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A New Brand of Biophysics

As part of this issue we shall go over the basic principles of Biophysics, how it came to be, and how it should reshape our understanding of science if applied correctly. At first glance, Biophysics may simply seem to some as a sub-field for using certain methods used within Physics to try and discern biological phenomena. To others relatively new to science, it may seem a bizarre new word introduced to the ever growing world and complexity of scientific media. First, an explanation - it IS as currently understood, a way to connect the processes of Physics to the field of Biology. In other words, understanding the role of Physics within biological systems such as heat and its regulation, electrical currents, stress and weight and entropy. Examples of these may include how the body regulates its own temperature and how we are affected by extreme temperatures, how electrical currents are used in the body such as cardiac muscle and its role in neurophysiology and how stress (both mental and physical) is endured by our bodies and our minds.

Biophysics is underlined in many of the major biological sciences, particular molecular sciences and medical physics such as X-Ray imaging and electron microscopy. As a form of study, the term itself was coined by English scientist Karl Pearson (1857 - 1936) in his book The Grammar of Science (1892) as very much such an attempt to clarify the existence of physical phenomena within the realm of biology. Such attempts have been made throughout scientific history as outlined in Applied Science (2012) by Donald R. Franceschetti. Austrian-Irish physicist Erwin Schrödinger also helped further popularize the field by publishing his book What is Life? The Physical Aspect of the Living Cell (1944), through an analysis concerning how molecular processes took place within a certain spatial boundary through applying physics and chemistry. Thus, through our own analysis of these works combined with our own studies and knowledge of these subjects, a pattern can be seen to emerge - slowly yet surely. This pattern yields a grounded understanding of how biology can be better understood through a similar methodology to how we study the world through physics. For example, physical concepts are underlined often through an understanding of atomic forces (also known as quantum forces) and how these forces interact and correlate to form the basic building blocks of our world and ultimately, the universe. Similarly, biology is often subdivided into different units such as molecules, cells, tissue, and organs and their specific functions to underpin their roles in the human body.

Much like physics, biology overall concerns itself with the study of how each of these units interact and correlate to form the building blocks of our body and its many processes which enable its capacities. Thus, at and below the atomic level, biology is ultimately governed by the same natural laws as the world of physics. While this can come as no surprise, it has become the branch of Biophysics that endeavors to understand this symbiosis and apply it to the modern world. Of particular interest in this hopeful field is the methodologies which could be potentially developed to see widespread use. In my mind, a field as large as large (at least in potential) must see proof of how the quantum world interacts to form the basis of the many mechanisms of the human body. How could the world of atoms, electrons, neutrons, protons and quarks become aligned to our understanding of biological activity? Ultimately, while this question could be answered in a myriad of ways, it feels important to me to lay a certain framework. This question could be answered by the addition of a setup designed to oversee the inner and outer workings of the many physical, chemical and biological phenomena - this would be called 'Biostructural Analysis'. The premise of this would be to establish a set of categories underlining the overall structure of the human body.

This system enables a methodical examination to differentiate between existing biological structures and their relationships with each other. These structures would be divided into groups called 'Biological Dimensions' which would be measured in accordance with existing biological structures as laid out in anatomy, cellular biology and molecular biology. These would lay the foundations for the first four biological dimensions, as follows: organs, tissue, cells, organelles and molecules. These dimensions would be theoretically held to similar laws which govern the world of quantum physics and would play a pivotal role in analyzing and understanding quantum mechanics. This would be to analyse the role of each dimension in the function and ability of the other and vice versa, forming the basis of Biostructural Analysis. Further changes to the dimensions would be in accordance with measurements in nanometers and understanding of function of any prospective additions. While this covers the biological aspect of our new form of Biophysics, there is still the matter of the physical aspect, which has a more far reaching potential with more discoveries in physics each day.

