Russian Journal of Developmental Biology, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2003, p. 126. Translated from Ontogenez, Vol. 34, No. 2, 2003, p. 160. Original Russian Text Copyright © 2003 by Khasanov. PAPERS DEDICATED TO THE 90th BIRTHDAY OF T.A. DETTLAFF T.A. Dettlaff, Temperaturno-vremennye zakonomernosti razvitiya poikilotermnykh zhivotnykh (Thermal-Temporal Patterns of Development of Poikilothermic Animals), Moscow: Nauka, 2001 In her book Thermotemporal Patterns of Develop- the period of synchronous cleavage divisions in poiki- ment of Poikilothermic Animals, the well-known Rus- lothermic animals. This unit designated by the author as sian embryologist Tatiana A. Dettlaff collected and ana- t was also called, quite rightfully, the dettlaff by lyzed an enormous bulk of materials on the biology of A.A. Neyfakh. This method of timing reveals the strik- embryonic development of poikilothermic animals, ing uniformity in development, suggesting the exist- most of which consisted of her results of more than 50 ence of internal dynamic laws of development, which years of studies. At ﬁrst sight, it seems that book is ded- cannot be observed when using standard units of time. icated to an although very important, but, nevertheless, Unfortunately, the general biological signiﬁcance of speciﬁc problem and could be of interest only for a nar- studies into the temporal organization of biological pro- row circle of specialists. Nauka Publishers apparently cesses and the ensuing conclusion of the necessity to had this in mind when they printed extremely few cop- time and theoretically describe biological processes in ies of this book. terms of speciﬁc units of biological time has not yet However, this work represents fundamental been perceived by researchers, and theoretical biology research and has not only general biological, but also has developed mainly along the lines of application of philosophical, signiﬁcance, since it deals with one of the mathematical apparatus and basic principles of the most fundamental problems, temporal organization physics. Of course, contemporary mathematics and the of biological processes, without the solution of which mathematical apparatus of contemporary physics are so the development of theoretical biology is impossible. powerful that their reasonable use in biology can lead The results obtained by the author suggest convincingly to very interesting results, but reductionist biophysics that living creatures are highly integrated material sys- and, on the whole, reductionist theoretical biology have tems, in which the main biological processes are so inti- a limited perspective, since it is impossible to disclose mately interrelated and interjoined that they change the internal dynamic laws of development of living their rhythm and rate synchronously and proportionally matter via timing and describing the biological pro- under the inﬂuence of a great number of, as a rule, sto- cesses in terms of physical time, external relative to the chastically changing factors. This means that a living biological systems. organism as a biological system contains a speciﬁc Therefore, there is no question that the necessity for class of coequal biological processes that sets the stan- developing theoretical biology on the radically new dard of equability and determines the existence of spe- bases related to the introduction of the notion of biolog- ciﬁc, biological time, in which the main biological pro- ical time in biology will be sooner or later recognized, cesses are structured. This objectively real structuriza- just as physical time exists in physics. And then, Det- tion of biological processes in speciﬁc biological time tlaff’s book will become the desk book of the widest accounts for the patterns of embryogenesis, common circle of specialists and, above all, scientists dealing for different species, provided that the developmental with theoretical biology. stages are timed in special units of time, set by certain biological processes. At the end of 1950s–1960s, Dettlaff proposed using I.A. Khasanov, Professor, as such a unit the duration of one mitotic cycle during Doctor of Philosophical Sciences 1062-3604/03/3402-0126$25.00 © 2003 MAIK ÒNauka / Interperiodica”
Russian Journal of Developmental Biology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 7, 2004
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