The Cytoskeleton is a Self Reproducing von Neumann Automaton

The von Neumann architecture is based upon the principle of one complex processor that sequentially performs a single complex task at any given moment. Space is divided into states that are either inactive or active (biologists use a similar terminology for the states of small signalling GTPases). At each time point a special set of rules is used to determine its next state as a function of its current state and the state of its immediate neighbour. Based on these local interactions an initially specified structure (a von Neumann automaton) constructs a duplicate of itself through a sequence of steps [47]. While the above definition stems from the description of computational attempts to generate self-replicating and self-healing programmes, it appears that similar parameters can be applied to cytoskeleton systems. The concept of cytoskeleton filament assembly (but not the individual elements of the cytoskeleton) may exist from the earliest cellular life forms onwards (clearly in bacteria, as shown above, and if the underlying concepts of protein assembly mechanisms are concerned, maybe even in viruses). From a protein linguistic/biosemiotic standpoint it is not too astonishing that bacterial cytoskeleton elements are poorly conserved at the amino acid sequence level. In unrelated languages, there is no phonetic resemblance for certain meanings, yet their semantic content is identical. Moreover, the underlying grammars are the same and based on the identical basic concept/ parameters [2,19].

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