Dynamics of Development: Experiments and Inferences. by Paul A. Weiss (Auth.)

By Paul A. Weiss (Auth.)

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Extra resources for Dynamics of Development: Experiments and Inferences. Selected Papers on Developmental Biology

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By c o n t r a s t , h o w e v e r , one d o e s not find this u n i q u e n e s s , hence u n ­ p r e d i c t a b i l i t y , of the p r e c i s e s t a t e and d i s t r i b u t i o n of c o m p o n e n t s r e f l e c t e d in the r e s u l t a n t total s y s t e m , whose o v e r - a l l p a t t e r n and b e h a v i o r (or what one u s u a l l y r e f e r s to a s ' ^ o r g a n i z a t i o n ' ' ) r e m a i n r e l a t i v e l y u n a l t e r e d , hence p r e d i c t a b l e . T h i s f o r c e s u s to conclude that although the individual m e m b e r s of the m o l e c u l a r and p a r t i c u ­ late population have a l a r g e n u m b e r of d e g r e e s of f r e e d o m of b e h a v ­ ior in r a n d o m d i r e c t i o n s , the population a s a whole i s a s y s t e m which r e s t r a i n s those d e g r e e s of f r e e d o m in such a m a n n e r that t h e i r joint b e h a v i o r c o n v e r g e s upon a n o n r a n d o m r e s u l t a n t , keeping the s t a t e of the population a s a whole r e l a t i v e l y i n v a r i a n t .

In i t s m o r e s t r i c t l y m o r p h o l o g i c a l p a s t , biology tended to a s c r i b e the s t a b i l i t y of the o r g a n i z a t i o n of the total b e h a v i o r p a t t e r n of a cell to a r i g i d f r a m e of fixed s t r u c t u r e s within the cell —a c y t o s k e l e t o n supposedly e x e m p t f r o m the m e t a b o l i c and m o t i l e c h a n g e s to which the r e s t of the cell content i s c o n s t a n t l y s u b j e c t e d . T h i s notion h a s a r i s e n from the p r e o c c u p a t i o n with m i c r o s c o p i c p i c t u r e s of fixed dead c e l l s , and e v e n in our day it i s s t i l l s o m e t i m e s c a r r i e d o v e r to the s u b m i c r o s c o p i c r e a l m of e l e c t r o n m i c r o s c o p y .

6. ) I. O N BASIC PRINCIPLES FIG. 7. Electron micrograph of free margin of single cell grown in tissue culture. ) (Original, 41 FBOM C E L L TO MOLECULE 19 FIG. 8. E l e c t r o n micrograph of c r o s s s e c t i o n through the ciliary field of a proto­ z o a n . (Courtesy I. ) s i s t of a m a t r i x , which i s e n c l o s e d in a c y l i n d r i c a l s h e a t h and c o n ­ t a i n s in the i n t e r i o r i n v a r i a b l y e l e v e n p a r a l l e l f i b e r s , of which two lie in the c e n t e r , while the o t h e r nine a r e r a t h e r evenly d i s t r i b u t e d about the p e r i p h e r y ; in s o m e t y p e s , e a c h of the nine is a doublet, s o m e t i m e s with an additional odd a p p e n d a g e .

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