Tagged: cells

Analects of the Core: Lane on the origin of life

Night followed day in swift succession. On earth at that time a day lasted for only five or six hours. The planet spun madly on its axis. The moon hung heavy and threatening in the sky, far closer, and so looking much bigger, than today. Stars rarely shone, for the atmosphere was full of smog […]

Analects of the Core: Lane on evolution of cellular complexity

Mitochondria are a silly place to store genes.  They are often glibly called the powerhouses of  the cell, but the parallel is quite exact.  Mitochondrial membranes generate an electric charge, operating across a few millionths of a millimetre, with the same voltage as a bolt of lightning, a thousand times more powerful than domestic writing.  […]

Analects of the Core: Lane on eukaryotes and mitochondrial jumping genes

The chimeric ancestor of the eukaryotes apparently succumbed to an invasion of jumping genes from its mitochondria. — Nick Lane, in his discussion of the evolution of cellular complexity, page 115, in Life Ascending: The Ten Great Inventions of Evolution, a book now studied in CC106: Biodiversity