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The Human Brain’s Ability To Adapt Itself

The Human Brain’s Ability To Adapt Itself
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Out of a Primordial Soup Toward Self-Evolution

Long strings of simple molecules, amino acids, linked together to form more larger complex molecules called proteins. Proteins became capable of shape-shifting twists, bends, folds, or crinkles – changes in conformation, not structure – that gave each new conformation a new function. Proteins bonded, and coalesced into miniscule molecular life forms that mingled, diversified, and fused, rising up from what Soviet biologist Alexander Oparin envisioned in 1924 as “primordial soup.”  Over billions of years, complex molecules have differentiated to a degree where the human body now makes over 200,000 varieties of proteins. More complex proteins, ancient relatives of the prions that cause brain diseases today, became especially adept at  propagating themselves by making use of the raw materials around them. Long slender threads of nucleotide RNAs, even longer DNAs, and then, double-helix DNAs that were longer still refined techniques for making more of themselves and making more of the environments around them, too.  

Congregations of proteins, RNAs, and DNAs, gradually formed protective barriers around themselves to better stabilize and contain their internal environments.They formed selectively permeable cell membranes to act as roadblocks for what went in and what went out of the controlled space around them. These first cells developed extensive and elaborate mechanisms of reproduction. As cells reproduce themselves, they learned to duplicate the metabolic constituents they would need for next generation, and bring that along with them, a process that requires a lot of supervision. To that end, each cell in your body contains chromosomes made of DNA plus histone proteins. If straightened, your chromosomes would extend six feet long.

Like proteins, cells became more and more specialized. Banding together, groups of cells formed multicellular organisms with cell-to-cell communication and collective responses. The human body, for example, has over 200 different cell types, each with a specialized function. With muscles and bones organisms developed greater mobility, which required more nerves, to coordinate quicker responses. Over time, the trend of anything that showed even a glint of vibrational energy, from protons to organisms, has always been to self-evolve toward greater complexity that allowed greater adaptation.    

Like the first cells, organisms developed learning and memory, a way to store information about past experiences. This new form of complexity required more DNA and histone proteins,  and still more nerves. Organisms divided their labors into tissues, organs, organ systems, and nervous systems. With greater responsiveness and agility, many organisms grew larger and more mobile to move to more favorable environments. If resources became scarce or the climate hostile mobile organisms could skedattle and better their odds. To maximize this responsiveness, centralized nervous systems were required with complex aggregates of nerve cells, called brains.

Categories:   Brain Plasticity, Epigenetic, Epigenetics, Neurogenisis, Neuroplasticity

Published by

Burt Glenn

Burt Glenn

Burton Glenn is a former Biology and Chemistry Professor and world traveler. He studies and writes about the effects of aging on the body and mind, as well as his personal experiences transitioning into retirement.