Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘eukaryotes

How living organisms were created?

From “A short history of nearly everything” by Bill Bryson

When it was created, Earth had no oxygen in its environment.

Cyanobacteria or algae break down water by absorbing the hydrogen and release the oxygen waste,which is actually a very toxic element to every anaerobic organism.

Our white blood cells actually use oxygen to kill invading bacteria.  This process of releasing oxygen is called photosynthesis, undoubtedly the most important single metabolic innovation in the history of life on the planet.

It took two billion years for our environment to accumulate 20% of oxygen, since oxygen was absorbed to oxidize every conceivable mineral on Earth, rust the mineral, and sink it in the bottom of oceans.

Life started when special bacteria used oxygen to summon up enough energy to work and photosynthesize.

Mitochondria, tiny organism, manipulates oxygen in a way that liberates energy from foodstuffs . They are very hungry organisms that a billion of them are packed in a grain of sand.

Mitochondria maintain their own DNA, RNA, and ribosome and behave as if they think things might not work out between us.

They look like bacteria, divide like bacteria and sometimes respond to antibiotics in the same way bacteria do; they live in cells but do not speak the same genetic language.

The truly nucleated cells are called eukaryotes and we ended up with two kinds of them: those that expel oxygen, like plants, and those that take in oxygen, like us.

Single-celled eukaryote contains 400 million bits of genetic information in its DNA, enough to fill 80 books of 500 pages.  It took a billion years for eukaryotes to learn to assemble into complex multi-cellular beings.

Microbes or bacteria form an intrinsic unit with our body and our survival.  They are in the trillions, grazing on our fleshy plains and breaking down our foodstuff and our waste into useful elements for our survival.

They synthesize vitamins in our guts, convert food into sugar and polysaccharides and go to war on alien microbes; they pluck nitrogen from the air and convert it into useful nucleotides and amino acids for us, a process that is extremely difficult to manufacture industrially.

Microbes continue to regenerate the air that we breathe with oxygen.  Microbes are very prolific and can split and generate 280 billion offspring within a day.

In every million divisions, a microbe may produce a mutant with a slight characteristic that can resist antibodies.

The most troubling is that microbes are endowed with the ability to evolve rapidly and acquire the genes of the mutants and become a single invincible super-organism; any adaptive change that occurs in one area of the bacterial province can spread to any other.

Microbes are generally harmless unless, by accident, they move from a specialized location in the body to another location such as the blood stream, for example, or are attacked by viruses, or our white blood cells go on a rampage.

Microbes can live almost anywhere; some were found in nuclear power generators feeding on uranium, some in the deep seas, some in sulfuric environment, some in extreme climate, and some can survive in enclosed bottles for hundred of years, as long as there is anything to feed on.

Viruses or phages can infect bacteria. A virus are not alive, they are nucleic acid, inert and harmless in isolation and visible by the electron microscope. Viruses barely have ten genes; even the smallest bacteria require several thousand genes..  But introduce them into a suitable host and they burst into life.

Viruses prosper by hijacking the genetic material of a living cell and reproduce in a fanatical manner.  About 5,000 types of virus are known and they afflict us with the flu, smallpox, rabies, yellow fever, Ebola, polio and AIDS.

Viruses burst upon the world in some new and startling form and then vanish as quickly as they came after killing millions of individuals in a short period.

There are billions of species. Tropical rainforests that represent only 6% of the Earth surface harbor more than half of its animal life and two third of its flowering plants.

A quarter of all prescribed medicines are derived from just 40 plants and 16% coming from microbes.

The discovery of new flowery plants might provide humanity with chemical compounds that have passed the “ultimate screening program” over billions of years of evolution.

The tenth of the weight of a six year-old pillow is made up of mites, living or dead, and mite dung; washing at low temperature just get the lice cleaner!


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

November 2020
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