Is consciousness to be found in quantum processes in microtubules?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by Write4U, Sep 8, 2018.

  1. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Yes, when your stomach gurgles or you experience pain it is an indication that something is wrong in the system. If all is well you don't know they are there at all.
    No Dave, you're seeing this from the wrong perspective. Interoception is a subconscious brain function. You become consciously aware only when something goes wrong, like a palpitating heart. That's a serious control problem and you cannot think it right. You have to trust your subconscious control mechanism to regulate the pace of your heart. When you are resting you don't feel your heart. You can hear it, you can feel your pulse, but you cannot just feel your heart sitting in its little sack.
    Perhaps my ignorance makes mt too optimistic, but from what I have gleaned so far, I find no fundamental conflict in any of the proposed functions of microtubules.

    I admit my ignorance of fine detail, but then I am comforted by the number and authority of the scientists who are pursuing what has been called "very promising". And why not?

    Should we stop research? On what grounds? Microtubules do not function as they have been observed to function?
     
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

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    Gurgling and palpitations are a normal part of functioning organs.

    But more to the point, so what?

    Not true.

    But what does it have to do with anything?
    'Not finding a conflict' is not grounds for study.

    I don't find a conflict with the fact that the number of pirates is inversely proportional to global warming, but that doesn't suggest a useful line of research.

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  5. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Right, so let's leave at that. I'm absolutely sure that somewhere along the line you will agree with me at least in part.
    I still have no idea where my spleen is. It's never acted up on me.

    It is all connected to the concept of consciousness and what that actually means from what we know, and which is fast becoming one of the last frontiers in biological evolutionary research, the emergence of consciousness (in addition to subconscious or unconscious processes) and the beginning point of volitional behavior.

    IMO, it is much to early to speak negatively on any of these endeavors. I vote for support and encouragement, as long as it is in accordance with scientific principles.

    There will come a point which reveals fact, one way or the other. but that point is a long way off.

    Please note that I am not arguing that microtubules individually are conscious. I am much in agreement with billvon that consciousness is an emergent property of neural networks. I just go one step deeper and am exploring what goes on inside the neurons themselves.
    And there appears this tiny machine that is able to do a lot of things with just a few components and is part of most all eukaryote cells (neurons) found in nature.
    The only bio-organisms without microtubules are the prokaryotes and that's why they almost became extinct.
    https://www.synonym.com/synonyms/prokaryote
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  7. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Sigh. Bacteria are prokaryotes. They are some of the most successful life forms on the planet.

    Why don't you check some of these statements before you make them? You end up looking such a fool.
     
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  8. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you for drawing my attention to the Prokaryote.
    In my haste to espouse the virtues of the Eukaryote I neglected to read up on prokaryotes. And you are right in regard to survivability. Prokaryotes can be extremely hardy as evidenced by the fact that some prokaryotes are Extremophiles, able to live in conditions deadly to eukaryotes.

    In addition I discovered that some prokaryotes at least do have microtubules as evidenced by the presence of flagella. Science is still not clear on their function in prokaryotes.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC372974/
    I should have, but I was concentrating on Eukaryotes and neglected to at least check on the relationship between prokaryotes and eukaryotes. My bad..

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    Thanks for bringing it to my attention. As I said I have a lot of studying to do, but unfortunately I do not have a couple of years to spend to study the subject in depth. Moreover, science itself has lots of bits and pieces, but apparently at that scale comprehensive study is difficult.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  9. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I believe this may be of importance in the general discussion of the importance of microtubules.
    I have read only portions, but this appears to be a major paper, including a large portion devoted to the properties and functions of microtubules.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3874686/#B16
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    All you have to do is a bit of googling before you post a statement that purports to be factual. That's what I try to do, when the subject is one outside my own area of expertise. It doesn't take more than a minute, sometimes you learn from it and it does greatly reduce the chances of saying something silly.

    Bu then again, to do this you need to be the sort of person that actually cares whether what he says is accurate or not.
     
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    No, your GI tract gurgles all the time to move food along. That's how it works. If it STOPS you are in trouble. That's why after GI surgery, surgeons eagerly await flatulence - because it's a sign that the GI system, traumatized by the surgery, has started working again.
    Limb position is PROprioception, and you use it consciously, every single day. That's how you can get your wallet out of your back pocket without seeing it. That's how you can get your hand up to protect your head quickly, again without seeing it.

    Your use of analogies that are so often dead wrong does not really help your position. It's like a guy who says "look, of course climate change is a farce. I mean, we get summer because the Earth moves closer to the Sun, right? So why couldn't it be a change in the position of the Earth and not CO2?"
    Are you serious? Do you have a medical condition where you are not able to sense things within your own body? I can feel my heart beating right now. Most people can.
    Not at all. Keep researching them. Perhaps we will discover that they do more than what we think they do.

    Until then, your claims are baseless.
     
  12. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I am satisfied if I have a general understanding. I don't need to know every single detail, especially if they are only tangently related.

