How much do I want to read more? 8/10
Science as I like it. Understanding what our cells and nucleus are doing on their own can be fascinating. In the mitochondria genes is encoded the programmation of the cell death, a kind of cell suicide for the greater good of the whole organism. In case of cancer, this mechanism gets dysfonctional. It might sounds paradoxical that cell death means life, and cell immortality means death.
As this book explains modern biology facts, we realize how recent those discoveries are, and how little do we know in this microscopic world that makes us.
The wonders of life's mysteries in a scientific way.
Introduction - Mitochondria, Clandestine Rulers of the World
Mitochondria are tiny organelles inside cells that generate almost all our energy in the form of ATP.
On average there are 300–400 in every cell.
they use oxygen to burn up food.
They are so small that one billion of them would fit comfortably in a grain of sand.
is apoptosis, or programmed cell death, in which individual cells commit suicide for the greater good.
failure to commit apoptosis when called upon to do so is a root cause of cancer.
In cancer, individual cells bid for freedom. why would potentially free-living cells accept a death penalty for the privilege of living in a larger community of cells.
Without programmed cell death, the bonds that bind cells in complex multicellular organisms might never have evolved. And because programmed cell death depends on mitochondria, it may be that multicellular organisms could not exist without mitochondria.
for procreation or not, it would be better if everybody was the same sex, or if there were an almost infinite number of sexes: two is the worst of all possible worlds.
We need to have two sexes because one sex must specialize to pass on mitochondria in the egg cell, while the other must special- ize not to pass on its mitochondria in the sperm.
the mechanism by which mitochondria generate energy, by pumping protons across a membrane (chemiosmosis), is found in all forms of life. It’s a bizarre way of going about things.
Why did such a peculiar means of generating energy become so central to so many different forms of life? The answer, we shall see, throws light on the origin of life itself.