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THIS BIT OF THE WEBSITE LOOKS AT STRUCTURE OR A 'BUILT-ENVIRONMENT' IN TERMS OF NEURONS (INTERLOCKING NERVE-CELLS IN THE BRAIN, NATCH.) OUR TERM FOR A 'BUILT-ENVIRONMENT' IS....

 

 

 

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 Golden Gate logo TRADEMARKED

keep on truckin' (3D tour!) 

ENDOCANNABINOIDS (ECs) ARE A GROUP OF PSYCHO-ACTIVE COMPOUNDS WITH REGULATORY ROLES

THE ULTRA-KEEN AMONG YOU CHECK-OUT THIS LINK TO 'CANNABIS THERAPIES FOR MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS' - MOST OF OUR INFO FOR THIS BIT COMES OUTTA THIS ARTICLE.

FOR the purposes of our webpage we're talking about the foundation of a 'built-environment' in organic systems. This happens, for example, when nerve-cells branch-out & regulatory-factors endocannabinoids (or ECs) meet at their ends to form a network during growth of the organism.

OK, if you check the link you'll see it says 'vasodilation' (contraction of blood-vessels). The beauty of ECs is that they affect various systems since nerves regulate muscles & muscles attach to blood-vessels (in medical terminology cardio-vascular or cerebro-vascular). Just keep in mind that these various systems are all regulated by endocannabinoids....

 ENDOCANNABINOIDS (ECs) ARE A GROUP OF PSYCHO-ACTIVE

COMPOUNDS WITH REGULATORY ROLES

 THERAPY: 

 This is important in terms of therapies - as we know nervous diseases such as multiple sclerosis affect muscles since the two are interactive (see above & as in motor-neuron disease, natch!)

OK: now eyeball FIG. 2 & you'll see EC-receptors(the 'colored' areas of the brain) are found all over the brain. This is a potent example of what we mean by 'systems that are built' in nature.

This is really what we mean by 'built-environment' - it literally is built & that's the way it's able to operate. This 3D neuron explains how ECs work. They're released on the ends of nerve-cells following a neuro-transmission (to Joe Public that's 'nerve-impulse'). They then diffuse into inter-cellular space & 'bind' to EC-receptors. Those tendrils form a neural-net, connecting cells via synapses or junctions.

 (so you see it's not so different to the Golden Gate Bridge!)

 

 

The 'opiate system' has similar properties to endocannabnoids 


STIMULUS/RESPONSE:

 Here's the same process in a more schematic way - ie. showing nerve-transmissions.

Nerve impulses kick-in at 2 (axon) & the EC is produced at 4 (response). It then 'binds' to the EC-receptor 5.

                    

OK, there you have a visual tour of EC rugulatory-system! Bear in mind for future reference it is a type of stimulus/response mechanism

ECs are produced because of some need in the body. There is a complex series of EC-receptors in the body (mainly nerves).

The idea of receptors (ie. specific molecules that 'bind' to ECs) is very general to biology. Any
'activator-molecule' (such as a growth-hormone) has to bind with a 'receptor-molecule'

As a basic summary, then, you have an active phase which we're calling stimulus/response, followed by a receptor phase. This applies to the EC-regulatory process - but also to a broad range of growth/regulatory mechanisms

Just to hit you well & truly on the head, here's the 'big-picture' of EC-receptors in the brain

                         (dark patches)

 

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     THIS NEXT bit 'Comparison To Genes' might go in as an appendage - for the sake of completeness

....Since we know now from recent advances that genes are extremely easy to reprogramme it's clear very small changes in the genome produce massive changes in protein-growth. This is as good a reason as any to treat genes as 'virtual' data. The sophistication comes when you relate that data to the 'real' world - OF POPULATIONS.

CHRONIC

In brief, this website puts the case that genes can be treated as a type of 'virtual' information; you then relate this information to 'real' information of a built environment. For a detailed description of what we mean by 'virtual' see next page.

If you read through to built-environ you'll have found our parallel plotline has a list of 'gene-variants in population studies' - frequently updated!

The truly terrific scientists may skip cutting-edge (research) - otherwise I'd reco a swift gander.

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   COMPARISON TO GENES  

In terms of ECs since they are attached to neurons it's your basic neurophysiology which affects everything since it's structural to the body. Genes may be everywhere but have zero structure. Now, check the big image of EC-receptors in the brain (dark green bits carry receptors). The point is: genes code for EC-receptors. That is just data. The EC-system comprises activator-molecules (such as enzymes), ECs & receptors together.

                         
The discovery of wide-ranging regulatory roles for endocannabinoids is something fairly new (1990). You might ask, 'How come when we already know so much about genes(1960)?' Actually, it's a no-brainer! DNA happens to be millions of units in length - you can hardly miss the mother!

 You'll see in this pic of EC-mechanisms * it's inter-cellular - ie. involving activator-molecules like enzymes & is produced 'on demand' for use wherever in the body by EC-receptors. Cells are full of such specialized molecules so it can be hard to spot (let alone fathom!)

                                         

* Latin skolars amongst you will know 'agonism' comes from 'ago' to act & has nothing to do with listening to James Blunt!

                                         

In short, ongoing biochemistry functions as a process - it's not something that stares you in the face like giant chromosomes. Makes sense?

what's a transhuman to wear these days?
 
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