Photo by Kathryn Elmore & Chris Pringer, Jan 2002
Photo by Kathryn Elmore & Chris Pringer, Jan 2002

Trees & Communications - Bridging Empathy & Planetary Health
Some Good News from Science
About Family-Connection, 'Psycho-Neuro-Immunity,' & Earth Changes

Chris Pringer

Energy-Body-Work Therapist, Counselor at Body-Mind Integration Therapies,
Author at ChaliceBridge.Com, including the Vehicle Efficiency Resource Compendium

October 25, 2016 (at Linked-In), EDITED November 2017


Page Sections:
  Introduction (just below)
  Article
  References:
  Set 1: "Communications"
  Set 2: Immunity
  Set 3: The Neurobiology of Empathy


 

The research is relatively new, most of it from the last ten years or so, and is multidisciplinary. This is not just 'Gaia revisited,' as it focuses on the not-yet widely realized implications of the (very much science-backed) interconnectedness between trees, plant life, and humankind.

That is, from the neurobiological level, on "up" and into many other critical levels - relative to Mother Earth 'going through her changes' so to speak - and about which, very few people realize.

In this, the article's second version (after the photo album post at facebook, September'16), I have improved context with regard to this otherwise likely complex topic - included a number of much more complete explanations for various points made. Prior to that, some readers were likely stretched beyond their credibility barriers. In truth, science has learned much, and most of us have been way-layed in bad news and news conflicts. Science has provided "the good news" - if we only understand and apply it, EG: gel it and fly it. I should also add the following few paragraphs to the introduction:

I am not aware (as yet) of anyone else who has assembled this particular variety of research, let alone attempted to pull together or deduct such kinds of relationships among them, let alone the kinds of implications that now seem (to me) not just apparent, but obvious. As for what we can do with or about this, some suggestions have been made here, some direct, some implied, but none of which is rocket science, so to speak. Scientists can go much further, of course, and one hopes that they are already taking the most productive solutionary next steps.

Perhaps it should be said here, that what few (documented) credentials I have, are noted at my web site, which I hope should serve, at the very least, as an indicator of my dedication to communicating, as best I can, the principles of self-healing - personal, communal, and planetary. There are more than a few pages at my web site with considerable research applied (although not very applicable to this writing), including the "Fascia Memory Theory," "Fascia Memory Project," "Approaches & Methodologies for Body-Mind Integration," and a half-dozen or more of the other pages at the site that use these pages for their key references.

"The truth," there as here, is that facts are facts, theories are theories, and methods are methods, and these may require some degree of clarification among them whenever combined (particularly in these times). I try to convey those differences, and technically, the overall premise of this article may be considered theory. HOWEVER, many points made, albeit some being quite amazing on first encounter, are virtual quotes or paraphrasings from documents of the vast amount of credible research that is noted and referenced herein. Others are *direct* deductions there of.

Thank you for your consideration and patience through this long introduction.

 

All that said, the presentation of this work begins with few questions:

a) how long after life began did the first brain develop (or at least the first most significant organized bundle of nerves), and

b) how long or soon after that did the first significantly rooted species of plants or trees begin, and

c) when did the first primate or sea mammal originate with an intelligence that was a *significant increase* over any other life form?

My intuition (and then some fairly broad reading, research, and so forth <smile>) says that the intelligence of animal life-forms "J-curved" (eg: high rate of acceleration over time) not long after the first significantly rooted species of plants or trees began, relative to amount of time after life on the planet began.

