Alpha and Omega: from the Sagrada Familia to Placenta and Cancer

Miguel Hernández-Bronchud

Affiliation: GCCC 360 Oncology Genesis Care Corachán, Barcelona, Spain

Keywords: Placental, Immune, Editing, Switches, Foeto-Maternal, Tolerance, Carcinogenesis, Immune Checkpoints, Antoni Gaudi

Categories: Medicine, Visual Arts, Architecture and Design, Humanities, Social Sciences and Law

DOI: 10.17160/josha.7.3.677

Languages: English

The links between architecture and science are as old as these human achievements. But modern scientific thought and methods are much more recent than architecture. In 1660, Christopher Wren gave a lecture at one of the regular meetings of the natural philosophers who used to meet at Gresham College in the city of London, and there it was decided to form a society for the promotion of "Physical-Mathematical Experimental Learning". Two years later the Royal Society (now the National Academy of Sciences of the United Kingdom) was born. The Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí was more interested in geometry and God than in scientific research. His obsession with the Alpha and Omega is clearly visible in many of his works. Here we briefly review his impact on his masterpiece in Barcelona, and a certain symbolic conceptual parallelism with the hypothesis that some mechanisms of immunological escape from the placenta (which physiologically lead to Birth) may perhaps be redistributed by cancer cells to avoid immune surveillance (which pathologically leads to Death).

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Comments

Gerhard G. Steinmann

29. May

It's a great and heart-warming interdisciplinary intellectual oeuvre for all people who love Gaudi’s Barcelona. It presents convincing parallels between the architecture of La Sagrada Familia and oncologic modelling by reflecting PIES (Placental Immune Editing Switches) based on Bronchud’s own recent studies. The paper builds another remarkable interdisciplinary bridge to “creative destruction” that was coined by Austrian economist Joseph Schumpeter. The article is easy to read and provides a lot of brilliant conceptual ideas and fascinating brainstorming.