In order to fully realize this, the fields of Biostructural Analysis must be bridged with an understanding of quantum physics. In essence, the physical world must make up additional dimensions such as atoms, particles and quarks in accordance with current knowledge. For this to occur within the field of analysis, it is essential to study the sum of interrelations between these often drastically different modes of form. These “quantum leaps” of existence are connected through a complex series of processes and reactions that form a dense network of matter required to construct such organic states of being. While previous modes of study have often been quantified into three generalized subjects: biology, chemistry and physics, I feel it essential for a more structured top-down (or bottom-up) yet flexible attempt at basic analysis - one currently best summed up by the basic premise of Biophysics. For this, chemistry can perhaps (at least partially) best defined through a sum of reaction and processes currently understood through physics, which although often constrained to the study of atoms, can also be abridged to undertake analysis of other forms of matter such as the molecular, cellular, histological and anatomical. For the most concise summary of this idea, it could perhaps be best to start with an example through a question; how could any particular cellular structure or process be explained through atomic activity or quantum mechanics? - this could easily be extended to each and every one of the aforementioned forms of matter. This question could also be rebounded - what effect does observable cellular activity have on its atomic composition? Cellular on histological, molecular on quarks and vice versa? Biostructural Analysis becomes a way of invigorating these studies by contextualizing particular forms (Biological Dimensions) and transforming their study into a far more encompassing ideal suited for a new look into the field of Biophysics.

While many forms of these questions and studies already have their respective fields, including the already existing branch of Biophysics, this can be further extended and used as a base form of study. It can also provide for the modification of other scientific ideas and pursuits through categorization and contextualization, rather than leaving a series of fields often contrary and unconnected. For this, it would be important to establish a style of quantum mechanics size-fitted and proportional to these Biological Dimensions. Much like the quantum world is designated for study of interrelated atomic matter, these other mechanics could act as an outgrowth connected to the importance of quantum phenomena and its results in acting molecular phenomena and above. This chain of matter establishes a set of links and networks that displays the functions and importance of each dimension whilst also showing the functions and importance of the others and how reactions and catalysts could be viewed from everything to atomic and anatomical. Further discoveries beyond the quantum world or proportions of anatomy that could be considered analyzable in their own right can be considered for further understanding as a Biological Dimension. Not only does this have to be considered from a top-down chain-point of view but also as a 3D web of links - akin to a form introduced by string theory, where every link can be further subdivided into more links and sequences acting in seemingly infinite ways. This diagram could serve as a template to better establish the scientific method for our study.

For this two-tier system of Biological Dimensions, analysis and understanding of interactions between two products of the same Dimension (forms of matter) and both how this interaction relates to a product in another Dimension or how either product fits into the overall sequence of forms. These types of analyses could be differentiated into two sub-paths, a “vertical” analysis which deals with a biophysical unit’s interactions between Biological Dimensions (i.e. how alterations to a tissue sample are conceived within the confines of molecular structures and interactions, or how atomic processes are understood through cellular/organelle structures and interactions) and a “horizontal” analysis much closer to the classic prisms that biology and its sub-disciplines are currently researched and understood under. This latter idea could be best understood by a modification of existing forms of biological and quantum analysis, with the various processes and functions that underline each Dimension being differentiated and compared. In this case, the interactions between two corresponding forms of matter of the same Dimensions, as well as the links they have with others of their own form (i.e interaction between certain molecules and how they directly/indirectly affect other molecules, or how the organelles of a cell interact to form a cohesive unit).

Not too dissimilar from current forms of analysis in itself and thus requiring less of an explanation, yet within the framework of the Biophysical hypothesis, it is accepted as form of analysis where every form of matter is taken and put into a far larger machine of function (as described through the Biological Dimensions) not too dissimilar from the sort of chain diagram used to display and describe the process of evolution. These methods of analysis are two-fold, intending to complement one another by providing a comprehensive framework for an overall stratagem regarding our understanding of Biophysics and the corresponding sciences as a whole.This new brand of Biophysics is to deliver a new look at the various systems of analysis of both Biology and Physics and hopes to combine them into a cohesive unit while endeavoring to undertake further study of these disciplines to not only expand our understanding but our relationships with them entirely.

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