Actually, what we do know, per Ecology .Com and Wiki .Org, is that the Pre-Cambrian Period accounts for about 90% of Earth’s history. It lasted for about four billion years until about 550 million years ago. Then life “exploded” about 525 million years ago (Devonian period, about 6 o'clock on the top level of chart below), developing almost all of the major groups of plants and animals in a relatively short time. Then there was a massive extinction of most existing species about 500 million years ago, then came the appearance and evolution of new plant and animal species (insects). 375 million years ago (Late Devonian period, about 1:30 - 2 o'clock on chart below) plants had roots and leaves, then began secondary vascular tissue that produced wood and formed forests of tall trees (and there were flying insects). While the form of early trees similar to that of today's came along about 300 million years ago (about 1 o'clock), whereas flowering plants came along about 140 million years ago (11 o'clock). The symbiosis between "plant" and fungus (primarily arbuscular mycorrhizae) appears to have evolved very early in plant history, is found in all plant groups, and 80% of extant (still existing forms of) vascular plants, may even have been the step that enabled them to colonize the land.

There were various mass extinctions (75-90% die-offs) of multiple species during those times. Some 60 million years after the last one, around 7 million years ago, our ancestors were abouts, and using stone tools in northwestern Kenya (dated to 3.3 million years old). That tells me that the formative basis of life "brews" until ALL the intra-supportive elements are ready, and then it bursts into a blaze of exploration and yet within an intricate matrix. And if it "fails," it keeps a memory of what did work, so that it comes back extremely fast and then builds upon that until "the ALL" works together - for as long as it does, anyway. And science believes that kind of come-back is due to the repository of DNA kept by the bacteria symbiotic in/with/of the algae and fungus, I.E. *or* E.G.: the arbuscular mycorrhizae. More on that later.

As far as goes for Question c) "when did the first primate or sea mammal originate with an intelligence that was a *significant increase* over any other life form?" ::
Besides the answer to that being humankind, it was the larger sea mammals that came along after the last mass extinction (65 million years ago). Some of those sea mammals include those species for whom our research has not yet determined the full degree of intelligence. Also whom have more than impressed us with such a high intelligence because, for all we know, even though they have not spoken any known human languages, their language, brains, and response to our language give every indication that they could be more intelligent - at least in any number of ways, albeit not necessarily in all of the same ways that we popularly define our own intelligence, but very likely in many of those same ways.

In any case, early on, the tree was recognized as one of the primary providers of shelter and sustenance. For many life forms it has provided for the most essential needs fulfillment - both material and maternal - for the longest amount of a lifetime for most any land-based life form's. And we know that *all* life forms, on land OR water - are interdependent. Could we say that the phrase "Mother Earth" comes to mind most often when a tree or trees are a major part of the visual experience?

Communications among trees and other plant forms: This realm has enjoyed a great deal of research in the last 10 years. Actually, it began over a half century ago, but only until more recently, biologists found they could say only so much about this without being banned from "the tribe." That is, with their careers ruined, and the research put virtually in limbo, until the rest caught up with them (ie: authors of "The Secret Life of Plants"). Note that humans have, also until more recent years, (officially) measured intelligence by how well a species responds to human speech or other primary communications by humans. And note how long has it taken us to more accurately measure that of various birds, after that of various sea-mammals, and more recently that of various family-rich animal cultures.

Let me summarize that with a few additional implications: Trees, plant life, and the fungus that connects them communicate, are actually connected with each other, supporting each other, respond to each other similarly to that which we define as a family, even to the degree we could almost say that many, if not all, trees formed one tree. This and the following applies to many plant systems as well, and all that is in accordance with the findings of biologists and neurobiologists, mainly since about 2011, but also since 2007 (and before as one finding builds upon many others).

Did you know that trees have immune systems similar to and interconnected with humans and animals? True. Remember (from above) that the "come-back" or resumption of life following the last mass extinction was extremely fast and accurate, and the DNA learning memory (if you will) is related to the/our immune system. [And if I may digress a moment, we may consider this in regard to today's permafrost-melt issue with the re-emergence of bacteria (in the organic carbon that has been frozen deep in the soil for millennia) that humankind has not had opportunity to develop immunity to. Again, (perhaps or most definitely?) we may look to the arbuscular mycorrhizae for the way to bolster our immune system. Could it be that we already have the basis of to-be-needed cures via the medicinal constituents of certain roots already known in the herbal pharmacopoeia? ~cp 1/28/18][Keyword/tagword: carbon sequestration]

We also know that the feeling of family connectedness has a lot to do with the immune system (including the "friendly" symbiotic bacteria within our bodies), and thence the genes we pass on, by the way, AND as they say, "members of the same family are not always born under the same roof." We also know that a marriage, partnership, or any other familial unit does not survive, let alone thrive, by *works* alone (including "bringing home the bacon"), but ALSO by the *emotional bond* formed between the members of that partnership.

