Monday, March 26, 2012

On Octal

An article in the March 8 issue of the journal PLoS Computational Biology (as reported by Science Daily) states:

Upon pre-synaptic excitation, calcium ions entering post-synaptic neurons cause the snowflake-shaped CaMKII to transform, extending sets of 6 leg-like kinase domains above and below a central domain, the activated CaMKII resembling a double-sided insect. Each kinase domain can phosphorylate a substrate, and thus encode one bit of synaptic information. Ordered arrays of bits are termed bytes, and 6 kinase domains on one side of each CaMKII can thus phosphorylate and encode calcium-mediated synaptic inputs as 6-bit bytes.

From this we can derive one inescapable conclusion: DEC was right about octal all along.

(Thanks to Sean Hafeez for posting a link to the Science Daily article on Google+)