* UNANSWERED QUESTIONS: RESPONSE *

Cornelius Krasel krasel at wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de
Fri Jun 7 12:44:42 EST 1996


Margaret Fowler (101722.35 at CompuServe.COM) wrote:
[for Harold Hillman]

> 1. Discourtesy, assumptions of ignorance, and emotive remarks are no
> substitute for measured argument and evidence. Each of these quest-
> ions highlights a contradiction *within* current views; for example,
>     (a) everyone agrees that intracellular movements can be seen by
> low power light microscopy in living cells, yet most people also
> believe that there is a cytoskeleton, which would not permit such
> movements;

I still fail to understand why a cytoskeleton would not permit intracellular
movements. In fact, it has been shown that at least certain intracellular
movements such as those of mitochondria are based on the existence of a
cytoskeleton.

>     (b) most people believe in the Second Law of Thermodynamics, yet
> in subcellular fractionation they change the entropy of their systems
> (homogenise and centrifuge), and assume that this does not change the
> free energy, which drives all the biochemical reactions they are
> studying,

Wrong. As stated before, most biochemists are aware of the fact that
destruction of a living cell changes the entropy of the system.
However, it's very difficult if not impossible to reconstitute a
system with the same entropy (since it is difficult if not impossible
to actually quantitate this entropy).

>     (c) most people would agree that the laws of solid geometry must
> be obeyed, while in their electron micrographs - as opposed to their
> diagrams - they do not see a random selection of orientations, includ-
> ing oblique views of cell membranes, nuclear membranes, myelin
> lamellae, synapses, nuclear pores, etc.

I'm not knowledgeable in electron microscopy, so I leave this mostly
to others. However, it seems fairly obvious to me that a serial section
of an embedded cell would, for example, yield some sections where the
cell membrane is hit in its plane (assuming that this is what you mean
with "oblique view"); however, such a picture would not give very
much information and is therefore not published.

> 2. In my publications cited, and in about 120 other full-length
> papers, I have shown, in detail, with evidence:
>     (a) That one can not yet derive conclusions from subcellular
> fractionation about the chemistry of organelles, which are relevant
> to their original states in the intact, living organisms;

Since I do not have the time to search for your publications, it would
be maybe nice to summarize what lead you to arrive at those conclusions.

>     (b) That the following structures do not exist in the living
> cells: endoplasmic reticula, Golgi bodies, lysosomes, nuclear pores,
> mitochondrial cristae, the cytoskeleton, actin filaments and synapt-
> ic knobs, either because they would not permit the evident intra-
> cellular movements, or because they disobey the laws of solid
> geometry.

I think your "laws of solid geometry" need reevaluation. It is fairly
obvious that the cytoskeleton not only permits intracellular movement,
it is necessary for it.

> Transmembrane molecules and receptors can not be seen on
> the cell membranes by transmission electron microscopy, although
> sequencing shows them to be 2-3 times the diameter of the cell
> membrane, which *can* be seen by electron microscopy;

The cell membrane can only be seen in transmission electron microscopy
because the cells are fixed with electron-dense material with high
affinity for lipids; cell-membrane *and* transmembrane molecules
can be visualized by, for example, atomic force microscopy on living
cells or freeze-fracture electron microscopy.

[snipped neuronal stuff and philosophical questions]

Unfortunately I cannot answer to the hypotheses which you have brought
forward, since our library does not seem to carry any of the books
you gave nor any of the journals where you have published since 1990
(I did a quick Medline search to check them out). I would be
interested in older references which might have been published in
more "mainstream" journals :-)

I will comment on the questions raised in your email later.

--Cornelius.

-- 
/* Cornelius Krasel, U Wuerzburg, Dept. of Pharmacology, Versbacher Str. 9 */
/* D-97078 Wuerzburg, Germany   email: phak004 at rzbox.uni-wuerzburg.de  SP3 */
/* "Science is the game we play with God to find out what His rules are."  */



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