More about those genes: current biological events effect genetic properties - thence some of our offspring, and thus effect long-term biological development and adaptation of species to changing environments. Also, our genes are effected by current emotional events as well as the processing of past events (by degree, depending on various factors). EG: *current biological (including neurobiological) events effect biological evolution.*

And not only are trees and humans biologically and emotionally similar in *all* those respects, but also when considering interactions, including empathy, between humans and trees (or plants and many animals).  

Who knew!?!

But yes, that too is strongly backed up by science now, as is the next statement [References below]. Also consider the fact of the interdependence of all life in the entire ecological system of the planet, and the fact that life has recently been found teaming in the deepest darkest coldest depths of the ocean floor (including the plant life, algae, and fungus, which is an integral part of their communications network everywhere) - and this makes continuous this rooted and infra-species-supportive interchange, even between distant continents. Actually, believe it or not, this bacterial/fungal interconnectivity actually applies *within* humans (especially as part of the immune system), although as far as we *yet know*, we do not, at least consciously, use this network *among* any/all humankind as well.

So, IF, by the above, we can say all trees and plant life virtually (or perhaps more than functionally, considering their communications network), form *one tree,* AND IF we can acknowledge that this "Mother Tree" serves as the oldest and most present extension of "Mother Earth," THEN might we also affectionately, perhaps accurately, use the term "Mother Earth Tree" ?

GIVEN the above "ABCs" (when and to the degree you accept them) ...

...of our newly realized (?) relationship with "Mother Earth Tree" ...and knowing that daily practice of most anything -that we believe in- *can* lead to insight and creative change in our personal social lives, and knowing that, if that were practiced on a large-scale can effect all of society...

...THEN, we could further deduce that:

   ... A positive loving recognition of, and empathic relationship to, trees as akin to our Biological Mother by a great many people, certainly as many as have concern about global warming - may have great benefits. That is, leading to increased adaptability (per the resulting potential immune response capacity noted/implied above) and thus survival of ALL Life on the planet. Perhaps sufficiently so to make all the difference; perhaps to even live healthfully and abundantly well as a result. That doesn't mean a tree cannot be trimmed or even cut down, etc - but that such actions might be done with a conscious recognition and assessment of the long-term solution-based environmental considerations and circumstances involved.

Finally, I believe we, or at least many of us, will see a new era of understanding of the true nature and purpose of trees.   Albeit, when too many of us are also unwittingly trying to end life on this planet. Obvious follow-up question: Will we "get" that *connection,* get *connected* in time? By the way, Emmett Fox said, "The heart opens from the inside." And the trees apparently haven't given up - giving us the opportunity for us to listen and collaborate.

Although one scientist recently stated that, unless a 30 year trend changes -to provide more water to trees instead of less and less- then by 2050 the NW US terrain will look drastically different. He didn't say prairie, let alone desert (in that Public Radio report, 9/18/16). But IF the immune systems and bio-adaptability of both trees and humans are improved sufficiently by pragmatic application of the above understandings (referring to both the enhancement of current systems and then that being genetically passed on, with both increasingly so over time), THEN the above noted difference to be made -were we to exercise the apparent capability we naturally have- just might lead to the reversal of, adaptability to, or at least the withstanding of, that trend for trees and humans alike. After all, our true family is larger than we think, and we don't need to wait for disaster to realize that, right?

