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Open Access Research

Complex life forms may arise from electrical processes

Edward C Elson

Author Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, Maryland 20742, USA

Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling 2010, 7:26  doi:10.1186/1742-4682-7-26

Published: 24 June 2010


There is still not an appealing and testable model to explain how single-celled organisms, usually following fusion of male and female gametes, proceed to grow and evolve into multi-cellular, complexly differentiated systems, a particular species following virtually an invariant and unique growth pattern. An intrinsic electrical oscillator, resembling the cardiac pacemaker, may explain the process. Highly auto-correlated, it could live independently of ordinary thermodynamic processes which mandate increasing disorder, and could coordinate growth and differentiation of organ anlage.