Cells in the body are wired like computer chips to guide signals that instruct their functioning, the researchers said.
However, unlike a fixed circuit board, cells can quickly rewire their communication networks to change their behavior.
The discovery of this cell-wide web is changing our understanding of how instructions spread around a cell on the head.  It was assumed that the various organs and structures in a cell float in the open sea, the so-called cytoplasm.
Signals that tell the cell what to do were considered to be transmitted in waves, and the frequency of the waves was crucial to the message.
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found that information is transmitted through a network of guidewires that transmit signals over tiny nanoscale distances.
It's the movement of charged molecules across these tiny distances that transmit information Just like in a computer microprocessor, researchers say.
These localized signals are responsible for the control of cell activities, e.g. For example, for instructing the muscle cells to relax or to work together.
When these signals reach the genetic material in the heart of the cell called the nucleus, they cause tiny structural changes that release certain genes to be expressed.
These changes in gene expression further alter the behavior of the cell. For example, as the cell moves from a stable state to a growth phase, the web is completely reconfigured to transmit signals that turn on the genes needed for growth.
Researchers say that understanding the code that controls this wiring system could be helpful Diseases such as pulmonary hypertension and cancer could someday open up new treatment options.
The team studied the movement of charged calcium molecules in cells, which are the key messages that contain instructions in cells.  Using high-performance microscopes, they were able to observe the wiring network using similar computing techniques that made it possible to obtain the first image of a black hole.
Scientists state that their results are an example of quantum biology – an emerging field that employs quantum mechanics and theoretical chemistry to solve biological problems.
The study was published in Nature Communica Nations was funded by the British Heart Foundation.
Professor Mark Evans from the University of Edinburgh's Center for Discovery Brain Sciences said, "We found that cell function is coordinated by a network of nanotubes similar to nanotube carbon nanotubes found in a computer microprocessor." 19659005] "The most noticeable thing is that this circuit is very flexible, since this cell-wide web can quickly reconfigure itself to deliver different outputs in a way determined by the information received and relayed by the core. This is something no artificial microprocessors or printed circuit boards can afford. "
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Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-019-10055-w
Scientists discover signal-carrying plates in body cells (2019, May 24)
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