Enough of science and deduction! laughing (Well, for the moment, if we can also enjoy our imaginations...) And what about the Druids? And the "wee people" of "the old countries"? Who were they really and what were their roles or functions? In time even the biologists will be able to connect the dots from the science to the truth in the old stories (I further guesstimate :). I'm not saying the old stories are all truth, but that those legends are based in truth. And that trees are infinitely more *connected* (in every sense of the word) AND intelligent - and core-essential in so many realms - more than a very few folks have ever given them credit for - for who knows how many centuries or millennia.

Just for teasers: you might consider that if the trees and forest species have been communicating so effectively (with animal species as well as other trees and plant species, according to the research) for their mutual survival since before humankind, would we not believe that the trees were also at least trying to communicate with humankind as well? Note the degree of creativity (at least per the references noted below), not to mention the amount of time and practice with which such communication was likely was engaged, in the effort to induce humankind to work towards their mutual survivability, given the overwhelming evidence that trees "understand" the nature of interdependence. And ... as we can easily surmise, there are many hallucinogenic plants that plant life have "witnessed" the effects of - upon humankind - over millions of years. More pragmatically, plant life learns, yet for the most part, at least on the physical level, yet acts passively via what we might consider a kind of manipulation at best, even when it "hunts." We have only begun to look into what trees and plant life do on other levels (although we've known for some time that they respond to threats by most any kind of species), but I'm pretty sure it's overall strategy toward/with humankind is cooperative, as it has become, at least for the greater part, dependent on humankind's application of intelligence, and maybe some wisdom.

I like finding the science behind the actual physical reality and the psychological reality of important principles, concepts, and metaphors in life, and especially those between the body and mind, including relationships to psycho-neuro-immunity. I believe that these often have essential connections to, and origins in, a metaphysical or spiritual reality as well. In those cases, the connection we don't see is related to the time, that is the event in time, of the historically or mythologically perceived break between the two. And I believe that break is always based in the psychological. Is there a relationship between this "reality of connection between realities" and the [logically deducted theory becoming scientifically proven fact] that emotion is the glue that makes a mere thought into a belief. EG: What motivates events that hide the connection(s) between the realities -- referring to the events resulting in blocks in awareness, then the removal of those blocks? And since one can not heal what one can not feel, does that not then relate to psycho-neuro-immunity? In that light...

As you may gather from the web site url (ChaliceBridge.Com), I have a thing about 'the Chalice.' But it is ALSO about other key *BRIDGES*, symbolic and actual; ie: the tree and higher plant forms form that bridge -- between the most sublime of energies as well as the sun's essence - and the depths of the very definition of groundedness --as essential both to themselves as well as to all life on the planet. Some would say that kind of bridging, (which "Mother Earth Tree" does naturally, does not know how not to do) is is the very bridge between Mother Earth or Mother Goddess & Father God on this planet - while humans bridge by degree - depending on whether or how they develop their consciousness.

Thank you for listening. And for considering, whenever you can, offering your connectedness with the trees, or "the Tree of Earth," or "Mother Earth Tree," or by whatever name connects your heart. And for letting that remind your heart of whatever else you might be here for. ~Chris Pringer

The below references often include the abstract, or a descriptive excerpt from the article, or some other annotated description, as well as the title, author(s), and link. And, by the way, there are more photos and artwork there as well.

 

REFERENCES, Set 1 of 3: "Communications"

Reference Sets 2 & 3 are further below, including
Set 2, "Immunity" and Set 3, "The Neurobiology of Empathy"

[] "Signal Transduction VI: Signal Transduction in Plants" [I Include this for the extensive charts & diagrams at the "Molecular Biology for Masters" site, even though the URL looks strange - it opens as a web page, although it "normally" opens in a pop-up window from the Table of Contents page.] ((http://mol-biol4masters.masters.grkraj.org/html/Cellular_Signal_Transduction6-Signal_Transduction_In_Plants.htm))

[] "Trees Communicate" | Ecology Global Network, By Jane Engelsiepen, Oct 07, 2012  ... What we think we know, is that there’s some kind of electrochemical communication between the roots of the trees. (http://www.ecology.com/2012/10/08/trees-communicate)

