Your Body Talks to Itself
Proteins form large communications network to keep the body in sync with the biological clock.
A biological clock would do no good if the organs and tissues of the body could not sync up with it. How would your day go if your brain was wide awake when your liver or digestive tract were trying to get some sleep? Bad things can happen when the body gets out of sync. But to stay in sync, the organs and tissues need the ability to communicate.
Researchers have “identified a system of communication networks that exists among organs and tissues that regulate metabolism,” according to a press release from the University of California, Irvine, where a team is making “a detailed ‘atlas’ illustrating how the body creates and uses energy, and how imbalances in the networks may impact overall health.” They just published their work in the journal Cell.
Lead author Paolo Sassone-Corsi, Donald Bren Professor of Biological Chemistry at UCI’s School of Medicine, first showed the circadian rhythm-metabolism link some 10 years ago, identifying the metabolic pathways through which circadian proteins sense energy levels in cells.
“The human body is a complex, beautifully integrated system that functions at optimum efficiency when the networks are in balance,” said Sassone-Corsi, director of UCI’s Center for Epigenetics and Metabolism. “When this system is disrupted through misalignment among organs, the body will function at a less-than-optimum level, which may lead to disease. We are presenting a map that illustrates how to achieve the best health possible through proper balance and homeostasis.”
We have some responsibility to maintain this balance. High-fat diets, for instance, can “induce misalignment among the network clocks and can trigger inflammation, which has been linked to major diseases and can affect lifespan.” But the body comes equipped with communications networks that take care of background tasks without our conscious knowledge, and do the best they can with what we feed them.
The researchers examined a variety of genetic clocks – ranging from those in blood serum, the liver and muscle to those in the brain’s prefrontal cortex and hypothalamus, as well as in brown and white body fat. The resultant atlas maps the connections among various organs and tissues, which together make up the so-called body clock that governs day-night patterns of metabolic activity. The team then tested the connections to see how a high-fat diet in mice scrambled the body’s fine-tuned metabolic patterns and rewired the communication and coordination among clocks.
This article illustrates how Darwinian evolution cannot hope to build complex, interactive systems. What’s the chance of getting a rare beneficial mutation (if one could be demonstrated) that would work with an existing system? Most likely, it would disrupt it, and be eliminated if it didn’t kill the host. What good is a new signal arising by mutation if there is no receiver that understands it? It would be like inventing a telephone with only one end. Who ya gonna call?
In his book Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition that Life Is Designed, Dr. Douglas Axe, a biochemist who worked at Cambridge University, discusses “functional wholes” made up of multiple parts working in a hierarchical structure. Such systems cannot arise piecemeal because they depend on parts at other levels. The whole system needs “functional coherence” to work. Life is filled with functional wholes of amazing complexity, such as the “beautifully integrated system” of “communications networks” described here. Read the book to become convinced that an intelligently Designer (whom Doug Axe does not hesitate to identify as the Creator God) is to be thanked and marveled at for His artistry.