My research over the past four decades can be summarized in terms of the five inter-related concepts and theories underlying the cell model called the Bhopalator as shown in Figure 1. The five theoretical components are briefly described below with the year of publication given in parentheses:
1) The conformon (1972) = the packet of mechanical energy stored in sequence specific sites within a biopolymer (also called a molecular machine) that is responsible for driving all its goal-directed motions.
2) IDSs or Intracellular Dissipative Structures (1985) = any structure (including concentration gradients) inside the cell that disappears when the cell runs out of energy and responsible for driving all cell functions, including mitosis and cell migration.
3) The cell force (1991) = The physical and chemical mechanisms and influences that maintain the functional stability of the living cell despite thermal fluctuations, just as the strong force maintains the structural stability of atomic nuclei against the electrostatic repulsion between protons.
4) The cell language (1997) = the molecular language used by living cells to communicate within themselves or between them. The cell language has been found to use the same set of semiotic/linguistic principles as the human language.
5) Blackbody radiation-like equation, BRE (2008-9) = A mathematical equation similar in form to the blackbody radiation equation of M. Planck was found to fit i) protein folding Gibbs free energy, ii) single-molecule enzymic activity of cholesterol oxidase, iii) whole-cell transcription rates and iv) transcript level data measured from budding yeast. These findings led me to postulate that the Gibbs free energy levels of enzymes are quantized just as the energy levels of electrons in atoms are quantized. The Gibbs free energy quantization resulting from BRE fitting of the biological data is thought to be pre-requisite for conformons and synonymous with the cell force.
Figure 1. The inseparability or mutual dependency of the four theoretical components (conformons, IDSs, cell froce, and cell language, defined above) that underlie the model of the living cell called the Bhopalator. All the nodes in the body-centered tetrahedral network are in simultaneous contact with one another, the geometric representation of the inseparability and mutual dependency. These theoretical components have been extensively discussed in my recent book, “Molecular Theory of the Living Cell: Concepts, Molecular Mechanisms, and Biomedical Applications” published by Springer, New York, in April, 2012. For related publications and Power Point slides, see Publications and Posters & Seminars.
5) Table theory and category theory as members of the Cateogory of “bridging languages”