into spirals, thicken and become visible under the ordinary microscope.
iv)The nucleolus and nuclear membrane gradually disappears and a spindle is formed. This first stage of mitosis is known as the prophase.
(v) In the second stage called the metaphase (fig. 5), the chromosomes arrange themselves into the equatorial plane of the cell in the form of a star.
(vi) The third stage of mitosis, known as the Ana-phase begins when the chromosomes, already split, separate. (fig.6)
(vii)At this stage the space between the chromosomes becomes greater and greater, the threads between spindles extending between the centriol become shorter and the two halves of each chromosome gradually migrate to the poles of the cell.
(viii) The fourth and final stage of division is called the telophase. (fig. 7 & 8).During this, the chromosomes uncoil, the nucleus re appears and nuclear membranes surround each group of daughter chromosomes. Thus, the exact division of material of each chromosome is made between the daughter nuclei. In the cytoplasm of each daughter cell, a new division of the centriols takes place and a membrane forms between the two cells obtained as result of the division. Morphologically the telophase resembles the prophase, except that there are now two cells instead of the original one. Each daughter cell is smaller than the maternal one, but gradually grows and attains the dimensions and space typical of the cell of the tissue concerned
More information continues……
The duration of each phase of mitosis and its frequency are dissimilar to different cells and vary greatly. The younger the tissue, however, the more frequently the cell divides.
Mitotic activity depends on the nature of the tissue and on its physiological condition. It is particularly intensive during growth and regeneration. Hormones and other system regulators of the organism have a great effect. In many tissues mitosis is not observed, as in the liver. That does not mean that liver cells can’t divide. If for instance, a piece is cut from liver of a rat, mitosis will occur immediately along the line of cut and the livers will quickly and completely regenerate.
The average length of the principal stage of karyokinesis in human cell is as follows :-
· 30 to 60 minutes for prophase
· 02 to 10 minutes for metaphase
· 03 to 15 minutes for anaphase
· 30 minutes for telophase.
(iv)During division cells are very sensitive to various environmental influences, particularly to temperature. The optimal temperature for human cell division is 37 degree centigrade; deviation from that, either above or below, inhibits (restricts) mitosis. The dividing cell is likewise sensitive to poisons and to radiant energy, which is the basis for treating malignant tumors by ionizing radiation.
(v)It should also be noted that certain highly differentiated cell have lost their capacity to divide, as far instance, blood cells, after existing for a certain time, they disintegrate and special blood forming organs produce new cells to replace them.
Nerves cells are formed only during embroil developments after birth they grow but do not as a rule divide.
A phenomenon known as “amitosis” or direct division is sometimes encountered, which is not properly speaking a means of cell division, by simply a pinching or fragmentation of the nucleus. Amitosis is rare in higher organisms and many biologists even doubt its existence.
9.5 Analogy of chemicals but not of life.
Process of amoeba: - Is it possible to say that amoeba is conscious? Yes, certainly. Its acts are very much like those which are talked of as conscious in us and the higher animals. It has quite a clear reaction to changes in degree of light. For example: - -It seems to have power of controlling its motion
· It makes selection of food it does not take inside his body whatever comes in his way.
· It gives no attention for ex. To hard grains or stones, which would give trouble to digestion?
· We tend to say that behavior of this sort is conscious behavior.
However one can take a view that this behavior is like a machine, which is the outcome of the laws of physics and chemistry. Is it possible to make something whose behavior is more or less like the behavior of amoeba? If a drop of chloroform be supported in the liquid and on coming up against a small grain of wax they will get all-round them very much as amoeba gets round its food. Again by using certain chemical reaction, it is possible for the process of cell division i.e. similar process the amoeba itself into more amoebas.
The above similar example does not make amoeba’s behavior clearer to us. It gives us the idea that it is possible that the behavior of amoeba is like that of a machine.
9.6 Physical behavior: - Eight alternatives against incoming substances.
Army rule: There is an old rule for leading comfortable army life.
If it moves, salute it.
If it does not move, pick it up.
If it is too big to pick up, paint it.
Cell response to incoming substances, eight alternatives: The possible response of a cell to an incoming substance has similar diversity.
(1) The substance can be metabolized and used as a fuel.
(2) Incorporated into whatever is being built at the time.
(4) Complemented by synthesis of antibody, or
(5) Antitoxin engulfed (completely surrounded) in resin or amyloidal (non-nitrogenous starchy food)
(6) Used as an inducer, or
(7) Bizarre (strange) morphogenesis as a prelude (pre-action) to one of the other processes.
(8) Rejected from the very beginning or by excretion.
These various responses are not rigidly distinguishable from each other but overlap intricately. The shrewdness of cell is exhibited in the manner of its response.
9.7 Sherrington; the noble prize winner and others discussed mind of the cell. Cell has a mind to learn. Single cell without sense organ and nervous system can learn. As per Dr. Sherrington, the noble prize winner scientist, there are observers with skill (skilled observers) , who after devoting patient study to the motor behavior of a such single cell conclude that microscopic single cell life, without sense organ without nervous system can learn. The emphasis here is to be focused on observer’s skill to reach to the said conclusion.
The famous physicist E. Winger observes: The present laws of physics are at least incomplete without translation into terms of mental phenomenon. More likely they are inaccurate. The inaccuracy increasing the role which life plays in the phenomenon considered.
Noble prize winner chemist Szebt Cyorgyi reiterates: In many search for the secret of life, I ended up with atoms and electrons which have no life at all. Somewhere along the line LIFE HAS RUN OUT THROUGH MY FINGERS. So in my old age, I am now retracing (to withdraw a statement) my steps.
9.8 Louis Pasteur: Life existed during eternity and not matter.
I have been looking for spontaneous generation for twenty years without discovering it. No, I don’t judge it impossible, but what allows you to make it the origin of life?
You place matter before life and decide that matter has existed for all eternity.
How do you know the incessant (non-stop, continuous) progress of science will not compel scientists…… to consider that……. Life exerted during eternity and not matter?
You pass from matter to life because your intelligence of today can not conceive things otherwise. HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT IN TEN THOUSAND YEARS ONE WILL NOT CONSIDER IT MORE LIKELY THAT MATTER HAS EMERGED FROM LIFE?
In 1955, Contrat reported separation and reunion of TM virus. Dr. Asimov’s comments were as follows. - If the two fractions of the original virus (after separation) were then mixed, (Only) about one percent of the original (virus) was restored. Apparently, the nucleic acid rejoins the protein in the mixture but usually in an incorrect and useless manner. One out of hundred re-unions however clicks into place correctly and the intact virus molecule is restored.
By no means has this amounted to “creating of life.”
C.G.Taylor Ex. Advisor BBC, -- Scientists cannot create life. The scientists do not really aim to create life, he simply aims to provide the conditions in which life can create itself.
The book MIND POWER says: Let science remain at its honorable place without transgressing (going beyond moral/legal limits) its legitimate frontiers unless it chooses to expand the frontiers to the limits of life. In other words, let science open door to non-matter with a well-come or leave it out to others to consider.
- Here we see the broad outline of the cell composition as well as division. If mere mechanical view of the cell working is taken as a basis, appropriate explanation of cell functioning would not be possible.
- In order to provide logical explanation of the cell working either science has to accept ‘mind’ as scientific entity or leave the explanation of ‘life’ out of its scope.
(Note: This is an attempt to make reader friendly interpretation of the book “MIND POWER” based on my perception. Inquisitive readers are requested to refer to the original book to cross check their understanding.)
Vijay R. Joshi.