Learning Communication Skills from Our Cells

Thanks to the internet and cell phone revolution human beings are all well connected. But are we communicating well with each other in spite of the great connectivity? I am afraid the answer is a big NO. In this context we have a lot to learn from our ‘cells’ on the art of communication. I will cite two recent research studies in support. One study published in a February(2011) issue of NATURE talks about molecular mail between bacterial cells. These cells apparently communicate with each other by exchange of protein molecules through NANO-BRIDGES. Can you imagine what they communicate on? They essentially share information on bacterial resistance. Now you see how they help each other to fight against man made antibiotics forcing us to invent newer generations of antibiotics. The nature and content of communication is so critical for their survival and perpetuation against our powerful antibiotics.

More recent research in microbilogy has revealed that our(human) cells too are constantly chattering. The chattering is so continuous that it can almost be described as Cacophony. But a closer look at their chatter has revealed that they are indeed excellent in communicating with each other. They don’t indulge in idle gossip like us. To quote a recent report – “…Cells have the power to “talk” to one another, sending signals through their membranes in order to “discuss” what kind of cell they will ultimately become ― whether a neuron or a hair, bone, or muscle….. cells know when to transmit signals ― and they know when it’s time to shut up………. like a well-run business meeting.
In one state, a cell can send a message and not receive, and in the other it receives and cannot send. They can talk or listen, but they cannot do both at the same time,says Dr. Sprinzak. He compares this communications system to a walkie talkie, in which only one user may be “on the air” at a time”.
This breakthrough in understanding cell communication system can lead to the development of cancer drugs. How? Scientists can now eavesdrop on the communication between the cells and specifically develop drugs to target undesirable transactions and potentially stop the uncontrollable proliferation of cancer cells.

I like the part about ” the cells know when to talk and when to shut up” and they can either talk or listen but not do BOTH at the same time”.
Isn’t this one of the great failings of human beings which often lands them in trouble? Our corporate world spends lots of money on communication workshops to hone communication skills to develop these very skills which our cells have long mastered.

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Published in: on September 18, 2011 at 11:56 am  Leave a Comment  
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