Faculty Articles

Biological wires, communication systems, and implications for disease

Douglas E. Friesen, University of Alberta
Travis J. A. Craddock, Nova Southeastern University
Aarat P. Kalra, Dayalbagh Educational Institute
J. A. Tuszynski

Abstract

Microtubules, actin, and collagen are macromolecular structures that compose a large percentage of the proteins in the human body, helping form and maintain both intracellular and extracellular structure. They are biological wires and are structurally connected through various other proteins. Microtubules (MTs) have been theorized to be involved in classical and quantum information processing, and evidence continues to suggest possible semiconduction through MTs. The previous Dendritic Cytoskeleton Information Processing Model has hypothesized how MTs and actin form a communication network in neurons. Here, we review information transfer possibilities involving MTs, actin, and collagen, and the evidence of an organism-wide high-speed communication network that may regulate morphogenesis and cellular proliferation. The direct and indirect evidence in support of this hypothesis, and implications for chronic diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases are discussed.