questions about embryos

Uncle Al Schwartz uncleal at uvic.ca
Sat May 3 10:04:55 EST 1997

hefeng at cz3.nus.sg wrote:
> I am a high school student seeking some answers.(Somehow I always seem to
> start my article by saying that)
> Recently I've thinking how can that enormous amount of information all be
> stored in one single embryo. Information describing a fully grown
> organism! In a sense a complete blueprint is in that embryo. How does this
> happen?
> I am studying chaos theory and I just learned that very simple dynamic
> system can generate extremely complicated behavior. An example is the
> famous Madelbrot set.(well it's not exactly a dynamic system but the
> message is the same)
> Could it be that what is stored in the embryo is a simple mapping, some
> instructions telling the embryo how to evolve. All the details such as the
> complex network of brain cells simple come about as the embryo blindly
> follows the instruction?
> Of course external feedback also plays an important role.
> Please send your response to: e904952p at hjc.edu.sg  as I don't often have
> access to Usenet.

Configuration information is evolved by the dynamics of the system, not by 
progressively reading off its genetics.  Genes specify boundary conditions, 
interaction rules, and material supply, then things interactively take off.

It is a perfectly reasonable hypothesis.  As 98+% of the human genome consists of 
introns - DNA not bearing genetic information - there isn't really all that much 
space for information storage compard to the demands of the product.  One could 
see how orbits about strange attractors would be resistant to severe reactivity 
to information contamination, tending to give mostly the same product with mild 
and multiple perturbations.

We are what we are because that is the way things naturally fall together.
Good engineering goes with the flow.

Alan "Uncle Al" Schwartz
UncleAl0 at ix.netcom.com ("zero" before @)
uncleal at uvic.ca       (summer only, cAsE-sensitive!)
 (Toxic URL! Unsafe for children, Democrats, and most mammals)
"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"  The Net!

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