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Book Review: “The Vital Question”

Nick Lane’s book, “The Vital Question”,tackles some of the toughest questions in biology today, such as the how, and in what environments, life originated, how the complex eukaryotic cell evolved, how the cellular mechanisms to generate energy echo back to the days before biology, and why sexual reproduction is the way it is based constraints placed on us by our energy generating systems -the mitochondria.

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Origins Sunday: Early life liked it salty!

Cool link below describing research that shows how a certain set of 10 amino acids will fold when exposed to high salt concentrations, like those found naturally in certain regions of the early earth.  This may have allowed proteins to be functional before the cellular machinery to fold proteins had yet evolved.  Our earliest ancestors may have been halophiles (salt lovers).  Unfortunately, many of us retain that salt loving trait, and perhaps that’s why I love pizza so much?!? – craving the salt that my Archean ancestors loved so!