20 Mar 2012
“I can resist everything except temptation.” Oscar Wilde
Willpower has been experimentally shown to be a domain-general , limited pool . It has a limited replenishment capacity .
NewScientist 28 Jan 2012 p30 “Where has your willpower gone”
NewScientist 28 Jan 2012 p42 “The Orchid children”
What we know from experimental results :
1.Willpower is a domain-general , limited pool .
If you use willpower to refuse one cookie , then another , then another , then make a decision involving some thought (brain activity) , then at every stage you are using the pool faster than it can be replenished , regardless of what type of decision .
Eventually the pool is depleted and the path of least resistance is followed. It does not matter what you use the willpower for .
The Collapse of the Will . (Not a Leni Riefenstahl favourite)
2.Replenishment of the Willpower Pool.
Rest and food . Glucose is implicated (lemonade + 15 min restores a measure of functionality)
3.Re-synchronization of brainwaves
Sleep , catnaps , meditation , tea ceremony etc
4.Childhood effects :
Some children (Orchid children because they need special care) are very sensitive to the emotional environment . They have genes once thought to be purely deleterious , like the short form of the serotin re-absorption , and others . Now thought to be extremely beneficial given a suitably supportive early childhood . Which is why they and their families have been strongly selected . Why personal violence in society has decreased . They learn to have large pools of willpower , quickly replenished . (Selection intensified from about 70 000 before present.)
In a bad environment , the normal syndrome: ADHD , depression , Learned Helplessness , erratic violence . These also have survival potentials in a chaotic environment .
Dandelion Children :The norms . Dandelion because they grow anywhere , regardless of conditions .
What is Willpower?
Using Willpower means making a decision . To make a choice means that the alternatives must be computed . This takes consumables , mainly ATP (derived from glucose via mitochondria- see Appendix I) , as well as oxygen and some neurotransmitters .
This processing is coordinated via the brainwaves . Distant branches of the decision trees usually use Beta waves . But they get out of synch easily (better known as “losing concentration” or “losing train of thought”
The glucose and oxygen supply to the brain is fairly constant , but the system bottlenecks at ATP . There are a fixed number of mitochondria at any particular instant , and they spin at a generally fixed rate . (See Appendix I)
When your brain runs short on ATP , it runs short on choices . It cannot see as deeply . Far-off branches on decision trees truncate . This feels like a “foggy” fatigue . In the Risk vs Reward tables , the brain sees only the immediate , less risky choices , because it cannot see the way to the riskier , higher payoff paths.
This is clearly seen in gambling establishments (free food and drink , but little rest) . Keep the sucker on his feet doing the obvious that favours the house .
Also seen in the behaviour of Parolee Judges in Israel (Levat et al) , where riskier decisions (requiring deeper thought) were made after a food and rest break .
Improving your willpower .
1.Increase production of ATP
This can be done by use of an ATP generator . (www.apstherapy.com or Appendix I)
2.Re-synchronize brainwaves when fatigued .
Biofeedback devices on the Alpha waves will help .
So will catnaps , sleep , old music favourite , old movie favourite , old favourite book , anything that does not involve choices that will deplete your willpower pool . Ie no interactive sport , chess , bridge , etc
3.On losing concentration , first re-synchronise (short meditation or mantra will do) , then retrace your steps . This will save a lot of willpower .
4.Training: Willpower is a lot like a muscle : you can deepen your willpower pool through training . Most interactive sports involving many decisions at various depths will do it . Some of the latest computer games are more complex than real life . Users will have deeper Willpower pools , but use it all on the Game . Sigh .
Play half a game before eating .
A properly designed dieting game for juveniles will pause , requiring input from the supervising adult to proceed.
Comfort food :
This happens when your willpower pool is exhausted . A quick replenishment is a teaspoonful (NOT more) of ordinary booze (about 2 ml of alcohol) . Alcohol is the preferential energy source for mitochondria . This kicks up the ATP concentration . Then your favourite mood enhancer , usually chocolate . Or combine the two , with 4 bitter liqueur chocolates . By then the willpower pool should have recovered enough to avoid a binge .
