the miracle of the hormones

The Scientific World and Cellular Communication

In the last part of the twentieth century there were enormous scientific advances in the field of cellular communication. Huge steps were taken towards an understanding of the communication networks in the depths of our bodies. For example, if we look at the awarding of the Nobel prizes over the past twelve years, six of the awards given in this period in the field of medicine were to research done in the field of cellular communication. The systems we have described so far are a part of the wonders discovered as a result of this research.


Alfred Gilman

How far have we come in the year 2005? How much farther does the scientific world have to go? The answer to this question is very important because the answers we give will help us to understand that this cell communication system is a great wonder of creation.

In various countries of the world are many organizations, with a total budget of millions of dollars that are researching this matter. Towards the end of the year 2000, the Alliance for Cellular Signaling (AFCS) was established. Twenty universities and hundreds of scientists belong to this organization, and its founder, Alfred Gilman, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1994 for his work in cellular communication. Professor Gilman had this to say about this subject:

If the brain needs sugar, the liver has got to put it out. If the muscles need more blood, the heart has got to beat faster. Hundreds of different chemical signals flow around the body, released from one cell to influence the activities of other cells. Cells are constantly being bombarded with very large numbers of chemical signals that tell them what to do and how to perform…The bigger problem, and the one that is most difficult to figure out, is how all of these modules interact together.48

And the AFCS, beginning its work towards this goal, explained their enterprise using this comparison;

The Alliance will launch voyages of discovery aimed at two continents (cardiac myocytes, B lymphocytes). We know a little about the coastline of each continent-a few harbors and mountain ranges near the coast (receptors, ligands, and crudely sketched signaling pathways). We will thus concentrate first on exploring the coast more thoroughly, at the outset with more attention to the harbors that we know best (e.g., G protein-coupled receptors and heterotrimeric G proteins) but not neglecting many we know less well (receptor tyrosine kinases, cytokine receptors, etc.). Mapping the interior of the continent begins with expeditions to inland areas nearest the coast (cytosol), following rivers and trade routes (critical nodes of signaling pathways already known). Further exploration will radiate out from these nodes, and later expeditions will push further into the interior (cytoplasm to nucleus)…49

The fact is, as the paragraph above shows, the information that we have at our disposal regarding cellular communication is quite limited and that, in the years ahead, microorganisms will increase our knowledge or other systems.

There are scientists who speak clearly and sincerely on this subject. One of these is the 1999 winner of the Nobel Prize in medicine, Günter Blobel who did research on the "zip code" system in cells. This world-renowned professor said the following in an interview on this subject:

It's shocking how little we know about how a cell works . . . And that will take a long, long time to figure out.50

It is He Who created the heavens and the Earth with truth. The day He says "Be!" it is. His speech is Truth. The Kingdom will be His on the Day the Trumpet is blown, the Knower of the Unseen and the Visible. He is the All-Wise, the All-Aware.
(Qur'an, 6: 73)

The twenty-first century will, as science advances, allow us to learn more incomparable wonders of communication within our cells. For a person of understanding, every system that is being discovered is a demonstration of God's eternal wisdom and power, and a sign that reminds us that the only Being worthy of praise is God.


48 "UT Southwestern Nobel Laureate Leads Bold Project Changing Way Scientists Conduct Research," Science Daily Magazine, 5 September 2000, http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/09/000913204201.htm.
49 Alliance for Cellular Signaling (AFCS), "I. Program Summary, D. Experimental Strategies, 2. Definition of Our Initial Sphere of Interest," 2000, http://www.signaling-gateway.org/aboutus/ProgSummary.html
50 "Making discoveries that transform science," The Rockefeller University, Office of Communications and Public Affairs, www.rockefeller.edu/pub/discoveries/ conversation.php