Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Brilliant coding .... and it is not about IT..

One exists the way one does,  because one's parents donated 23 chromosomes each , making one the proud holder of 46 chromosomes in the nucleus of every cell in one's body.

A chromosome consists of hundreds and thousands of genes, and , many personal traits  are determined  by sets of these genes.   The entire structure, and functioning of your body and possibly your mind is decided by the types and amounts of proteins your body synthesizes, and  genes are the managers  of the lives-and-times  of these proteins,  which actually contain coded instructions on how you will develop throughout your life.

You may have traits you inherit.  I  mean you may look like a spitting image of your father, but inherit the disposition of your mother.  You may even be predisposed towards a medical career, despite neither of your parents being so, simply due to a dominant gene from your grandmother, skipping a generation, and flowering within you. All those traits that have assorted aunts and folks say things like "You speak just like your Mom" or " This love for elocution is a gift of your Dad" are supposed to have come from dominant genes. Every time  someone shakes their head at your marks in Maths  and goes tsk tsk about how good your Dad was in maths, they are talking about your recessive gene.

The aforementioned coded instructions as protein strings in your genes,  are actually a kind of time table of your life.  How you will develop at what age, when will your height shoot up noticeably,  when will you start getting periods,  when will your musical abilities come to the fore, would you have a literary bent of mind , when will that develop, will you be one of those folks with a raging temper, and so on  . So many things. So many amino acid protein chains, folding and unfolding, so many enzymes and hormones quietly streaming around getting things done.

I have always wondered how time was coded into these instructions .

I mean, we humans live by the circadian time,  we have glands like pineal glands, little bitty smart things in our brains that sense that part of the 24 hours we are in, and trigger things like sleep,  idling down of various body systems, resting parts of the brain, waking up, feeling hungry etc etc .

Do these protein strings of the genes in our 46 chromosomes, sense time the same way we do at the macro level?  Clearly,  deep within our body, and in the cells, time would be sensed by a trigger of some enzyme or similar thing.  And the question can be asked, whether the well being of the body at that point, sickness/weakness etc, has any effect on the sensing of time by the cells at the micro level .

When we say that  some folks carry a certain cancer gene  what causes it to bide its "time" , before expressing itself in its gory glory ?  Does the environment around the cells, and general physiological condition of the body,  contract or dilate the time as far as the cell clock goes ?

But the real wonder is how these coded instructions influence thinking.

In my more than half a century of leading a fairly ordinary life, there have been several occasions when someone has remarked how I resemble my mother,  in the way I  express myself, and think.  So many people saying "you are your mother's daughter";  and post-some crisis situation, someone coming and saying, "Hmm. Independence... Shades of your mother .."   .  My father loved to write, and he ensured all those protein strings were there in his  23 chromosomes that he gifted me. Right from childhood , my parents encouraged this writing, which sometimes included poems.  All this right brain activity tangling every now and then with the algebraic unknowns of the left brain activity which was compulsory at times.

There was a huge gap in life,  like 30 years when this right brain activity took a back seat. Then all of a sudden , sometime in 2006 ,  I was inspired to write , both prose and poetry. 

While I agree with a lot of people's observations about me resembling my mother , it has become apparent to me , as I proceed well ahead on the wrong side of 60,  that I now tend to become a bit more like my father was in his old age.  In certain types of thinking, literary pursuits (which had remained hitherto dormant since the age of 25),  social interactions, a tendency to look inwards, and sometimes,  unexplained impulsive altruistic tendencies.  The basic maternal mould remains, but with these little  eruptions caused by certain hitherto dormant protein strings suddenly doing their stuff.

And I wonder , how thinking processes, and changes therein, can be coded into a protein string in your genes at birth , and how a tired  writing/poetry  gene,  one fine day ,  suddenly remembers how it expressed itself half a century ago, and is now all agitated to express itself once again.

I wonder how the cell senses what time of life it is . And what resources the body has at this point, struck as it is by shades of a metabolic syndrome. Surely, the quality of enzymes and hormones that tell the "cell-time"  have altered noticeably over the years, and the environment in the body is far from exemplary.

And  I often wonder about the Designer of this set up, who installs in us , all these coded strings at birth, that work with so much precision, co-operation with the vagaries caused by environmental effects on our bodies,  and manages to even have something to do with how we think at various points in our life.

No advertisements, no Apps, no festival deals, no false promises, no tom-tom-ing of foolishly named OS's  , no built in obsolescence.

Just some quiet updates, without announcements 

And you have ,  a quiet, robustly built, self correcting , real time  system of dedicated protein strings, remembering where they came from, and where they need to go, and when .....

The Designer Maker,  who some don't believe in, but continue to follow nevertheless ,  must be quietly smiling to himself.  

1 comment:

  1. Really interesting post. I also sometimes wonder what all things I have inherited from my parents. I wrote the article on Mr Deepak Amembal on Senior World. I really enjoy your take on how the world has changed over the years. If you agree, I would love for you to guest blog on Senior World. If you are interested, you can contact me at biswashree.dey@seniorworld.in