6. Can you buy the App online ?
Not yet , but I presume soon . It is possible to write an App that will do most of the above .
Some pieces are available . Apps that induce Alpha brainwaves , or train retinas (See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com “Itarin Update” Jan 2012 )
Music of course , old favourite movie snippets . ATP generation through ocular means is possible in theory .
Do not squander your willpower .
Prioritize what you want to do and use your willpower only on that .
Notice that high-achievement individuals appear focussed , or even mono-maniacal .They are not . They simply use a scarce resource on what they consider important .
It is self-realizing in that once you have identified the priorities (a small number , not more than three) , you will always have enough willpower left to deny any temptations .
Hypoglycemia will shortly lead to a collapse of the will . The ATP shortage leads to severe impairment of judgement as the decision branches are truncated . Irrational behaviour results . Basically , an organic robot .
Hyperglycemia leads to a breakdown of the timing mechanism (ie brainwaves cannot synchronize mirror-neuron networks as they fragment ) . Irrational , erratic behaviour results as various networks battle for control . Aggressive systems tend to win control . Basically , a homicidal , mad organic robot .
The two attractor basins both end in an entity that has no willpower .(An organic robot) .
Luckily , the ridgetop separating the two systems is very broad . More like a plateau . The diabetic can use his willpower to construct roads on this plateau and drive where he likes , as long as he does not fall over the edge.
The roads are things like insulin , Low-Carb diets , exercise , etc .
All the above are then applicable .
The major one affecting Willpower is serotonin . We know this because of it’s causal relationship with depression and learned helplessness , both involving truncation of decision trees . We also know there is an active gene that speeds up serotonin re-uptake (this is the process targeted by Prozac) .This means that there must be a rapid link to ATP generation .
Serotonin is a precursor of melatonin . The less serotonin , the less melatonin and the less ATP . The less willpower , the more truncated decision trees and the greater the despair and sense of helplessness .
Melatonin increases the activity of the oxidative phosphorylation enzymes and the production of ATP in rat brain and liver mitochondria.
Martín M, Macías M, León J, Escames G, Khaldy H, Acuña-Castroviejo D.
Departamento de Fisiología, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad de Granada, E-18012 Granada, Spain.
Normally this does not matter , but under stress it does . Even small effects get magnified by feedback processes . Individuals with one or two short forms of the Serotonin re-uptake gene and a history of depression might benefit from small , continuous doses of melatonin through the day . They should sleep better ,too . The body would use melatonin first for ATP production . What is left over for sleep .
This is not medical advice . Consult your doctor .
Melatonin additives are usually sold as 3mg in slow release or fast release form
Individuals prone to depression in jobs that rapidly decrease the willpower pool , will benefit from taking about 1.5 mg slow release melatonin with breakfast , about 1.5 mg at about 3pm , and 3 mg fast release at bedtime.
The idea is that the slow release melatonin will compensate for the loss of serotonin and thus eventually ATP, due to rapid serotonin re-uptake . Adjust dosages to fit . Do not do this if you are taking a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (like Prozac) .
Other neurotransmitters like dopamine also plays a role , but you should by now know how to create sufficient willpower to handle mere pleasure syndromes .
An interesting aside :
Temptation and risk
Temptation is something immediately available , but your brain , either from conditioning or future conditional branches , tells you is associated with a cost . This is the risk .
Your willpower is supposed to pare away the decision branches to the cost you are willing to pay . But if your willpower is at low ebb , you take the immediately available . Just like an animal . This is the basis of most humanity tests in antiquity (rites of passage , initiation , etc) . Those who failed were denied reproduction rights , demoted ,or killed.
These tests are still prevalent everywhere (paying your dues , newbie , etc).
This works for Dandelions or Orchids with a supportive history . But backfires badly with Orchids from a bad background . You get Hitler , Stalin , Mao and others . Sheepdogs turned wolves .
Wolves 1 , Sheepdogs 0 , Sheep -1
ATP as Neurotransmitter
18 Jan 2010
ATP has been proven to be a neurotransmitter . Various receptor sites on cellwalls have been found as result of the Human Genome project . Important health considerations result .
