Ashley Davidoff MD
Copyright The Common Vein 2014
“…It is in us and all around us…We just have to look…And when we see “it” we can only stand in awe.”
The Common Vein is a web site dedicated to the understanding of biology using foundation principles as a framework for the detail, and images and imagery to communicate the concepts. Biology is part of a continuum from the embryonic hydrogen atom to the universe. The Common Vein explores the thread of commonality that enables appreciation and understanding. The aim of the project is to promote a sense of awe by providing a perspective- a place from which to look at the world.
For some a picture speaks a thousand words. For others the words speak louder than the pictures.
For some understanding concepts before embarking on the detail seems logical. For others understanding the detail in order to understand the whole is natural. “Lumpers and splitters” describes this difference.
The Common Vein explores concepts through images and imagery to help those who understand the world through conceptual frameworks. I am one of those people.
Understanding is also enhanced by using similes. We comprehend when we can draw parallels in our experience. For example one can get a sense of the relationship of the cell to the body by drawing a parallel of the relationship between the brick and a house.
The Common Vein explores concepts through images and imagery to help those who understand the world through the eyes of images and concepts. I am one of those people.
We start with a unit – and the unit combines with other units to form a larger unit which is bigger and more powerful than the component parts. The units have need to bond and organize as they build bigger and more powerful units. A subliminal force drives the units to become more whole. The essence of the common vein is to understand the units, the bonds and the force that drives them to become whole.
Maimonides speaks to the need to be both an individual and part of the community in order to become whole. Striving to become whole is the struggle of the smallest atom but also of the universe, let alone the individual. The importance of time for the individual is stressed by Maimonides. This dictum is a driving force of the author and of the work of The Common Vein.
There are three elements that frame the approach of The Common Vein; the unit; links and bonds; yearning to become “whole”.
Units – First Concept
A unit is a building block
Examples are all around us and in us. The letter is the unit to the book, the single brush stroke the unit to the painting, the musical note to the symphony, the cell to the body, and the hydrogen atom is the essential unit to the universe.
Connections, Links, Bonds – The Second Step
The interdependence of structures in the universe is the glue that makes it all happen. At the atomic level the positive force of the protons, and the negative force of the electrons keep them together as a unit.
This primitive bond is the essence of all else that follows. The electrical bonds between atoms allow the formation of molecules. The bonds between molecules allow the formation of macromolecules. As biology emerges, intercellular adhesion proteins hold the cells together and extracellular matrix and collagen form the scaffolding on which structures are connected and supported. Blood vessels nerves, lymphatic and ducts connect the cells and organs and allows them to connect and communicate with each other.
On Wholeness and Unity – The Third step
Despite the apparent wholeness of a unit – there is a “yearning” to combine with other units to become more whole. The positive and negative force combine at the beginning of creation to become the hydrogen atom. Despite the achievement of this bond the hydrogen atom also combines with other hydrogen atoms to form other elements. The bonding of male and female, the sperm and the egg is a beautiful example in mammalian biology.
Once bonded, despite the achievement of a new unit, there is a driving force to evolve into something more whole. This is accomplished by cell division. Division after division eventually results in a living organsim that becomes a human baby after 9 months. The baby is the new unit, but as it grows and matures it becomes an individual who yearns for wholeness and accomplishes this by bonding with another person and creating a family – the new and larger unit providing a sense of wholeness. The family is not complete without the community, and the community needs the country and the country needs other countries and the earth needs the solar system, and the solar system needs the universe.
Drawing Parallells in the World Around Us
The letters are the building blocks of the word. The word is to the sentence as the sentence is to the paragragraph. Chapters are the building blocks of a book. The book is the essential unit of the library.
In art, the first step is the single stroke of the brush
As brush strokes are added in specific color and form and linked in unique organization, an artpiece evolves into something bigger and more powerful than the individual parts
To the atom the units are the protons, electrons, and neutrons.
To the molecule the atoms are the building blocks.
In biology the cell is the building block to the tissues and organs, while the organs are the building blocks of the body.
The cells of the liver are organized like spokes of a wheel around the central draining vein. They are connected to each other in factory line fashion and surrounded by the rivulets of the blood stream that enable connection to the rest of the body. This organizational pattern of liver tissue is called a liver lobule.
