What Bodies Think About: Bioelectric Computation Outside the Nervous System

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Terren Suydam

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Jun 23, 2022, 11:01:13 AMJun 23
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A talk by Michael Levin on the computational abilities of ordinary cells and how this capacity helps all organisms to respond and adapt to novel situations, and also its role in embryogenesis and regeneration of body parts in the animals that can do it. Presented at an AI conference. Worth the whole 52 minutes:


Terren

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Jun 24, 2022, 8:15:27 PMJun 24
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Well to be honest unless they're growing human organs and limbs, tissue and nerves, ready for transplant, does this open the path to tissue engineering soon, or am I being too anti-intellectual to enjoy the current achievement? 


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Terren Suydam

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Jun 24, 2022, 8:29:43 PMJun 24
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It might! It's a really promising avenue that would employ the body's innate intelligence to grow extra limbs, organs, etc, rather than having to over-engineer it with stem cells, 3D printing etc.  It's what was so exciting about it for me, that Levin and his team have shown that by manipulating the electro-chemical environment, you can induce changes in any cells, no stem cells required. All cells have ion-channels in their membranes that allow them to signal neighboring cells, kind of a precursor to neurons. And those ion channels can be controlled fairly easily and with high resolution.

Terren

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Jun 24, 2022, 9:28:49 PMJun 24
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Hi Terren. 
It seems like this pathway to inter-cellular control gives is the capability. I never thought of stem cells being the harder path than what professor L. describes, because pluri-potent stem cells seemed to be the new, great, thing?

Much Thanks 


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