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Ionic Conductance (fwd)

D Blissard dblissard at aol.com
Wed Nov 23 01:05:31 EST 1994

In article <Pine.3.89.9411131619.C65383-0100000 at freenet2.freenet.ufl.edu>,
afn08460 at FREENET.UFL.EDU ("Brian A. Hollander") writes:

Thank you for answering my question about the "protistan neuroskeleton". 
However your answer raises several quetions in my mind. How are the 
expts. "training" P. aurelia done? For instance one could train 
Dictyostelium amoebae to run a maze by laying down a graient of cAMP, but 
I would not think that this really represents data processing, unless all 
signal transduction would qualify. Does *any* tactile response represent 
data processing? Would all cells then be neurons? Are these quetions 
merely about semantics rather than about the bilogy behind the 
response. Excuse these random thoughts, but if anyone cares to resond 
I'll "listen".

Brian Hollander 

IMHO this would seem to be a problems of semantics.  A generalized cell
has a set of functions necessary for continued existance.  Responding to
changes in the enviroment would be part of that fundamental set of
functions.  It would seem to me that nerve cells have specialized in
sensing changes at one location and responding to the change in another
location.  In higher organisms the degree of specialization makes
identification of nerve cells rather easy.  However, I can imagine cells
which are intermediate in specialization which would be difficult to

I do not have a good working definition of data processing in this contex.
 Does any response to any stimulus qualify as data processing or does this
require additional steps to meet the definition?  

I'm interested in comments and any good examples anyone cares to offer.

Douglas Blissard

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