Greeting from the Advisor

shin-ichi nishikawaKnowing the 20 year history of BRH to which many members who love the living organism have contributed, I would be the most unique member in the history of BRH. Just compare with Dr. Keiko Nakamura, the Director General or Dr. Tokindo Okada, the Honorary Advisor who have many great stories with various living organisms. First of all, I would be the first member of BRH graduated from a medical school. I even had the experience of working as a hospital doctor. While I have some interests on living organism and their evolution through my research on stem cells, my interests on living organism is always centered by my interests on human being. Indeed, recollecting my life, I had no memory of keeping living organisms (even plant) at home or of collecting insects that appears to be one of symbolic feature of enthusiasm to life. On the other hand, I have been interested in everything about human activities such as science, thought, music, visual arts, architect, literature, etc. Thus, I would better be called “ humanaholic”. In this respect, I am wondering why Dr. Nakamura has thought of me for an advisor of BRH. But if bridging science with human ordinal sentiment is one of purposes of BRH, I would feel that there should be something which a humanaholic person like me can contribute. Nonetheless, my knowledge about each individual organisms in the exhibition of BRH is at the same level or even less than that of non-specialists visiting BRH. Hence, I would like to increase my knowledge by learning together with visitors. Please do not hesitate to call to me “ Let’s learn together “, when visiting BRH.

Of course, I have also my personal plan to do in BRH, though I am afraid it would be a bit difficult to understand for non-specialist. This is a theoretical challenge about the question “ How information emerge and is integrated in living organism?” The living organism is distinguished from the subject of physic and chemistry in that the various information is inseparably integrated in the organism. Probably, most of you agree that the genome, the most basic information of the living organism, can affect the physical process of the living organisms. But consider that information, though mediated by the physical material, itself is not physical material. This implies an interesting issue as to how non-physical entities can affect physical entities. As the most basic information of the living organism is what we call genome in an abstract way, this issue requires understanding what is genome. In this sense, what I want to do in BRH is related to an aim of this institute; to draw the bio-history in terms of genome. Thus, I understand that contributing to this BRH project in some ways would be one of my tasks in BRH. However, I think that the concept of genome pre-assumes the presence of life, whereas I suppose that DNA, a chemical substance, acquired the feature of information before the first living organisms emerged on the earth. Thus, theoretical investigation of this process is actually what I want to do in BRH as my own project. Of course, I realize that this question requires collections of intelligence of different fields. Hence, I am planning to start this project by organizing a discussion forum of researchers who will join this forum. I wish that some of you who read my message will also participate this forum.

May 2013
shin-ichi nishikawa

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