In response to quanta magazine article-Jammed Physics of Cancer



Its an eye-opening, and an insightful article i.e. to apply the concepts of physics to solve complex problems in biology. Taking the "jamming of cells" in solid tumors versus "un-jamming" in those cases where circulating tumor cells have escaped shows how the physical process of "phase transition" can be used to model migration in tumors. I think the challenge lies in the fact that biological systems are so much more complex than physical systems that modeling biological processess using physical equations , although extremely useful has to take into account the quantitative spatio-temporal regulatory processess that govern decision making in biological processes. For e.g abberant intrinsic gene expression profiles could lead to altered cell perimeter to underoot cell area ratio,so the migration model based on this number gives the threshold for jammimg/unjamming and migration but ultimately its the gene expression regulatory profile that will determine this ratio. The question then arises can we use a physical process such as "quantum entanglement" to see whether a signal transduction process that regulates gene expression could be used to determine whether genes are switched or not because if "entanglement" is determining how a distant molecule will behave depending on its interaction with a known molecule or the outcome of the interaction will be determined by the entanglement then the whole of gene regulatory processess which govern gene expression signatures could be modeled on this , and biological out comes could be predicted.

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