    Mind, I am not complaining about being corrected, but if we were to stop and examine every irrelevant detail of a post we'd never get anywhere at all.

    p.s. I corrected your spelling of "But", without comment, because it is irrelevant to the substance of your post. I do care about accuracy, but I am judicious where I apply insult.
     
  13. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    It is not a question of your understanding. It is a question of what credibility you wish to have, for the factual claims you assert in your posts, for others to read.
     
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  14. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Right. But it's not the details. It's the basis of many things you post (i.e. "you can't sense your heart or the position of your limbs" - "you can't build a computer without microchips" - "prokaryotes are almost extinct.") Those aren't details, they are fundamental misunderstandings. And that carries over to your credibility on other topics.
     
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  15. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    No that is not what I said. Drop the limbs, they are not organs. I did say organs, such as the heart. These are the words of a real expert
    Are you saying he is wrong?
    By your own words , any other method would not be as efficient. Are you suggesting that natural selection is unable to come up with an efficient system such as microtubules, as we have with microchips, or perhaps more illustrative, electric coils?

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    Right , that was sloppy of me, even if I was really talking about eukaryotes and I mentioned prokaryotes mainly as an older, more primitive system. I was really thinking of
    But I admit, if I am going to use comparisons, I should take care to present both sides accurately.
    I agree and I also realize that I cannot absorb everything all at once, when people spend lifetimes studying a single phenomenon.
    Nevertheless, I stand corrected and I certainly won't repeat that error

    However, on a more optimistic note, I ran across this little bit of evidence in support of the role microtubulins play in the evolution of life and possible consciousness.
    I am just trying to establish a fundamental platform of physical information sharing at extremely small scales (smaller than neurons).
    In chemistry it is called chirality, left and right handed complimentary connectors.

    IMO a microtubule may be the smallest dynamic pattern in chirality. A coil of chiral heterodimers, affording forward and backward transmission.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3518651/

    Humans use coils for a variety of purposes also...

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    [/quote][/QUOTE]

    Although cytoplasmic tubules and fibers have been observed in bacteria, some with diameters similar to those of eukaryotes, no homologies to eukaryotic microtubules have been established. Certain groups of bacteria including azotobacters, cyanobacteria, enteric bacteria, and spirochetes have been frequently observed to possess microtubule-like structures, and others, including archaebacteria, have been shown to be sensitive to drugs that inhibit the polymerization of microtubules. Although little biochemical or molecular biological information is available, the differences observed among these prokaryotic structures suggest that their composition generally differs among themselves as well as from that of eukaryotes. We review the distribution of cytoplasmic tubules in prokaryotes, even though, in all cases, their functions remain unknown[/quote] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7968920
    http://www.indiana.edu/~geol105b/images/gaia_chapter_10/stromatolites.htm

    And here is where I made a mistake. I recalled something about stromatolites and checked up on my hunch,
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stromatolite

    But stromatolites went almost entirely extinct, except for few small areas.

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    A cyanobacteria bloom in Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán created a vast dead zone in the otherwise fecund lake, showing that billions of years later these bacteria can still cause grief.
    https://slate.com/technology/2014/0...n-event-the-earths-first-mass-extinction.html

    Anyway.............................

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  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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  17. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    More interesting news about nanotubules. They are going to be used in computers, who would have thought?

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    https://www.worldofmolecules.com/nanotechnology/

    Now, these are carbon-tubes, but note 13 heterodimers, the same number as found in other microtubules. A common dynamic pattern in biological organisms?
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  18. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    Well plenty of people have thought

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    However I think I will still prefer my computer to be made "bricks and mortar" style

    Don't want my smartphone to catch cold and need to take to doctor for a course of antibiotics

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  19. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I believe microtubules are nature's "bricks and mortar", perhaps the most reliable pattern in nature. They have been around since the beginning of the evolutionary bio-chemical process and should have proven their evolutionary salt by now .

    I propose the presence of microtubules is a common fundamental denominator in both animate and inanimate organisms, and might well be the dynamic system from which conscious understanding (thought) evolved.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  20. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 69 years old Valued Senior Member

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    That's another mark against them. I do not want my smartphone, the one I have carefully nurtured through adding and subtracting apps and setting the icons, to evolve to another level

    Prefer to buy a new phone, slowly work the new phone into a form I am comfortable with while peeling myself away from the old one

    If I turn on my X7 and get a message "I have grown to a X8, please buy the new expandable case" it will go straight to land fill

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  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Well, microtubules are not very sophisticated, but they are extremely versatile.
    An "open platform", if you will. You could program them for every possible function that they fulfill in nature and do calculus as well.......

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    You don't want to be a microtubule's best buddy (or vice-versa)?......

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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  22. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Your apparently very old article says these nanotubes could be used in computers as early as 2006. That is 12 years ago now. Where are they?

    And by the way this application is a simple mechanical switch on a small scale. Nothing to do with quantum effects.
     
  23. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    The earlier article you quoted explained that microtubules are found in all eukaryotic cells, performing a number of roles in the cytoskeleton of the cell. (more here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cytoskeleton) So we know they are a common denominator of eukaryotes.
     

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