Too many projects… start with Life

I seem to have too many projects, and not enough time.

Every time I look around I see ways that the world could be a better place. I am overrun with ideas at every turn. Where can I make the most impact? Why can’t the world be the shining utopia that I see when I look to the future.

One of the biggest roadblocks in our path is our collective health. We need to figure out how to be healthy as a society. Perhaps the coming health care legislation could help to move things forward, but we are still so primitive when it comes to how we heal ourselves. It all boils down to a lack of information on so many levels.

While reading the following, bear in mind that I am not a trained biologist, and am speaking only from my own understanding. I could well be wrong about much of this.

Each of our cells needs resources to do it’s job. There are macro level resources, and micro level resources. There is also information. First and most importantly is the information about what it’s job is, and how to do it. The next most important information is about how well each cell is doing it’s job.

Our bodies ideally use apoptosis as a mechanism to refresh our bodies and organs by politely “retiring” cells that fail to function appropriately. When this information about how a cell is functioning is incorrect, the wrong cells are “retired”, or not. Sometimes a cell is malfunctioning so badly that apoptosis fails to work even when triggered. These cells are deemed cancerous.

Sometimes our cells don’t have the right information to do their job correctly. Many genetic disorders occur because we inherit non-functional or ineffective  copies of certain instructions from our parents. other times, a mutation could render a functional copy unusable or less effective. Rarely, a mutation can result in better functioning.

These are examples of information breakdown on a micro scale.

On a macro scale, information affects the way we feel. From the shapes of our organs to the structure of our skin, we are echos of the shapes of our youth. As cells die and are replaced, the highly refined organization that put you together in the womb starts to become fuzzy. The perfectly organized lines of cells in a newborn gradually become wavy and bumpy or broken as cells divide to fill the voids left by their malfunctioning neighbors. larger elastic structures that were formed tight and straight by youthful growth become broken or loose and enlarged. Each cell can only know what it’s immediate neighbors tell it about the larger environment; so each cell makes decisions about how to act and what to tell based on what it is told in a giant game of telephone.

On a holistic scale, our cells try to tell us what they need by the only mechanisms available to them. We get hungry, we get tired, we get thirsty, we get excited, we feel good, we ache, we feel rested, we feel content, we fall in love. These are all signals that for millions of years have pushed our ancestors bodies to get what they needed to keep going until they can reproduce. Our diets today differ vastly from the diets our ancestors had far in the past. We become obese, we crave sweets, we are manipulated by advertising. The signals are not provoking the correct responses.

I am convinced that we could all be healthy if we could just prevent the communication breakdowns at the root of all of our health problems.

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