Mitochondria are tiny structures located inside our cells — miniature powerhouses that use oxygen to generate power. How elegant that such a simple answer can be provided for such a variety of fundamental questions.
Piecing together puzzles from the forefront of research, this book paints a sweeping canvas that will thrill all who are interested in biology, while also contributing to evolutionary thinking and debate.
The author has accomplished something quite breathtaking So on earth the first variety dominated and culled any new competition and this is the reason why another eukaryote never evolved.
Written in a lucid and conversational style, the book makes for very easy reading and even the hard concepts are put across in simple and sometimes quite entertaining style. Unlike our nuclear DNA therefore, our mitochondria are exclusively Lane says almost female in descent, a fact that has been used to study human ancestry from some so-called "mitochondrial Eve" living in Africa aboutyears ago - a story of which he is a little cautious.
This is not to say that Lane has no opinions quite the contrary, the book is full of thembut those he has do not seem to be based on any particular bias a priori. About the author Power, Sex, Suicide reveals the incredible role that mitochondria play in the evolution of complex life forms.
Power, sex, suicide Mitochondria and the meaning of life. It is entirely possible.
There are hundreds of them in each cell, some 10 million billion in a human being. Instead of eating the creatures they swallowed, they used the mitochondria to perform the chemical transformations needed to derive the maximum energy from their other foodstuffs.
As for suicide, this refers to the fact that, during development from the single fertilised egg to the fully formed adult, whether the few thousands of a tiny worm or the hundred trillion in the human body, many times more cells are born than survive; this over-production is, it seems, a necessary part of development and many of the cells that die en route are indeed "programmed" so to do, and it is their mitochondria, he argues, that generate the chemicals which kill them.
For mitochondria were once free-living bacteria, and still retain unmistakable traits of their ancestry, including some of their original DNA. In the end It does not quiet explain the meaning of life in the traditional terms but does put forward a very strong argument that life as we know it today owes a lot to those little symbiotes that inhabit every single cell in us.
Mitochondriologists may find some of his preferred hypotheses too controversial but they, and anyone interested in the broader and more philosophical aspects of their discipline, will profit from reading the book — David G.
But although this is where older biochemical stories including my own Chemistry of Life would have started and even ended, it is not where Lane begins, and for a fascinating reason. What conditions prevailed to make it possible?
What atoms are to physicists, cells are to biologists: Of the seven sections in the book, I found the first and the last to be the most fun to read, as Lane provides his own spin on where mitochondria came from and where they are taking us.
Keeping with the ambition of the subtitle, the book grapples with some of the toughest questions known to evolutionary science - How did life originate on earth? Nick Lane is a biochemist and his book devotedly plots the latest findings and controversies in a field whose protagonists have exasperatedly - if also affectionately - long been known as mitochondriacs by their less committed colleagues.
Now, imagine that in another billion years, another similar chimera was formed.
This is a new take on why we are here. But, and this is strangely overlooked by the author though it is firmly fixed in Darwinian principles the fact that it did not happen a second time on earth in billions of years does not preclude the possibility that in another world where organisms are still primitive enough to be competing to eat external resources and not each other, a new chimera could evolve and move to uninhabited vastnesses where they would then use their eukaryotic nature to found another kingdom of life.
Such are the wide variety of audacious questions asked and almost answered in this book and the astonishing thing for me was that it was not some five thousand pages longer with this sort of blindingly vast scope. A dialogue between the nuclear and mitochondrial genes appears to take place.
The book looks at various functions of multicellular organisms, including energy generation, cellular relationships and life cycles, and demonstrates the influence of mitochondria in each of these areas.
Unlike the DNA in the nucleus, mitochondrial DNA is passed down exclusively or almost exclusively via the female line.
Single celled organisms can reproduce by budding; most multicellular forms use sex, in which two cells merge and shuffle their genes. Ignore the ugly cover and buy the book. Moreover, he brings the science alive In seven broad sections, Lane takes us on a three-billion-year tour of the organelle, starting with the evolutionary origins of mitochondria, proceeding to their role in oxidative energy metabolism as well as their necessity for the development of complex multicellular organisms and - more provocatively - of sex, and ending with the recent discovery of their role in apoptosis and its implication for aging.
Oxidising sugars, and coupling that oxidation to the synthesis of ATP, is what most of us older biochemists were taught that mitochondria are about, although it took many years, ingenious experiments and much quite savage controversy before the extraordinary mechanism for such synthesis won the rich and eccentric biochemist Peter Mitchell his Nobel prize in It was a literal gold rush for them.
Where data are not available, he speculates freely, but also within the bounds of reason. I found the chapters on sex and maternal more properly, uniparental inheritance the least persuasive.
Why did eukaryotic cell come together to form colonies and eventually multicellular organisms? Mitochondria, then, are pivotal in power, sex, and suicide. Lane clearly loves this organelle, but unlike people who study mitochondria for a living, he has few axes to grind. Do, please, read this book.
Ever since their fateful absorption, the tortuous and unpredictable relationship between the mitochondria and their host cells has forced one evolutionary innovation after another.The central proposals of Power, Sex, Suicide are clearly and forcefully propounded, are serious, have far-reaching consequences — and may even be correct.
This is a new take on why we are here.
Do, please, read this book. Power, Sex, Suicide () reveals the incredible role that mitochondria play in the evolution of complex life forms. The book looks at various functions of multicellular organisms, including energy generation, cellular relationships and life cycles, and demonstrates the influence of mitochondria in.
Buy Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life on killarney10mile.com FREE SHIPPING on qualified orders/5(). Buy Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the meaning of life (Oxford Landmark Science) 2nd Revised edition by Nick Lane (ISBN: ) from Amazon's Book Store.
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Power, Sex, Suicide has 2, ratings and reviews. Riku said: The subtitle of the book says “Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life” and the author tr /5. In Power, Sex, Suicide author Nick Lane, being a biochemist himself, focuses on the scientific side of the argument.
It wasn't till the 's that the first intercellular structures were observed and later, inthe term "mitochondria" was first coined/5().Download