Unifying Units toward Unity
There is a remarkable similarity between the structure of the atom, and the structure of the solar system. A central body is surrounded by orbiting structures with forces that keep the structures connected. The marvel of similarity, leads one to ponder about a recurring organizational pattern, and how that pattern is applied to biology which lies in between the atom and the universe.
The hydrogen atom is the most primitive atom. It is the building block of all atoms and hence all molecules…it is the most abundant atom on earth and the universe. There is a remarkable similarity between the hydrogen atom and the earth as demonstrated in the image below.
If one considers the atom as a unit and the solar system as a unit then the technique of combining units to build bigger units more powerful than the individual parts allows us to understand in some measure the unifying units to units concept or
This idea and equation is central to the whole of The Common Vein. It is the simplest way to explain miraculous events in biology and also helps to expplain God.
The Big Picture in a Collage
The following image starts with the proton and atom in the left upper corner and advances through things in betweeen until the solar system. It describes in graphic and conceptual terms how units combine to form somethinual parts.g bigger and more powerful than the individ
Starting From the Beginning
The most basic forces (as found in the simplest atom) include the positive and negative forces.
The Hydrogen Atom and the Earth
The hydrogen atom precesses on two axes like a spinning top. As a result of the electrical forces and its motion it also acts as if it is a magnet.
The earth also precesses on two axes and has a magnetic field running through its center that enables the compass to align and provide a spatial directional.The similarity makes one ponder.
Hydrogen Atom and the Earth – An Uncanny Resemblance
The Atom and the Solar System
The atom has a central nuclear core consisting of protons and neutrons and is surrounded by electrons circulating in orbitals.
The solar system has a central core called the sun and is surrounded by planets orbiting around it.
The similarity makes one ponder!
The Atom and the Solar System
Artistic licence has been taken to present a series of atoms in the background of repetitive images of the part of the solar system. The structure of the atom with its central nucleus dominates the scene and is shown with orbiting shells containing the electrons
The Atom, Biology and the Universe
We have observed the similarities between the hydrogen atom and the earth and the atom and the solar system.
We understand at the time of the big bang that the simplest atom – the hydrogen atom – was in abundance.
We know that about 60% of the body is made from the hydrogen atom.
From our ancient bible it is understood that man was made from the earth and that Adam is the legendary first human on earth. The name Adam is the derived from the hebrew word “adamah” which means earth.
So the puzzle of how the hydrogen atom in its simplicity and then in its multiplicity gets transposed into the miracle of biology.
Where does biology fit in between the atom and the solar system and universe?
The atom is the building block of all structure and is seen at the bottom of the image and the solar system as part of the universe lies as a black mystery above. Between the two stands my daughter Danielle on the beaches of Newport Rhode island pondering at the age of 9 years where she and the rest of biology fits in the grand scheme of events.
(Davidoff art) 45826b04.800
The Start of Biology
The most basic raw materials of organic biology include the carbon hydrogen and oxygen atoms. In a variety of combinations they form proteins fats and carbohydrates.
In the Beginning – Time 0 – The Raw Materials
The greens of the earth, the blues of water and our heavens, and the light of the sun shine through.
13275b01i01e01.800 Davidoff oneness
Forces of Passion
Two opposite forces are needed to bring the life about.
82835p.800 Davidoff art
Close to a New Beginning
13275b01i01e12u08 Davidoff oneness
Power of Multiplication – An Introduction to Units to Unity
Parts Making up the Whole
Although the whole is bigger and more powerful than the individual parts, the strength of the whole depends on the uniqueness, strength, and power of the individual parts that make it up.
Cell Division to Form the Blastocyst a Precursor of the Embryo
13275b01i01e01b01.800 time heaven earth sea nature void TCV embryology Oneness units to unity blastocyst Davidoff oneness
Cell to The Lobule to the Segments to the Organ
The series of images starts with the cells of the liver (a) that unite and organize to form sheets of cells (b), that in turn organize to form lobules of the liver (c) which in turn for subsegments (d), which form lobes (e), and eventually the liver itself (f).
13456cl.8s liver parts normal lobules cells cords lobules segments units to unity Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD copyright 2009
Organs Coming Together
The organs coming together merely make a body. It is a mind and soul that make the person.
