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Life's Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable (Science Essentials): 24

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At the 1990 San Marino Grand Prix Giacomelli said that he was scared he might be struck from behind as his car was so slow. The race team usually consisted of only nine people: the racing driver; Sergio Barbasio (team manager); Franco Scapini (test driver); Francesca Papa (Ernesto Vita's wife); Maurizio Ferrari (engineer); Emilio Gabrielli (truckie and mechanic); and the three mechanics: chief mechanic Oliver Piazzi, Heinz Willi Mueller and Luca Cassoni. Some of the microbes aid in the sponge's nutrition, while others produce toxic chemicals that keep predators away. Over two billion years ago a cyanobacterium that was engulfed by another organism became a chloroplast spreading the ability to transform the suns energy into organic nutrients.

Having started reading the book in my usual fifteen-minutes-with-a-cup-of-coffee breaks, I found I had to go back over some chapters as complete units, after I realised how much I had not absorbed properly.These cells are very similar to single cell organisms, choanoflagellates, which filter feed individually or stuck together in simple colonies. They modified ones from microbes such as those that enable microbes to propel themselves through the water. Evolution is traced through Darwin and Mendel, with Dujardin in 1844 observing the similarity between free-living choanoflagellates and the choanocytes of sponges, through Schimper's recognition of endosymbiosis in 1883 and on to the antibiotic era (although Fleming and penicillin aren't mentioned), through DNA and climate change, and even space travel. I think it’s so interesting that photosynthesis occurs in multiple distinct groups having only evolved once.

Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. On page 165 in one paragraph, seven different names were mentioned along with colleges, dates, and ages. Da sempre sono affascinato dalle riflessioni sulle origini dell'universo, dal Big Bang alla nascita del Sistema Solare, e con questo libro ho voluto proseguire in questa affascinante storia affrontando alcuni temi riguardanti l'origine della vita sul nostro pianeta e la sua evoluzione (della vita e del pianeta stesso) ad opera di questi invisibili e instancabili lavoratori, i microbi.I believe I have a basic understanding of biology but at times the content was a little difficult to grasp.

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