7.  Dynamic Symmetry and Complementary Asymmetry:
The Paradigm of Organic Vitality and Success

In 1994 I published a book with artist Glen Peterson on Dynamic Symmetry and Holistic Asymmetry.  We found patterns of Dynamic Symmetry and Holistic (I now prefer the term Complementary) Asymmetry to be universal in art and science.  These patterns are found in the structure and function of DNA (see below), in atomic and subatomic physics, and in Western and Navajo art.  These principles and patterns are also universally encoded in the genetic structures all living beings.

Our breeding program is based on these universal genetic patterns.  We humans recreate these patterns in much of our art and music, in the ways we dress and dance, and in the forms and designs of what we construct and create.  In the design of our breeding program, we follow these paradigms according to which the whole cosmos is organized and formulated and by which it functions at an optimum level.   In doing this, we feel we are optimizing our chances of breeding the best cattle we can breed because these paradigms are at the foundation of organic vitality and success everywhere.

Commercial breeders utilizing cross breeding should also follow these patterns as well.  Instead, they mostly practice indiscriminate, haphazard cross breeding, like most seedstock producers who think in only one generation increments.  The result has been the mongrelization of the nation’s cow herd, and the inconsistent beef we sell today.  Cattlemen apparently cannot see beyond the cover, thinking that black hides will somehow mask their indiscriminate breeding programs and yield some sort of illusive consistency.  Consistency needs to be designed and concentrated.   This can only be achieved by careful and disciplined line breeding and line crossing.

Real genetic progress is accomplished by a long term and well formulated plan, as well as by careful and aggressive selection procedures in the implementation of that plan.  The symmetry of our breeding program is in the line breeding of Optimum and Feltons 517, where they will be the grandsires on all four lines of the pedigree of our two primary lines of cattle.

The complementary asymmetry of our breeding design is found in the four outcross females to which Optimum and Feltons 517 are bred.  To insure complementary asymmetry or heterozygosity, two of these foundation females are horned (264 and PR05) and two are polled (820 and 529).  These females are strong in milk, strong in scrotal EPD, and more moderate in their growth and birthweight EPDs than Optimum is.  As such they stand in complementary asymmetry to Optimum.  Together Optimum and the four foundation females form a prolific union built on the genetic principles of dynamic symmetry and complementary asymmetry, just like the double helix does in the underlying structure of strands of DNA.

The symmetry and complementary asymmetry of the DNA molecule is similar to the symmetry and complementary asymmetry found in the pedigrees of  9833 and 9834.  In the DNA molecule, the nitrogen-containing base consists of pyrimidines with one carbon-nitrogen ring and purines with two carbon-nitrogen rings.  The pyrimidines are cytosine and thymine.  The purines are adenine and guanine.  In addition to differences in the numbers of C-N rings, an amino group (NH) is present at the number 4 position of cytosine and at the number 6 position of adenine.  Likewise, a keto group (C=0) occurs at these positions (4 and 6) in thymine and guanine.  Thus the four principal constituents of DNA are in complementary asymmetry with each other.

The four bases of DNA occur in linear nucleotide chains.  The coding pattern operates in sets of three.  Each base represents one nucleotide, and three nucleotides make a set.  But there are many sets of nucleotides on a strand of DNA.  Human chromosomes contain several billion nucleotides.  The code on each strand of DNA in different individuals is different because the linear sequence of the four bases (adenine, guanine cytosine and thymine) are varied, providing for almost an infinite number of possibilities.

Linear strands of nucleotides occur in pairs.  These strands of nucleotides are like interwoven ropes, ribbons or staircases.  Each strand is an exact complement of the other.  Where adenine occurs of the first strand, thymine will occur on the other, held together by hydrogen bonding.  Where thymine occurs on the first strand, adenine will occur on the other strand.  This is also true of guanine and cytosine.  The two strands are complementary asymmetrical opposites in orientation and polarity.  They exist in  complementary asymmetry to each other, like males and females.  Many people call these paired strands a double helix .  I prefer to call them male and female strands held together by hydrogen bonding, as I have in the diagram above.

Working in conjunction with DNA is RNA.  RNA is similar in composition to DNA with two exceptions.  The sugar in RNA contains five carbons and is called ribose.  DNA lacks one oxygen atom in its sugar, and this is called deoxyribonucleic acid.  RNA is called ribonucleic acid. Both consist of a sugar, a phosphate group and carbon-nitrogen containing portions called bases.  It is the base structure that is relevant to genetic inheritance and protein synthesis.  The carbon-nitrogen bases of RNA are the same as for DNA with the exception that uracil in RNA replaces thymine in DNA.  The complementary asymmetrical structure of mRNA is shown below:

There are three types of RNA:  nuclear, ribosomal and soluble.  Each of these kinds of RNA plays an important role in either carrying coded messages from the DNA strand or implementing the messages in the synthesis of proteins.  The nuclear RNA is the only RNA that can penetrate the nucleus of the cell and transcribe a code from the DNA.  This kind of RNA is frequently called messenger RNA or mRNA.  The mRNA links up with only one strand of the DNA double helix (the sense strand) and transcribes its code in a complementary asymmetrical pattern.  The transcribed sequence turns out to be the exact sequence of the opposite strand of the DNA, resulting in a situation where the mRNA and the opposite DNA strand are the same and and in complementary asymmetry to the linked or transcribed strand.  This results from the dynamics of complementary polarity and bonding.  This is all illustrated in the diagram above.

In the process of transcription, the mRNA relays the message from the DNA to the ribosomal or rRNA.  The mRNA serves as a template for the interconnection of different amino acids that are carried as a template by the soluble RNA called transfer RNA or tRNA.  The entire process of protein synthesis and DNA replication constitutes the central dogma of genetics.  This process or pattern is built upon four constituents in symmetrical and complementary asymmetrical relationships to each other, exemplified in the structure of the double helix of DNA, in the structure of RNA and in the complementary asymmetrical transcription of DNA by mRNA.

In our breeding program, symmetry is represented in the symmetrical line breeding of MSU Optimum Z03.  Complementary asymmetry is found in the complementary diversity of the four foundation females.  Optimum represents the constant, symmetrical element and the four foundation females are the varied, diverse and complementary elements in the breeding design.  This design is at the foundation of the success and vitality of life everywhere on earth.

The maximization of the principles of dynamic symmetry and complementary asymmetry will attain a further level of realization when the line bred Optimum calves are mated with the line bred Feltons 517 calves, each of which will be produced by symmetrical and asymmetrical pairings.  The progeny produced by the line crossing of the linebreds will be used to attain another level of complementary asymmetrical success by using these on total outcross lines of cattle which we have been putting together over the last couple of years and which we will continue develop over the next few years.

As I learned from the Navajo long ago and as I learned from genetics more recently, all things are done in symmetrical and asymmetrical pairs and quads.  When combined, symmetrical and asymmetrical pairs produce quadrilateral patterns and dynamics.  That is why line breeding and line crossing should be done in four generation segments, and a breeding program should have four lines of cattle with which to line breed and to line cross.  All of this is expressed in the symbolism of our logo, which is based on Navajo weaving designs that represent the dynamics of organic life and a cosmos in motion.

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