See important article in ScientificAmerican Dec 2009 , p60 "The double life of ATP" by BS Khakh and G Burnstock (let us hope that nominative determinism does not hold sway .)
Beg , borrow , steal or buy a copy .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "ATP and Catalytic Motors" . Appended in Appendix A for ease of reference .
Crackpot duckling into Swan :
The effect had been clinically demonstrated since 1959 , but disregarded as not fitting into the accepted model .
The isolation of certain ATP and ADP receptors in 1993 and 1994 , as well as development of Clopidogrel to prevent clot formation led to greater acceptance .
The Human Genome Project led to the genes for receptor sites of ATP and it's various breakdown products . It is now a Hot Subject (ie fashionable) . A number of drugs are in various development stages .
A lot of money , major health items and knowledge is in play .
A Brief Description .
It is a very elegant mechanism . Also very old .
1. ATP = Adenosine + P + P + P
2. ABP= AdenosineBiPhosphate (the last phosphor atom has been stripped away . This is energy bond powering the muscles)
3. AMP= AdenosineMonoPhosphate . Only one phosphor atom .
4. Adenosine is adenosine (a purine) without any phosphor atoms .
Every cell has specialized receptor sites on the surface that interacts with one or a combination of these compounds . This gives at least 2^4=16 possible basic receptor types .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Phene Systems"
The information being triggered is in the cell-wall (the Phene system) . This causes various portals to open or close , influencing sodium , calcium , etc balances in cellular substructures (including DNA in the chain)
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Unpacking and packing information"
Surrounding the cells are class of enzymes called EctoATPases that sequentially strip away the phosphor atoms from ATP .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Chaperones , unpacking and asthma"
This stripping of phosphor atoms makes the whole system workable by creating four unique markers necessary and sufficient for a three dimensional contiguous information space.
A teensy little problem is : where does all this energy go ? Heating up the synaptial fluid seems to be a result . Is this essential for multi-cellular life ? The intercellular information transfer spaces are then always hot and ready to roll . Certainly , it would give a great advantage to even a cold-blooded lifeform . The energy costs would not be very high .
From an evolutionary viewpoint , it is easy to see that a temperature control mechanism in synaptial fluids expanded into the whole organism in a random mutational-selection process .
But what is the original mechanism ?
See ApendixA "Throttle"
It must involve the production speed of ATP : ie the rotational speed of the rotor in the mitochodria .
There are two known ways to influence this:
Ironically , sleep seems to be basically necessary to give synaptical spaces a chance to cool down . If they grow too hot , the other neurotransmitters start breaking down and the well-known dementia of sleeplessness results . Obviously , the immune system is affected as well . This whole ATP signaling system is part of the immune control-system .
Note the correlation of symptoms between heat-stroke , sleeplessness and forms of dementia associated with various neurotransmitter shortages .
2.APS generator .
The pulsed waveform will not only speed up lagging mitochondrial rotors, but also slow down ones that are too fast (ie overproducing ATP) . This should ameliorate synaptial fluid overheating .
Ideally , we should have an APS generator that can force a desired spin rate on any set of organs . But the one we can buy now is set at 3 milliseconds .
Remember , a standard human produces about 40 Kg of ATP per day (See AppendixA)
An useful analogue:
Using the energy transmission conduit also as an information transmission route is used in electrical systems . You can buy a system that uses the electrical wiring of your home to transmit music , video , internet , etc .
The analogue goes both ways , since the problems with the electrical system will also be experienced in the ATP system .
Known systems using ATP as neurotransmitter:
1.Blood vessel constriction : ATP as co-neurotransmitter with noradrenaline .
2. Blood vessel dilation : shear stress->ATP->NO->vessel relaxation.Part of the feedback system .
3.Blood clotting: platelets have ADP receptors.
4.Cell proliferation : eg restinosis , various cancers . See Phene control system .
5.Eye: acetylcholine and ATP are co-neurotransmitters.
6.Ear :about 50% of cochleal hairs have ATP receptors.
