Oscillations in Biology

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Arran Gare:

"Many theoretical biologists allude to the role played by oscillations in generating and maintaining order in organisms. As previously noted, this was an important dimension of Waddington’s research program. However, even in the case of Goodwin, this was pushed into the background and was not a focus of his interest, although it was not forgotten. However, the importance of oscillations and their entrainment has been rediscovered in one specialist area of biology after another, revealing what Denis Nobel characterized as ‘the music of life’ (2006). Entrainment of oscillations was shown to be central to all forms of biological organization by Art Winfree, building on the work of Nobert Wiener who recognized such entrainment as the outcome of mutual feedback (Strogatz, 2003). It is now recognized that smell is not based on spatial properties of molecules fitting receptors, but on resonance of oscillations (McFadden and Al-Khalili, 2014, chap.5). This is only a special case of such a relationship involving receptors. Candace Pert in her work on the role of chemicals involved in communication in the functioning of the body, in memory and emotion, also argued that resonanceis central to the functioning of organisms."