You are a complex dance accompanied by a symphony constantly shifting protein synthesis at the cellular level

We are all (hopefully) aware that it is DNA that lies, for all intents and purposes (PSA: gentle reader, may I ask that you get the word out about the wrongness of the phrase "for all intensive purposes" because that is an eggcorn?), at the basis of what makes you, you.

Individually. This tightly woven alpha helix of exquisitely efficient design (in terms of the density of biochemical information that is stored within that strands within the nucleus of each cell in our body. But it’s not just the DNA, dudes. We are not dot matrix printers, no siree bob, we are the OG 4D printers, operating in the three dimensions of space and the 4th dimension of time. Who knows how many other dimensions, due to the bumbling boundaries of our own perceptual organs and the gray blob that filters everything out to maintain a coherent narrative so you don’t bust open your own dome?

      See, creation is dancing. There is this dense coil of information, and sequences that surround and control them, and there are these proteins called transcription factors. STAY WITH ME. It is those transcription factors, that vary significantly between two individuals, that are likely to determine how we look, our development and our predisposition to certain diseases. The sequences of DNA comprising genes have specific instructions interwoven that dictate how to make proteins do whatever work that particular cell does (be it a neuron in the brain or a white blood cell, etc) – but these vary less than one quarter of one percent, that is 0.025%, across all humans. This is why there is the whole we are all one stuff going, which is true, but we have to go DEEPER (Inception reference).

      Why is 98% of our DNA considered “noncoding regions”? (SAY WHAT?!). Yea. Only 2% of our DNA has been identified as responsible for coding – thus the previous reference to how eloquently structured the alpha helix is in terms of its ability to densely store information. The noncoding regions vary by 1-4%, which the coding regions of DNA only vary by 0.025% or less. Indeed, in 2010 Snyder and colleagues discovered that the unique and specific changes among individuals in the sequence of DNA affect the ability of “control proteins” (transcription factors) to bind to the regions that control gene expression which results in significant variance between the subsequent expression of nearby genes. Specifically, the researchers found that several of the variable binding regions were near genes involved in such diseases as type-1 diabetes, lupus, leukemia and schizophrenia. In many ways it’s almost like a regulatory code – these variances of the transcription factors, in the Divergent world, would be what make us react to the drug that is administered at the time of selection into the various castes in varying ways that would determine the type of gene expression for specific sites that would transcription factors would activate and deactivate.

      The essentialism of this microscopic understand of life is so comforting to me. Gone are all the layers of social, psychological, emotional, and phenotypic noise that prevent the understanding of the essential underlying nature of the rules that govern what determines outcomes of various conditions within the physical realm. Mapping the complex, fractal trajectory of the subsequent outcomes at the layers further and further away from the elegant simplicity of this single cell manufacturing proteins at the molecular level, transporting those strings of code into an activator that flips them into the appropriate shape, and the dance of organelles that create the chemicals that join this massive, organized dance to create, in each moment, the living, breathing experience you perceive in each moment.


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