7.Taste:as expected , evolutionary old chemical receptors like taste or smell do not function without ATP receptors(in this case P2X2 and P2X3 receptors) .
8.Pain and touch: mainly the P2X3 receptor .
See http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Neuropathy"
P2X receptors are involved .
Irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease :P2X and P2Y receptors are involved .
Existing drugs Clopidogrel and Prasugrel blocks P2X12 receptor .
12.Tumors , developmental diseases , etc .
13.Disease regulation using bacterial ATP signaling.
Apoptosis and ATP quorum mechanisms await exploration .
The Phene System:
It seems that the ATP signaling systems plays an important part in the meta-control system of multi-cellular organisms (multi-cellular includes a single cell with a mitochondrium by definition) .
We know that viruses encapsulated by cell-wall material is the signaling mechanism of cells .
Speculation : Distributed Viruses .
That ATP , ADP , AMP and Adenosine plus receptor sites form a distributed virus
The crystal structure of the P2X receptor looks like a typical virus . It only needs the key(s) to activate . As expected from a phene control mechanism , it regulates activities in the cell via switching on or off of genes in the DNA .
(See how handy the concept of phenes is ?)
Even more speculative :
Do not try this without qualified supervision .
Diseases like AIDS , cancer or old age must interact with the ATP signaling system at some stage . Quorum systems play a role (why we use melatonin)
Slow down the mitochondrial rotors with melatonin , and simultaneously entrain them with a APS generator on selected organs . Pulse if necessary .
This will hopefully break interlocked feedback cycles .
Interestingly , this should work on fevers as well , as well as disrupt quite a few viral diseases .
A hot time in the old town tonight .
ATP and Catalytic Motors
4 Dec 2008
The Catalytic Motor.
See Annexure A below .
This is a new concept to me .
The basic principle :
The chemical equilibrium of a reaction is biased in a certain direction by dynamical , rotational processes .
And not in a trivial way either . A whopping 40 kg per day production and consumption of ATP for a sedentary human (of say mass 80 kg) means a very finely balanced mechanism . (Half of body mass per day)
The logistical demands almost necessitate a multi-cellular organism .
Where does the rotor come from ?
From bacterial flagellae . They work by rotation of the flagella .(Google it)
The rotor is driven by proton gradients , caused by electron-flow balances between inflowing nutrients and usage .
Putative evolution :
The ur-mitochondrium was a free organism whose flagellae by chance could beat two poisons (oxygen and alcohol) into harmless ATP . As if protein-folding was not complicated enough , now dynamics have to be considered as well .
As the concentrations of these poisons increased , ur-mitochondria did the usual plaque - freeform alternation of bacteria . In every colony episode , the efficiency of the conversion was enhanced . At some stage , a freeform colonized some other bacterium . The host learned to use ATP as an energy source . Multicellular forms were force-formed .
The motors of the mitochondria cannot stop spinning . (If they do , apoptosis results: see Appendix B) . The ATP has to be used .
This seems to be quite slow . (As expected from a flagella heritage) . About one to three milliseconds per revolution . ( About 1 to 0.3 kHz) . The ATP production is not smooth either . There are three units physically opening and closing (see Appendix A).
A very useful analogue:
We can use an national electricity grid operating at 1 kHz alternating current of three-phase current as an tool for understanding the meta-energy flow in the body . Every cell would be like a municipality with its own powerstation .
The voltage and transformers ? Nobody has looked , but a guess would be ATP concentration regulators , like the reticular cellular formations , antioxidants (see Appendix B) , ATP chaperones , cellular-wall ports , etc . You get the drift .
The advantage of this approach is that we then have an immediately usable box of tools to analyze and suggest fruitful new approaches .
Our electricity networks would also gain , since evolution has been at this problem for a tad longer than humans .
Melatonin for ESKOM ? Some would say they are asleep at the switch in any case .
There seems to be a wee problem here .
The problem seems to be too much energy , not too little .
Most organisms normally spend 1/9 to 1/3 of 24 hours actually getting enough to eat . The rest is spent having fun or sleeping .
