Saturday, April 04, 2020

Physical force can trigger gene expression.

This is -so- cool.

Cells will ramp up gene expression in response to physical forces alone, a new study finds. Gene activation, the first step of protein production, starts less than one millisecond after a cell is stretched—hundreds of times faster than chemical signals can travel, the researchers report.

The scientists tested forces that are biologically relevant—equivalent to those exerted on by breathing, exercising or vocalizing. They report their findings in the journal Science Advances.

"We found that force can activate genes without intermediates, without enzymes or signaling molecules in the cytoplasm," said University of Illinois mechanical science and engineering professor Ning Wang, who led the research. "We also discovered why some genes can be activated by force and some cannot."

The amazing basic things we don't know about the body. Wow.

Turns out that bass beats of 10-20hz are the most responsive forces. Explains a lot, eh? ~:D

The Phantom



OvergrownHobbit said...

Yes. Yes it is.

The Phantom said...

There's a thing in physical therapy called "active release" or "myofascial release" where a light, easy traction on tissues can get them to move. As compared to the type of "Rolfing" style therapy or Swedish massage where they really yank on stuff.

Sometimes (and this is major voodoo here, but I've seen it happen) you get a situation where a patient has a long-standing chronic condition, they get some release done, and the thing just stops. Like, gone.

I've personally done that with a wrist injury. Injured patient was not getting stronger with normal exercise regimen, I stretched the scar for -maybe- ten minutes at most, and the strength issue was over. Done. Gone. Lots of other therapists have similar stories for backs, necks, legs, what have you. There's documented cases in the literature of cancer tumors melting and basically disappearing. (Again, major voodoo. Very not respectable in Medical circles.)

Other times you bang on it forever and it doesn't respond, so basically we don't know how it works.

However. If plain stretching of tissue and low-frequency vibration (eg: bass line from "Rubber Band Man" or "Come and Get Your Love" or lower, 16 hz) can get cells to express particular genes, then there's a lot we can probably do with that.

Which is -sweet!-