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Anatomy Artwork Depicts Good-Nucleus-Good-Government-Bad Nucleus-Bad-Government

Art Anatomy Depicts Good Nucleus Bad Nucleus

Good Government Bad Government

Ashley Davidoff MD Copyright 2015

If I am not for myself who will be for me?  If I am only for myself what am I? If not now, then when?

Hillel the Elder

What Does the Nucleus Do?

The nucleus is the government and control center of the cell.

Central Control of the Nucleus and USA

The nucleus contains the history of biology. From the single celled organism, through the evolution of the fish, salamanders, reptiles, primates to homo sapiens, an extensive and epic story lies in this tiny cellular part.

Evolution of the Nucleus

Each nucleus is responsible for its individual cell, including the society of organelles that lie within the cytoplasm.  It is as if the nucleus remembers Hillel’s wise words, pondering … If I am not for my cell who will be?  If I am only for my cell what am I?  If not now, then when?

The Nucleus – King and Servant to the Cell

The community of cells must band together to create an organ.  With trillions of cells in the body, each nucleus must submit its power to the brain, nerves and the endocrine system, which possess a greater global perspective.

Why is the nucleus so successful in its control of human biology?

  1. It knows, understands and is connected to its past, of which it maintains meticulous records.
  2. It lives in the present, using its power for the greater benefit of the cell, while also answering to the demands and needs of the cell’s society.
  3. It reads the requirements of the cell and adapts, so that the cell and the organism are better prepared for the future.

Anatomy Artwork depicts the states of the nucleus and how it is a metaphor for good and bad government.  We should learn from the nucleus’s success story. We must learn from our past and remain connected to our history, live in the present, and adapt to our conditions so that we can thrive in the future.

The Nucleus Learns from the Past, Lives in the Present , and Adapts for the Future

Humans are still young and immature in their development.  Homo sapiens has failed miserably at a coordinated effort to unify the world. In the 20th century, 203 million people lost their lives because they held a different belief system! “My Book is better than yours” they shouted as they mercilessly drained the life — and all the unfulfilled miracles — from their fellow human beings.

Nature and Nurture;  Great Leader and Despicable Animal

Unlike the nucleus, the rulers of the nations are rarely able to combine the role of leader and servant. The battle between Churchill and Hitler demonstrated the stark contrast of good vs. evil. Churchill was submissive to people and human dignity, and Hitler was a sociopathic bully for whom the life of others was less than meaningless. People are the result of the combination of nature and nurture — genes and upbringing. Although we have no control over the genetic inheritance , we can alter the behaviour. The cell teaches us that living with others is an exercise in cooperation, for the benefit of all.

When Bad Things Happen to Good People – Disease and Cancer

The Nucleus in Health and in Cancer shows a normal, healthy nucleus, and  an enlarged, cancerous one.

Cancer reflects either an innate genetic aberrance and/or is a genetic abnormality as a consequence of exposure to an environmental carcinogen.

Morphologically, when the nucleus grows too large, both physically and functionally, the cytoplasm shrinks and the nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio increases.  This structural feature is pathognomonic of cancerous cells (images).

Small Nucleus – Health;   Big Nucleus – Cancer 

The normal sized nucleus is shown in the diagram of the normal cell (purple, left).  The organelles in the cytoplasm are thriving in a coordinated effort to support the life of the cell and the life of the organism.  The diagram of the cell is seen in the background of normal liver cells (histological section) with normal nuclear to cytoplasmic ratios.

The nucleus of the cancer cell (red, right) is too large.  It suppresses the other members (organelles) in the cytoplasm (green) containing the society of the cell. The organelles cannot therefore fulfill their function and the whole organism is doomed.  The increased nuclear to cytoplasmic ratio is demonstrated in the histological section of cancerous liver cells in the background.

Artistically, surrealism and spherism are used to provide the idea of good cell and bad cell. The good cell serves the demands of society while the bad cell serves it own selfish needs.

This power play occurs between individuals, and between leaders and nations. Purely self-serving interests are cancerous, and especially dangerous when located in seats of power.  Self interest with the intent of serving society is a balance we all must seek to achieve.  The nuclei of the trillions of cells that make up our body apply this wisdom.  When will we learn to apply these lessons?

Small Nucleus-Good Government;  Big Nucleus-Bad Government 

The small nucleus enables people to grow and flourish.  Like a cancer, government that grows too large pervades the lives of the members of the society, compressing and stifling individual growth.

The healthy nucleus teaches us that to attain unification and cooperation among people, leaders must embody the delicate balance between governing and serving.


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