Toward a Biology Worthy of Life > The Unbearable Wholeness of Beings > Brief excerpt
A project by Stephen L. Talbott

Of cross-talk and “horror graphs” (2)

Our problem lies in adequately imagining the reality. When a single protein can combine with several hundred different modifier molecules, leading to practically infinite combinatorial possibilities, and when that protein itself is an infinitesimal point in the vast, turbulent molecular sea of continual exchange that is the cell, and when the cell is one instance of maybe 100 trillion cells of some 250 different major types in the human body, from muscle to bone, from liver to brain, from blood to retina — well, it’s understandable that many researchers prefer not to stare too long at the larger picture. Nevertheless, we should keep in mind that the collaborative process mentioned above involves not just one table with “negotiators” gathered around it, but countless tables with countless participants, and with messages flying back and forth in countless patterns as countless “decisions” are made in a manner somehow subordinated to the unity and multidimensioned interests of the organism as a whole.

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