46580b02.800 body dance brain nerve muscle Davidoff art
Body Mind and Soul Together
87162pb03s.8 dance beauty coordination form and function perfection anatomy physiology Davidoff art Davidoff photography Copyright 2008 With Permission of the dancer
Power of the Group in Dance
Individuals in the Group
87052pb01.8k.8s dance movement black white units to unity individual uniqueness group Davidoff art Davidoff photography copyright 2009 all rights reserved
Power of the Group in Song
Individuals in the Group in Song
The sculpture consists of vertical stones that represent the bodies of members of the group which in this case are reminiscent of a choir. The bodies are toppped with different colored glass and semiprecious stones that give individuality and uniqueness to each member of the group. The group is led by a master who wears a garment of white crystal that faces the audience, but his front side is made of the same material as the members of his group. The group is organized in a semi circle and size is graded from small in front to large in the back. This is done to provide a sense of oneness to the whole that is made of unique individuals. The units to unity concept could just as well have been the organelles of th cell, the notes of a music piece, the letters of the word or the brush strokes a painting coming together in exquisite harmony. units to unity choir cell power of the group importance of individual
Davidoff art sculpture stone marble mineral glass Davidoff art copyright 2009 all rights reserved
Power of the Group in Biology
School of Travally Fish
83104.801 school of Travally fish units to unity Applied Biology concepts The Common VEin Davidoff MD Davidoff photography Aquarium Atlantis Bahamas
Power of the Parts in Biology
The Parts that Make the Flower
91713pi.8s flowers Newton center Massachusetts Spring poppy orange black impressionist Davidoff photography Davidoff art all rights reserved copyright 2009
Power of the Units We Build on Our Farms
Rocks in the Wall, and Farmlands in the Mountains – Units to Unity in Peruvian Mountains
0178.800 Peru farm wall units to unity mountains vertical agriculture food the common vein applied biology Davidoff photography Davidoff MD
Power of the Units We Build in Our Cities
Parts to form the Whole in Architecture
Rooms to the Hotel
83249.800 Bahamas apartment complex similar but not the same uniqueness of each unit TCV units to unity The Common Vein Applied Biology Davidoff photography Davidoff MD
Connections Bonds Links and Ties Making it All Happen – The Second Concept
The way units get put together is the key to their ability to form units bigger and more powerful than the individual parts. The following images reveal the way units get linked to each other.
70983.800 molecules atoms bonds links connections relations collage Davidoff art
Bonds in the Cell
71798b13b03.800 cell endoplasmic reticulum mitochondria fat droplet absorbtion by microvilli processing cisterna interdigitaion of cells pinocytic vesicle intercellular space function absorbtion Davidoff art Davidoff MD
Sutures of the Skull Linking the Bones for Strength
46304b01 bone skull suture shape CTscan Davidoff art
Joints Linking the Bones of the Hand for Functionality
45747 hand phalanx phalanges radius ulna wrist carpals carpal bones scaphoid lunate triquetrum pisiform hamate hook of hamate capitate tapezoid trapezium metacarpals metacarpal bone sesamoid normal anatomy plain film Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD 45742 45743 45744 45745 45746 45747
The Umbilicus – Linking The Fetus with the Mother
49703b17c01.801 body in 12 moods umbilicus abdomen a day in the life a year in the life Davidoff art
Friendship in Peru
06054pb01.8s Peru people Indian man hat men handshake links and connections hands Davidoff photography copyright 2009 impressionist all rights reserved
CAPE0244b02i.8s Cape Cod Masachusetts father and son happiness impressionist Davidoff photography Davidoff art all rights reserved copyright 2009
02768pi.8s man men black kippah Jerusalem Western wall faith belief impressionist Davidoff art Davidoff photography copyright 2009 all rights reserved
Connections and Links in the City
Links to the City
57692 city electricity air energy essential community need Johannesburg South Africa fence capsule tcv the common vein Davidoff photography
Roads and Bridges of Boston
61855 interesting accessory Boston Zakim bridge government centre nucleus Courtesy of Ashley Davidoff MD Davidoff photography
Phone Lines Electric Lines Cable – Connections Making it All Come Together
83925 elctricity node ganglion nerve control telephone cable box connections communication control systems nerves Davidoff photography
62639.800 bridge water intact white arch shape connection reflection TCV the common vein Davidoff photography
A Third Concept –
Some of the Designs of Biology – Trees in Nature and Biology – Enabling Efficient Transport
In biology, the bonding of structures is not only to have them support each other structurally, but also to combine forces to function. In the world of botany, the roots of the trees that absorb water and nutrients have to be connected to the leaves that are the factories of energy production. The branching pattern of the tree typifies the concept of bonding and connecting, but also enabling transport of metabolites to places where they are needed.
