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Principles and problems of biological growth

, : Principles and problems of biological growth. Sci Month 70(6): 376-389

A number of physical ideas are assembled to help account by analogy for the production by protoplasm of numerous large, complicated, but specific protein particles. Identical periodically repeating chains, will be formed if they consist of various particles, each of which can combine specifically with just 2 other kinds. The chain will require a "seed" to start it as each particle requires contact with 2 others in specific positions. The phenomenon of engineering called "stresses in an overdetermined structure" will account by analogy for an automatic breaking of chains at definite points. Chains in which each particle is oriented definitely by the adjacent ones will inevitably become spiral. The postulated specificity or selectivity between adjacent units of the chain must depend upon numerous weak attractions, and may originate in the van der Waals force. By analogy with mass production industry, the formation of complicated bodies through a series of stages, in each of which there is a rejection of unsuitable materials, will yield success more probably than assemblage by a single process.


DOI: 10.2307/20180

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