[] "How Plants Secretly Talk to Each Other" t McGowan, Science Date of Publication: 12/20/13. "The evidence for plant communication is only a few decades old, but in that short time it has leapfrogged from electrifying discovery to decisive debunking to resurrection. Plant communication may still be a tiny field, but the people who study it are no longer seen as a lunatic fringe. “It used to be that people wouldn’t even talk to you: ‘Why are you wasting my time with something we’ve already debunked?’” said Karban. “That’s now better for sure.” The debate is no longer whether plants can sense one another’s biochemical messages — they can — but about why and how they do it. (http://www.wired.com/2013/12/secret-language-of-plants/)

[] "Plant Communication from Biosemiotic Perspective" Plant Signaling & Behaviour, 2006 Jul-Aug; 1(4): 169–178. PMCID: PMC2634023, Günther Witzany, corresponding author, Differences in Abiotic and Biotic Signal Perception Determine Content Arrangement of Response Behavior. Context Determines Meaning of Meta-, Inter- and Intraorganismic Plant Signaling (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2634023/)

Abstract:

"As in all organisms, the evolution, development and growth of plants depends on the success of complex communication processes. These communication processes are primarily sign mediated interactions and not simply an exchange of information. They involve active coordination and active organization—conveyed by signs. A wide range of chemical substances and physical influences serve as signs.  Different abiotic or biotic influences require different behaviors. Depending on the behavior, the core set of signs common to species, families, genera and organismic kingdoms is variously produced, combined and transported. This allows entirely different communication processes to be carried out with the same types of chemical molecules.

   Almost without exception, plant communication are parallel processes on multiple levels, (A) between plants and microorganisms, fungi, insects and other animals, (B) between different plant species as well as between members of the same plant species; (C), between cells and in cells of the plant organism.  ...Chemical Vocabulary: The chemical communication in and between plants is so complex that more than 20 different groups of molecules with communicatory function have currently been identified. Up to 100,000 different substances, known as secondary metabolites, are active in the root zone, for example. This diversity is necessary considering the high diversity of microbes, insects and plants in this zone.9 For example, the continuous defense against pathogenic microorganisms in the root zone requires the constant production, exact dosage and secretion of phytoalexins, defense proteins, and other substances.10 Here, I present selected examples of the molecular vocabulary in plant communication.

   ...Coordination of defense against pests and injury: ...Plant roots have the capacity to produce 100,000 different compounds, largely secondary metabolites, many with cytotoxic properties, in order to prevent the spread of microbes, insects and other plants.9,46 For example, plants have developed defense strategies in which substances are emitted in the root zone such as signal mimics, signal blockers and/or signal degrading enzymes to respond to bacterial quorum sensing.46 In the defensive position, they can disrupt the communication of parasitic microorganisms to the point that the internal coordination of the parasitic behavior collapses.  ...Vital symbiosis of plant roots with bacteria, fungi and insects: ...Plants, insects and microbes share a particular repertoire of signals. Some are therefore also employed strategically. Thus, plants also use insect hormones (prostaglandins) for specific defense behavior. Signal theft is common. Because plants can detect their own signals, they can presumably also detect similar signals that are used in communication between insects.71"

    Key Words: multilevel plant communication, sign-mediated interactions, context-dependency, symbiosis, Biosemiotics, Meta-, Inter- and Intraorganismic Plant Signaling, Terrestrial ecosystems

[*] Similar articles in PubMed:  [] Uniform categorization of biocommunication in bacteria, fungi and plants. [World J Biol Chem. 2010]   [] Serial Endosymbiotic Theory (set): the biosemiotic update. [Acta Biotheor. 2006]  [] Quantitative synthesis of context dependency in ant-plant protection mutualisms. [Ecology. 2009]   [] Terrestrial ecosystems, increased solar ultraviolet radiation, and interactions with other climate change factors. [Photochem Photobiol Sci. 2007]    [] A meta-analysis of context-dependency in plant response to inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi. [Ecol Lett. 2010]

