The blog of Dr Jon Lieff explores the interface of biology, neurology, and the mind.

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  • Which comes first the chicken or the egg? With proteins and RNA regulating the function of DNA and DNA producing RNA which then produces proteins, which comes first—DNA, RNA, or proteins? At first, the way DNA makes proteins seemed almost clear and simple—DNA makes RNA, which ...
  • While great progress is made in research allowing ever more detailed descriptions of all cellular processes, there are still severe limitations on the interpretation of neuroscience in terms of understanding behavior and the mind. Previous posts have shown that there are many pro ...
  • Both elderly and children appear to have a higher incidence of cognitive brain problems after even routine surgery. It has been considered that both have delicate blood flow to regions in between the large vessels. These are called watershed regions. It has been postulated that n ...
  • As more is learned about animal intelligence, it is not understood how much of their behavior is learned or inherited in as yet unknown mechanism. Many of the intelligent behaviors are surprising and have been summarized in a series of posts. Please refer to posts on birds, lizar ...
  • For many years, amyloid toxic plaque accumulation has been considered to be the way brains are damaged in Alzheimer’s disease. Almost all experimental treatments have tried to stop this accumulation and none have helped. In recent years, the association of abnormal deposits of ...
  • T cells have elaborate communication with almost all other cells. They are the master regulators of the immune system. But, they also converse with brain cells, blood vessel cells, and lining cells of the gut and skin. Previous posts have described communication with T cells and ...
  • As technology increases our capacity to observe tiny biological systems, communication among cells has been observed with ramifications everywhere in biology. Up until recently, it has been very difficult to observe the behavior of individual cells everywhere in the body, but esp ...
  • Cancers demonstrate that communication among a variety of wide cell types is vital to their survival. Cancers are able to convert many local supportive cells to become comrades in initiation, support, growth, and metastasis of the cancer. It is remarkable how they can trick imm ...
  • Human tissues that are exposed directly to the outside environment include the skin, the gut, and the lungs. In all of these, unique cells must deal with the complexity of exposure to toxins and many kinds of microbes. As with the gut and the skin, the path of air into the lungs ...
  • All of life is based on interactions of signaling entities—communities, people, organs, cells, and even viruses. Remarkable progress has been made in deciphering the conversations between cells, but it is much harder to track signals among organelles. Observation is much more d ...
  • White blood cells (also named leukocytes) are called into action with microbe attacks and tissue damage of all kinds. They use very specific modes of travel to the inflammation site, spurred by the signals of capillaries, tissue cells, and other immune cells (these have been desc ...
  • Neurons are vital for many processes not previously associated with them. Neurons can stimulate all of the symptoms of inflammation and use these mechanisms for neuroplasticity. Complex interactions of inflammation and cancer are now coming into focus and neurons are an important ...

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