But a certain reserve needs to kept (see http://andreswhy.blogspot.com "Infinite Probes" et al )
There is a strong suspicion that melatonin throttles down the production of ATP , but not the usage of ATP (cf fMRI scans of sleeping brains) See Appendix B . Sleep would then be necessary to keep the organism out of trouble (ie quiescent) while surplus ATP is used up . (1/3 : eg 8 hours per day)
As can be seen from the above , the problem is not a sudden influx of energy-rich food .This has been a trouble since the first mitochondrium took up housekeeping in a host cell .
The obesity is caused simply by a lack of sleep .
Present generations sleep less . Artificial lighting , computers , cinema , etc . The extra waking time is also usually spent eating .
The equilibrium is upset . (This has been going on for about 100 years on a large scale) .
An interesting result is the generational increase in IQ measurements . The system is trying to soak up the extra energy in more complex nervous structures (for which it has the evolutionary tools) . An epigenetic feedback loop is suspected .
Kids who stay up late for three generations will be fatter and smarter .
Melatonin has many effects . Lack of it causes neuro-degenerative complications (see Appendix B) . Included is peripheral neuropathy . This is where we can use our useful little model of an electricity grid above . Without the feedback from the damaged nerves , the system cannot shift loads . Just monitoring the glucose level is too coarse. Fluctuations build up . Future load estimations cannot be made . Fat builds up .
Lack of sleep during old age leads to glucose metabolic complications for all the reasons mentioned , regardless whether the person is obese or not .
Other throttles are rendered less effective by lack of materials:
Specifically , sulfur (H2S hibernation throttle) , chrome (cytochrome oxidase : see Appendix B) , alpha lipoic acid(nerve repair) , melatonin .
Homeostasis is another useful little energy soak .
Large brains ditto .
But Culture , hot or cold , is master of them all .
Nothing soaks up energy like culture . Fashion is by far the largest industry on the planet , outstripping even food production .
Eg sports is a fashion . Clothes .Entertainment . Tourism . Even lies . (JK Rowling is the most fashionable and richest professional liar in Britain .)
What is the culture of your mitochondria ?
An Actual , Physical ATP generator you can buy .
This is a well-known and clinically proven machine usually touted for pain-relief .
It works .
But the theory is rather patchy . There used to be a lot of mumbo-jumbo about the gate theory of pain .
It actually works by alleviating the underlying causes of the pain (see scans on website) . It does this by pumping energy into the ATP-rotors from the outside at the damage site .
It does this by sending 3-millisecond square pulses which decay exponentially (see wave-form on web-site .) This spins up damaged rotors and transfers energy (a non-food source of energy) . Most importantly , it re-establishes timing mechanisms . Cells on the point of mitochondrial apoptosis can be salvaged . (The apoptosis mechanism is very sensitive , due to all the feedback mechanisms involved.)
While the energy input here is small , the energy of an ATP molecule is not exactly large . And the ATP is targeted exactly at the damage site . This helps to stop the cascade effect of trauma-shock .
Your attention is drawn to the well-known effects of aligned magnetic fields on bone-healing . A similar thing happens here .
Notice the effects of zero electro-magnetic fields on early astronauts .(Their metabolisms went haywire) . They had to be supplied with artificial fields .
Energise organisms directly by high-energy em-waves .
Are there any like that already ? The planet is awash with em waves and organisms with flagellae .
Deep ocean , moons of Jupiter or Saturn springs to mind .
An actual cure for diabetes by re-establishing communications between cell-groups to do proper load-sharing .
Also useful for cases of paralysis or strokes .
Fat-loss without dieting or exercising . Fashionable .
Targeted , too .
Spin up the mitochondrial rotors with em-waves , then wash out the surplus ATP in urine after fixing this ATP with something like a mono-clonal anti-body .
Get rid of that cellulite !
Cheating at sports . (Even more fashionable)
A focused em-wave of the right form will boost ATP production of an athlete or horse at that critical instant , and is nearly undetectable .
Muscle building for the gym-brigade .
Eg the machine for training the biceps can have an em-generator focused on the biceps while training . Saturation by ATP will hopefully rapidly increase muscle mass.
