Cross Post: Repair

My last post on the Cognitive Edge guest spot:

All living things seem driven at the most basic levels to self-repair. Multi-cellular organisms have a particular obsession with it – in fact, a cell’s inability to maintain its DNA undamaged is one of the primary triggers for what’s called apoptosis, or “programmed cell death”, when the mitochondria in a cell unleash a biochemical collapse. Single-celled organisms don’t seem so fastidious, and we can understand why.

To maintain a complex, interdependent biological system, with specialised cells performing specific regulated functions, it is important that the stability and consistency of the system be maintained. This is called homeostasis. Unregulated mutations and variability in function disturb the balance and the function of the whole. In fact, we have a name for it – cancer.

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