Cybernetics as we learnt from previous articles and reading around is about communication, the means and the hows, and whys of communication. Biocybernetics concerns the communication protocols, if that word can be used, that are used by the biological cells that exist in bodies.
concerns itself with trying to find out how these communications take place. It
is in most of the living things that we are ourselves, the mammals, the trees
and the plants. Each has a special characteristic in which each of the
biological cells communicate with each other. What is the mode of transference,
and how is it received, processed, collated, and then transmitted back with
more than lightening speed, much faster than the fastest computers ever
designed by man.
take the example again of coming into contact with a hot plate. By the time you
touch the plate, your hand or the part of your body which came into contact is
jerked away, and in less than seconds,
that part is full of white blood cells, and other auto immune systems of your
body traveling from different places to it to start to heal it. It is so fast
that it takes minutes for us to observe it.
is one area which bio-cybernetics deals with.
Another major area of concern to bio-cybernetics is how is it that
despite such a wonderful set up, it often happens that some people suffer from
disorders where such transmissions do not take place, for instance, how come a
person develops deafness, what causes it, is it the fault of a biological cell,
a mutant of a cell, or a malfunction. If it is a malfunction what causes it,
and how is it that the body substitutes that absence of hearing by enabling
another heightened functioning of another biological cell which is responsible
for sight and smell, which enable the possible deaf person to attune him to the
lip synchronization and make out the words. How does the hearing aid help in
the case of a totally deaf person? How does a totally blind person, able to
make out by sheer sense of smell, and feeling, which is standing nearby, and
what cognitive function gets elevated to a higher level which enables that
person to make out inflections in your tone, and how does recognition takes
is all about communication between the various biological parts of the body.
How does the DNA communicate with the RNA or the genomes that make up the
genetic characteristic? What makes flowers respond to sound or what trigger it
has in its biological nature to flower when there is sunshine, and why does it
wither when it does not get enough water or sun? What prompts photosynthesis?
What is the mechanism which transforms sunlight rays on the surface of the
plant to start the process of photosynthesis? Why is it different when the
plant is taken under human forms of lighting? Even then how does this communication take place?
are the neurotransmitters that are located all over the body that a thorn in
the foot is automatically, within nanoseconds or even a smaller range of time, transmits
the danger to the skin, and automatically withdraws the foot even
before the human cognitive function feels the pain? Biocybernetics seeks answers to these
questions by trying to establish links, helps researchers to feed in data,
and with complex math formulae and algorithms tries to fathom these
communication channels, and warning posts.
are used not only for helping medical professionals alone. They are useful in
other ways. For instance, when you are likely to collide with another person
unknowingly, your body automatically swerves when sight falls upon the oncoming
body! What mechanism in the brain or elsewhere makes that action spontaneous.
Why is it that most people fall sideways, and in doing so, often fall on their
shoulders, or their hands come up in front to protect the torso? What mechanism
or transmitter determines this action in the split second of the falling, and
before hitting the floor?
illness what causes the body to shut down various portions as they become
affected? For instance, in very hot summer, some people faint. Fainting is a
sign that there is a sudden loss of fluids or that the body has shut down the
brain and its control system temporarily to perform some rescue system to
overcome that excess temperature, or is it simply a sign that is telling the
body that you need to get more fluids and out of the heat?
the auto immune system is so responsive, then why does there occur kidney
malfunctions, or heart disease, or high or low blood pressure? Or is it that
the body or the brain transmits certain warning signals, like profuse sweating,
dizziness, or spells of blackouts informing of impending or occurring
malfunctions in blood pressure or higher stress on the heart? These are domains
in which biocybernetics plays a key role, as it tries to ascertain the precise
nature of the communications between the various organs, the neurotransmitters,
and the apex controller, where it is located, what controls the controller, and
what is the mechanism for a immediate response to be sent to the afflicted
area. So where is the command center?
importantly, what causes death? Death means that all systems are shut down, and
breathing and brain functions cease. This is one of the mysteries that possibly
one day, biocybernetics may unlock.