[*] Scientists Discover That Plants Communicate (via mycorrhizae)...Aug 09, 2013 Hidden beneath the surface and entangled in the roots of Earth’s astonishing and diverse plant life, there exists a biological superhighway linking together the members of the plant kingdom in what researchers call the “wood wide web”. This organic network operates much like our internet, allowing plants to communicate, bestow nutrition, or even harm one another.   British researchers have discovered plants have a highly complex underground communication network, formed by a type of fungi called mycorrhizae.  This fungal network has been found to allow plants to aid one another in growth and flourishing....  “These fungal networks make communication between plants, including those of different species, faster, and more effective. We don’t think about it because we can usually only see what is above ground. But most of the plants you can see are connected below ground, not directly through their roots but via their mycelial connections.” -Kathryn Morris (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/08/10/mycorrhizae-plant-communication.aspx)

[] Related:

[*] "Plants Communicate Using An Internet Of Fungus - "Hidden beneath the surface and entangled in the roots of Earth’s astonishing and diverse plant life, there exists a biological... (http://timewheel.net/tome-plants-communicate-using-an-internet-of-fungus/)

[*] Fleming, Nic. “Plants Talk to Each Other Using an Internet of Fungus.” BBC Earth. N.p., 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 19 Mar. 2015. (http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20141111-plants-have-a-hidden-internet)

[] "How Trees Communicate" : Waking Times video - "Similar to the network of neurons and axons in the human brain, the network of fungi, roots, soil and micro-organisms beneath the larger ‘mother trees’ gives the forest its own consciousness. (http://www.wakingtimes.com/2012/05/02/how-trees-communicate-video)

[] Harley, J. L., and J. S. Waid. “A Method of Studying Active Mycelia on Living Roots and Other Surfaces in the Soil.” Sciencedirect. Department of Botany, University of Oxford, England, n.d. Web. 19 Mar. 2015.

[*] Israeli Study Shows: Plants 'Talk' Through the Roots The Ben-Gurion University team discovers plants can transmit distress signals to each other through their roots. Asaf Shtull-Trauring Mar 11, 2012 1:13 AM "The Ben-Gurion University team discovered that plants can transmit distress signals to each other through their roots. An injured plant "communicates" to a healthy one, which in turn relays the signal to neighboring plants, possibly enhancing the other plants' ability to deal with stress in the future, according to the study, recently published in the periodical PLoS (Public Library of Science One ). Novoplansky believes the signals released by plants are generic and capable of passing from one plant species to another. ...We had an accident in which one plant got into an experiment of another species, and responded to its neighbors the same way the others did. It seemed as though the signals were understood by different plants, as though they were speaking Esperanto to each other. But at this stage this is a hypothesis and we are conducting other experiments to check it," says Novoplansky. Read more: (http://www.haaretz.com/israeli-study-shows-plants-talk-through-the-roots-1.417723)

[*] How Mushrooms Can Save Bees & Our Food Supply (video with Paul Stamets) - In this 6th Age of Extinctions, the biosphere’s life-support systems that have allowed humans to ascend are collapsing. World-renown, visionary mycological researcher/inventor Paul Stamets illuminates how fungi, particularly mushrooms, offer uniquely powerful, practical solutions we can implement now to boost the biosphere’s immune system and equip us with benign breakthrough mycotechnologies to accelerate the transition to a restored world. (https://www.linktv.org/shows/bioneers/episodes/paul-stamets-how-mushrooms-can-save-bees-our-food-supply)

[*] Scientists Urge National Initiative on Microbes And Microbiomes to better understand the microbial communities that are essential to humans. (http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/29/science/national-initiative-microbes-and-microbiomes.html?)