Main Trunk and First Divisions
The roots and the leaves have to be connected, and transport of food and water has to be able to be delivered. The rootlets below the ground absorb water and nutrients at the cellular level and as they gather in units to unity format, they emerge as the trunk above ground. The branching pattern above ground reverses the units to unity to accomodate the above ground environment and repeated branching enables the connection of the cells of the rootlets with the cells of the leaves.
22152aa08s.1k trees in the body Chicago Lake Michigan variations Davidoff art Philips RSNA 2008 Copyright 2008
The tree like branching pattern is seen in the body as well. The airways of the lungs takes the oxygen at the trunk of the airway – the trachea and through branching brings the oxygen at a cellular level to the alveoli. The cells of the capillaries connect with the cells of the lungs and then the capillaries advance on a units to unity arborising pattern to enable transport of the oxygen to the heart.
Main Trunk and First Divisions in the Lung
This is a photo taken near Lake Michigan at the end of the Fall in Chicago showing the illuminated base of the naked trees. The dichotomous branching is reminiscent of the tracheal branching into the two mainstem bronchi. Turn them upside down and the similarity is remarkable. Chicago trees branching pattern Lake Michigan Christmas lights asymmetric branching pattern trees in the body
Davidoff photography Copyright 2008 22153c07s.8
Trees in Nature Division oafter Division – All Connected
03105pb01 tree of life tree of knowledge Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD Davidoff photography
Branching in the Airways and Lungs – CTscan
CT reconstructed tracheobronchial tree in a patient with normal airways Courtesy Douglas and Ashley Davidoff MD. 32620
Combining Biology and Nature to Form an Artistic Rendering
32620c01.1.2ks lung tracheobronchial tree airways normal anatomy trees in the body Davidoff art copyright 2008 chronicle high resolution
Another Tree in the Body
The Portal Circulation of the Liver – Artistic Rendering of a CT scan
The tree has a root system below and a branching system above. The nature of the tree and biology is to be gifted a brief period to enable us to borrow from the earth, and to evolve the raw products toward the heavens.
Bringing the Concepts Together in a Medical Educational Endeavour – The Common Vein
Applying Units to Unity, Branching Patterns, Linking, Organizing and Art to Medicine
How to start with a word like “heart” and end up with an encyclopedia of knowledge using an arborised knowledge base, founded in basic principles.
There are 5 basic recurring principles in the field of medicine; structure function, disease, diagnosis, and medicine.
Tenets of Biology and Medicine
Roots Main Stem and First Branches
10354 ( Davidoff art)
When van Gogh started a new painting he started with a single brush stroke – and when Shakespeare or Beethoven started with their endeavors they started with a single unit of their discipline. Take the word heart as the first of your exploration into encyclopedic knowledge and take only the next step – a sentence that describes that word defining the essence of its structure, function, diseases, diagnostic and treatment characteristics. As you become satisfied that you have explored the word at its essence then move on to a paragraph, and then to a chapter and then to the book.
Start with a Word, Advance to the Sentence, and then to the Paragraph.
If you are interested it can grow to an Encyclopedia
Inverted Cone Growth
10357b06 ( Davidoff )
Apply the Principles of Structure Function Disease Diagnosis and Treatment to each Organ System as The Cone is Advanced
Inverted Cone Building Units
Advancing From Simplicity to Complexity
Each Limb of the tree Will Have Smaller Branches
Universal Descriptors of Biological Structure
11427 b02 Davidoff
Adding Each of the Organs
Using Units to Unity to Build The Common Vein
10355b structure function disease diagnosis treatment drawing Courtesy Ashley Davidoff MD ikon TCV