John Mew’s lectures part 1: the cell volition theory

Orthotropics 1 The Cell Volition Theory.

Before we talk about the best way to correct malocclusion we should really discuss why it occurs and before even that we should think about what creates a good occlusion. This means looking at growth and how all organisms grow from a single cell. In 1958, I was very interested in John Gurdon’s experiments with cloning. He was able to take the nucleus from a somatic cell of a tadpole and implant it into an enucleated egg cell.

This then developed into a twin of the original tadpole or frog. This told me that every cell in the body contained all the necessary information to make a complete individual.

A Hydra is a water living animal that is only a few millimetres long and consists of a tube with a sticker at the bottom and tentacles at the top. If you cut off a tentacle it will grow again showing that the cells around it know it has gone and needs to be replaced, even if you cut the Hydra in half the larger bit or sometimes both bits will grow into a complete Hydra. It has no brain or control system so each cell must know what has happened and what to do.

The same applies to humans, although we cannot grow another leg or arm, we can replace a lobe of the liver. If it is removed, the remaining cells will restore it to the same size and shape it was before. We might ask how this growth is controlled. I was taught it was by either a control system or hormones or something else we were not sure about. However it seemed obvious to me that nothing could instruct the millions of cells in a palisade like the periosteum of the mandible, how can each of them be given separate instructions to perform the subtly different tasks necessary when remodelling takes place?  

To answer this I put forward my “Cell Volition Theory” where I suggested that during our evolution, when cells first joined together to form multicellular organisms, the individual cells still maintained their own volition even if they worked together for the good of the whole. The only additional information they needed was, where they were in the organism.

Let’s look at a butterflies’ wing, each of the colour cells develops in the neural crest and then migrates to where it displays its colour. Although it is not motile it wriggles its way between all the other cells (millions of them) until it arrives at the right spot. How can it have the ability to do that? It must have a map of the whole body and know exactly where it should be. That is why position and its association with posture is so important. We can next look at how humans grow.