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A Central Theory of Biology

Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. The history of physiologic cellular-molecular interrelationships can be traced all the way back to the unicellular state by following the pathway formed by lipids ubiquitously accommodating calcium homeostasis, and its consequent adaptive effects on oxygen uptake by cells, tissues and organs. As a result, a cohesive, mechanistically integrated view of physiology can be formulated by recognizing the continuum comprising conception, development, physiologic homeostasis and death mediated by soluble growth factor signaling. Seeing such seemingly disparate processes as embryogenesis, chronic disease and dying as the gain and subsequent loss of cell-cell signaling provides a novel perspective for physiology and medicine. It is emblematic of the self-organizing, self-referential nature of life, starting from its origins. Such organizing principles obviate the pitfalls of teleologic evolution, conversely providing a way of resolving such seeming dichotomies as holism and reductionism, genotype and phenotype, emergence and contingence, proximate and ultimate causation in evolution, cells and organisms. The proposed approach is scale-free and predictive, offering a Central Theory of Biology.

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