There are some people in the world who are blessed more than others. These are people who have been given the honor of studying medicine. I am fortunate to be one of them. This knowledge has indeed completely changed my perception of the world. I still struggle to cope with my excitement and the constant “wow” feeling of realizing how magnificently structured and amazingly logical the world is. In essence, I enjoy identifying patterns that exist in medicine and science that reflect how our molecules, cells, organs, and organisms function and mirror the workings of the so-called “microcosm.” These patterns very often resemble the general sociological, psychological, and philosophical concepts of the outer world, especially our life on planet Earth, the “macrocosm.” In fact, I am quite sure that if I were to collaborate with an astrophysicist in writing this text, we could enumerate some laws of the universe that fully fit the pattern, but on a larger scale.

So let us dive in and see what I am talking about.

Negative feedback loops. This law operates in almost all hormonal and neuromodulatory circuits. For example, if we take an adrenergic synapse and the production of norepinephrine is too high, it acts on the inhibitory alpha2 receptor at the presynaptic membrane to decrease its own production and secretion. The same thing happens with the secretion of hormones of the hypothalamo-pituitary axis: hormones like cortisol from effector organs signal the master gland that controls secretion to diminish its work. Isn’t it true that sometimes when we get too much of something good, like attention from a special someone or our favorite sweets, we get satiated and stop wanting them? Therefore, everything from hormones and neuromediators to attention and sweets should be present in just the right amount so that we can truly maintain homeostasis and enjoy life.

Experience and memory. Did you know that even bacteria can remember viruses (bacteriophages) that have attacked them once and recognize them when they see them again? This phenomenon of bacterial immunity was used by Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier to make a breakthrough discovery that revolutionized the field of biotechnology: the CRISPR/Cas9 system 1. The human immune system can also remember antigens, whether they are real pathogens or just vaccines. The same is true of our human experience. If we have been attacked, injured or deceived once, we will be aware the second time.

Too much tension leads to breakdown. Recently, due to an injury to one of my legs, I was actively using the second one to jump around the apartment. At one point, my one functioning leg suddenly failed me and I fell down. This was probably the phenomenon of Golgi tendon organ working like this: When the muscle contracts too much, the tendon (Golgi receptors) that holds it to the bone gets stretched too much, and then the inhibitory neurons kick in and say: “Stop it.” And the muscle relaxes uncontrollably. The same is true in our lives, especially in work and mental health. If we try too hard for too long, we can be stopped by our own neural system, which then suddenly just shuts us down and this all leads to a burnout.

Refractory period. After an excitation, our cardiomyocytes enter the so-called refractory period of hyperpolarization, during which it is impossible to trigger another action potential and cause another contraction of the heart muscle. This is a protective mechanism that happens to prevent arrhythmias. The same phenomenon occurs in sexual life, and it happens after sexual intercourse. Even in our regular lives, we can sometimes get into this refractory period and it is important to acknowledge it and rest until we can perceive any stimuli again. For example, I could never learn anything the same day after taking a major medical exam.

Saltatory conduction. Through our nerves in the central and peripheral nervous systems, the signal does not just flow smoothly, but it jumps through the layers of insulating material called myelin, which is presented with oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. This allows the signal to propagate much faster than if it were just the bare nerve fiber. The same principle of concentrated work is used by many people around the world who study or work at specific pomodoro intervals and then take a break. This is much more efficient and effective than working constantly for a long period of time.

Internal female origin. Despite the fact that most women around the world face some form of discrimination from time to time, we all begin our early embryological development as females. However, when a certain protein from the sex-determining region Y (sry) gene  located on the Y chromosome is present, it kicks in and suppresses the development of the uterus and fallopian tubes. However, if no suppression takes place, the embryo automatically develops as female. I personally find this fascinating and it is similar to the common understanding of women as the origin of life as expressed in conventional motherhood and religious books.

I would like to conclude my biological and philosophical discussion with a final, very familiar example: everything in the world follows its cycles. There are numerous examples from physiology when we talk about the melatonin-dependent regulation of day and night circadian rhythms, or the morning cortisol spikes, the female menstrual cycle, and the death and renewal of our cells (the cell cycle). Cycles are present everywhere in life and history, from seasonal changes to wars and hunger. So if you are struggling with something, try to identify the pattern and location of that period in the past cycles of your life. Now you can be sure that everything will be fine, because it resembles the last cycle that actually turned out well, remember?


Вы не можете скопировать содержимое этой страницы