MRI problems .
As you will have gathered , alignment of mitochondrial rotor-spins by a powerful magnetic field as found in MRI machines can have unfortunate effects if the patient is soon afterwards exposed to em radiation of periods of 3 milliseconds (or beats thereof)
Melatonin and DHEA supplements should form part of the old age package (like statins , etc) .
Nanotech should be able to do really interesting things .
And so it goes round and round .
Sunday, January 21, 2007
ATP Generator Structure – Function
Almost incredibly, a sedentary adult makes and uses 40 kg of ATP per day! ATP is made by the F0-F1 ATPase, a molecular motor with a rotating shaft and fixed "stator". One end of the shaft, F0, is buried in the mitochondrial inner membrane where the proton gradient causes it to rotate. A single gamma subunit connects the F0 to three alpha and beta subunits, together F1, which are responsible for synthesizing ATP from ADP and Pi (H2PO4-). As a catalytic motor and not just a catalyst, the F0-F1 ATPase is able to increase the rate of reaction away from the equilibrium (which strongly favors the reverse reaction, hydrolysis, because the concentrations of reactants and product in mitochondria are similar). The gamma subunit rotates too slowly, in the microsecond-to-millisecond range, for standard molecular dynamics simulation. To solve this, the authors applied "biasing forces" as the motor moved and assumed these forces would not change the mechanism. Positively charged amino acids on the gamma subunit attract negative amino acids on beta subunit, producing smooth and efficient ionic coupling. Rotation of the gamma subunit induces the opening of the beta subunits. The beta subunit closes spontaneously. Synthesis is not the reverse of hydrolysis, explaining why high concentrations of free ATP does not inhibit synthesis. Gao and colleagues propose a detailed model of how the motor harnesses the proton gradient to act against the equilibrium. Their quantitative model is based on the conceptual “binding change mechanism” model proposed by Boyer, where ATP synthesis proceeds by each beta subunit changing from “open”, weak nucleotide binding, to “tight”, high affinity ATP binding, to “loose”, with the release of ATP. The authors used this model to make accurate predictions about synthesis and hydrolysis kinetics and they invite others to test their detailed model.
PubMed :Yi Qin Gao, Wei Yang and Martin Karplus, "A Structure-Based Model for the Synthesis and Hydrolysis of ATP by F1-ATPase" Cell Oct 21, 2005; 123(2):195-205
Melatonin, mitochondria, and cellular bioenergetics.
Acuña-Castroviejo D, Martín M, Macías M, Escames G, León J, Khaldy H, Reiter RJ.
Departamento de Fisiología, Instituto de Biotecnología, Universidad de Granada, Spain.
Aerobic cells use oxygen for the production of 90-95% of the total amount of ATP that they use. This amounts to about 40 kg ATP/day in an adult human. The synthesis of ATP via the mitochondrial respiratory chain is the result of electron transport across the electron transport chain coupled to oxidative phosphorylation. Although ideally all the oxygen should be reduced to water by a four-electron reduction reaction driven by the cytochrome oxidase, under normal conditions a small percentage of oxygen may be reduced by one, two, or three electrons only, yielding superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide, and the hydroxyl radical, respectively. The main radical produced by mitochondria is superoxide anion and the intramitochondrial antioxidant systems should scavenge this radical to avoid oxidative damage, which leads to impaired ATP production. During aging and some neurodegenerative diseases, oxidatively damaged mitochondria are unable to maintain the energy demands of the cell leading to an increased production of free radicals. Both processes, i.e., defective ATP production and increased oxygen radicals, may induce mitochondrial-dependent apoptotic cell death. Melatonin has been reported to exert neuroprotective effects in several experimental and clinical situations involving neurotoxicity and/or excitotoxicity. Additionally, in a series of pathologies in which high production of free radicals is the primary cause of the disease, melatonin is also protective. A common feature in these diseases is the existence of mitochondrial damage due to oxidative stress. The discoveries of new actions of melatonin in mitochondria support a novel mechanism, which explains some of the protective effects of the indoleamine on cell survival.
• Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
PMID: 11270481 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]