Complaint: “They have driven out long-serving and cherished members of its staff, have proposed policies that would result in the gutting of the Collection as a world-class archive…”
“The concept that is extended is the epigenetic tweaking of immense gene networks in ‘superorganisms’ (Lockett, Kucharski, & Maleszka, 2012) that ‘solve problems through the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals (Bear, 2004, p. 330)’.” — Kohl (2012)
My citation to Bear (2004), which was a presentation to the American Philosophical Society, can be placed into the context of concerns about the Eaton SF/F archive at UCR.
A decade later, we see how science fiction may predict what becomes known to serious scientists in the context of biologically-based cause and effect.
This report (see below) attests to the fact that nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled cell type differentiation of the common hematopoietic tree in mammals is linked to cell type differentiation in every cell of every individual in all species via ‘…the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals (Bear, 2004, p. 330)’.
Conclusion: “An interesting possibility is that plasticity is a tunable feature of transcriptional networks. If this holds true, different DC subtypes may have various levels of accessible chromatin, enabling gene expression flexibility depending on the specific microenvironment. Taken together, these conceptual and technological breakthroughs promise a leap forward in our understanding of DC commitment, diversification and function: a leap from a system engineered deterministically by a few precise regulatory networks and functional cell states, to a stochastic mixture of states tunable by the microenvironment and chromatin landscape.
Bear’s novels, Darwin’s Radio and Darwin’s Children integrated what was then known about the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of chemical signals, which are associated with food odors and the metabolism of nutrients to species-specific pheromones, into a story about a new human species. In an era when evolutionary theorists have exhibited their story-telling abilities in the absence of biologically-based cause and effect, Bear took what was known and moved forward with a story about how ecological variation leads to virus-driven ecological adaptation and ecological speciation without the pseudoscientific nonsense of mutation-initiated natural selection and the evolution of biodiversity.
The biodiversity in Bear’s novels arose in the context of a human endogenous retrovirus that effected ‘…the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals’ that are nutrient-dependent and pheromone-controlled.
Nutrient uptake causes changes in viruses and in the microRNA/messenger RNA balance of mammals. In mammals, their common hematopoietic tree enables information about the microRNA/messenger RNA balance to be transmitted via the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of signals that differentiate the cell types of all cells in all tissues of all organs in all organ systems. Cell type differentiation occurs via the conserved molecular mechanisms of nutrient-dependent pheromone-controlled physiology of reproduction and transgenerational epigenetic inheritance in species from microbes to man.
Books like those written by Greg Bear may go missing from the Eaton SF/F archive at UCR. If so, will someone also miss the opportunity to extend science fiction to scientific fact? The differences between fiction (evolutionary theory) and scientific facts about how the de novo creation of olfactory receptor genes occurs via nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions are now clear. The amino acid substitutions link cell type differentiation in viruses to cell type differentiation in mammals via conserved molecular mechanisms. Ecological variation and the exchange and the selective cancellation and modification of chemical signals (i.e., food odors and pheromones) lead to ecological adaptations in human populations like the new human species that Greg Bear created in two of his many excellent science fiction novels.