[*] Can Mushrooms Save the Planet? Tiffany Ran, Sep 29, 2010: Counselor Larry Davies turned to nature to help teach and heal troubles Washington high school students. Twelve years later, he's helping Floridians become better environmental stewards. (http://www.yesmagazine.org/planet/can-mushrooms-save-the-planet)

[*] Video: Mycologist Paul Stamets gives six ways fungi can help save the planet. Aug 13, 2010 A Resilient Community (http://www.yesmagazine.org/issues/a-resilient-community/table-of-contents)

[*] Coevolution of Plants and Fungal Parasites at Wiki/ Evolutionary History Of Plants. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evolutionary_history_of_plants)

[*]Biohabitats.Com's Expert Q & A with Suzanne Simard: "...Many people may be a lot less familiar with fungi species than tree species. How can they learn more about which fungi species are good below-ground associates of certain tree species?..." (http://www.biohabitats.com/newsletters/fungi/expert-qa-suzanne-simard/)

 

REFERENCES, Set 2 of 3:
Immunity

[Consider a search at Nature.Com, using keywords: "plant & human immune systems compared" !]...

[] "Are innate immune signaling pathways in plants and animals conserved?" ...unique to vertebrates, the innate immune response seems to have ancient... ...in vertebrates, invertebrate animals and plants include defined receptors for microbe... ...-dated the divergence of the plant and animal kingdoms. However,... ...modules used in plant and animal innate... ...immune... By Frederick M Ausubel Nature Immunology 6, 973–979, 21 September 2005; [Abstract:] Although adaptive immunity is unique to vertebrates, the innate immune response seems to have ancient origins. Common features of innate immunity in vertebrates, invertebrate animals and plants include defined receptors for microbe-associated molecules, conserved mitogen-associated protein kinase signaling cascades and the production of antimicrobial peptides. It is commonly reported that these similarities in innate immunity represent a process of divergent evolution from an ancient unicellular eukaryote that pre-dated the divergence of the plant and animal kingdoms. However, at present, data suggest that the seemingly analogous regulatory modules used in plant and animal innate immunity are a consequence of convergent evolution and reflect inherent constraints on how an innate immune system can be constructed. (http://www.nature.com/ni/journal/v6/n10/full/ni1253.html)

[] "Evolution of host innate defence: insights from Caenorhabditis elegans and primitive invertebrates" By Javier E. Irazoqui, Jonathan M. Urbach & Frederick M. Ausubel [Abstract:] The genetically tractable model organism Caenorhabditis elegans was first used to model bacterial virulence in vivo a decade ago. Since then, great strides have been made in identifying the host response pathways that are involved in its defence against infection. Strikingly, C. elegans seems to detect, and respond to, infection without the involvement of its homologue of Toll-like receptors, in contrast to the well-established role for these proteins in innate immunity in mammals. What, therefore, do we know about host defence mechanisms in C. elegans and what can they tell us about innate immunity in higher organisms? Nature Reviews Immunology 10, 47-58 (January 2010) | doi:10.1038/nri2689 (http://www.nature.com/nri/journal/v10/n1/full/nri2689.html)

[***] "Rice Can Borrow Stronger Immunity from Other Plant Species, Study Shows" Apr. 3, 2015 — Rice, one of the world's main staple foods, can boost its built-in immunity against invading disease-causing microbes when immune receptor genes are transferred via genetic engineering from... (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150403130824.htm)

[] "Biology 1510 Biological Principles", incl. Adaptive Immunity, 4 Responses to Adaptive Immunity, (http://bio1510.biology.gatech.edu/module-5-integrative-health/03-adaptive-immunity/) [] Jung Choi says (December 3, 2012 at 11:29 pm): "This is unrelated to the immune system, but the human genome contains a number of endogenous retroviral genomes. Retroviruses infected the germline cell of ancestral humans and now all humans contain these retroviral genomes integrated into our chromosomes. Some of these still have intact genes and could make viral proteins/antigens." [] SciGeorg says (April 1, 2014 at 12:15 pm): "Really? Do you have any sources or further reading you could link me? Very interesting Log in to" [] Jung Choi says (April 3, 2014 at 11:55 am): "Here’s a minireview: (http://genomebiology.com/content/2/6/REVIEWS1017) and here’s a recent article with evidence for activity of HERVs (human endogenous retroviruses) in human populations: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3625200/)"

