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Ionic Conductance

x011 at ns2.CC.Lehigh.EDU x011 at ns2.CC.Lehigh.EDU
Mon Nov 14 08:44:04 EST 1994

In article <9411131124.AA03241 at phage.cshl.org>, anderson at CSHL.ORG (John Anderson
 in Anderson Lab) writes:
>>   I believe it was Peter Mitchell who worked out the mechanism of
>>   oxidative phosphorylation. It involves a proton conductance through a
>>   membrane, which overcomes the problems with the charge on the proton.
>>   The reason I bring this up is that there is a problem with neural
>>   spines--the spine neck is quite narrow, and does not allow ionic flow
>>   between the spine and the dendrite.
>>   However, my taking a course from Harold Morowitz on metabolism begins to
>>   provide some insight here. He keeps emphasizing the importance of static
>>   cell structure to how the cell operates. (He's taken metazoans down
>>   nearly to absolute zero and then revived them--which you could not do if
>>   persistent dynamics were necessary to life.) The problem with the spine
>>   neck would go away if there were some sort of biological structure that
>>   supported the necessary ion flow. I.e., ion wires through the neck...
>>   Has anyone looked to see if microtubules supported ionic conductance?
>>   That would also start to provide some insight into their role in the
>>   protistan neuroskeleton. Based on structure, they might even function as
>>   some sort of coaxial cable.
>>   --
>>   Harry Erwin
>>   Internet: herwin at gmu.edu
>Microtubules play an important role in Roger Penrose's new book
>SHADOWS OF THE MIND (which I've not read), as a possible substrate for
>"quantum consciousness", I think.  I believe the original idea came
>from Stuart Hameroff.  The property of microtubules that these guys
>like is that the tubulin monomers can have one of two conformations,
>determined by the position of an particular electron.  I wonder if
>this electron, or a surrogate, could be transferred along the length
>of the microtubule as part of a wave of conformational change, thus
>effectively producing a current?
>John E. Anderson, Ph.D.                             904-448-6286 (phone)
>9439 San Jose Boulevard #226                   anderson at cshl.org (email)
>Jacksonville, Florida 32257                  jander at unf6.unf.edu (email)
Very likely.  Waves in the microtublule, back propogation waves, wave
in neuron, and waves from waves equal .....?
Ron Blue

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