[*] "Plant receptors with built-in decoys make pathogens betray themselves" Date: May 21, 2015 Source: Norwich BioScience Institutes Summary: Receptors carrying built-in decoys are the latest discovery in the evolutionary battle between plants and pathogens. The decoy domains within the receptor detect pathogens and raise the cell's alarm when there is an infection. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/05/150521133730.htm)

[*] "Tiny Protein Helps Bacteria 'Talk' and Triggers Defensive Response in Plants" Dec. 12, 2011 — Scientists have discovered a new signal that helps invading bacteria communicate but also helps targeted rice plants coordinate defensive attacks on the disease-causing invaders, a finding that could ... (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111212220954.htm)

[*] "Immunity Gene Fusions Uncovered in Plants" Feb. 19, 2016 — Researchers have surveyed immune genes across flowering plants to uncover the molecular 'traps' that plants use to detect.. (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/02/160219111212.htm)

[*] "Plant immunity" (http://www.nature.com/subjects/plant-immunity?WT.ac=search_subjects_plant_immunity) [incl. articles such as:] "Bidirectional cross-kingdom RNAi and fungal uptake of external RNAs confer plant protection" Small RNAs (sRNAs) expressed in plants that target the Dicer-like (DCLs) genes of a fungal pathogen are shown to effectively silence the fungal DCLs and reduce pathogenicity after being taken up, demonstrating fungus–plant sRNA trafficking and a new approach for fungus control. Ming Wang, Arne Weiberg […] Hailing Jin, Nature Plants 2, 16151, 19 September 2016 (http://www.nature.com/articles/nplants2016151)

 

REFERENCES, Set 3 of 3:
The Neurobiology of Empathy

About the neurobiology of empathy: We can also add, and come to understand, a few more elements of psycho-emotional capability that have to do with empathy via the limbic system --elaborated at my website, albeit spread about on more than a few pages. AND far more scientifically at the MindSight Institute (http://www.mindsightinstitute.com/), that one of the web sites of Dr. Dan Siegel, the author of "Pocket Guide to Interpersonal Neurobiology" (2012), "Parenting From the Inside Out How A Deeper Self-understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive" (2014), and "Developing Mind - How Relationships and the Brain Interact to Shape Who We Are" (2nd Ed, 2015), among an extensive array of seminal works in integrative healing, as well as a pioneer in the field called *interpersonal neurobiology* (http://www.drdansiegel.com/about/interpersonal_neurobiology).

"This highly integrative field is not a division of one particular area of research, but rather is an open and evolving way of knowing that invites all domains of both academic and reflective explorations of reality into a collective conversation about the nature of the mind, the body, the brain, and our relationships with each other and the larger world in which we live.

"This emerging approach is fundamental to exploring a range of human endeavors, including the fields of mental health, education, parenting, organizational leadership, climate change intervention, religion, and contemplation. Knowing about the way the focus of attention changes the structure and function of the brain throughout the lifespan opens new doors to healing and growth at the individual, family, community, and global levels." Dr. Siegel and associates have gone the extra mile in prolifically translating all this into pragmatically useful training manuals for students and practitioners, and for a most impressive variety of applications in mental health, especially pediatric psychology, as well as in self-healing and conscious awareness. Resources for professional organizations via MindGains .Org (http://www.MindGains.Org/).

Unless otherwise noted, Photography by Kathryn Elmore & Chris Pringer, Jan 2002, Photo rendering and other artwork by Chris Pringer of Chalicebridge.Com,
  Full size artwork is presented professionally at the Artist Websites Gallery
  author editor of the Vehicle Efficiency Resource Compendium with special sections on Global Warming, Water Conservation, Hemp & carbon sequestration, and more
  On the limbic system and research by yours truly: the Fascia Memory Theory
  Also referenced above: Approaches & Methodologies for Body-Mind Integration