Genetic Takeover: And the Mineral Origins of Life by A. G. Cairns-Smith

By A. G. Cairns-Smith

3 key principles substitute the proposal "primordial soup" of natural molecules was once crucial during this clarification of the way lifestyles in the world developed.

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Up until this point, one cell is pretty much like another, both in appearance and in position. Then changes begin. A few of the cells collect on the inner face of the ball and spread out to form a sheet, and then the sheet folds, forming two layers, then a third in the middle. From these three layers arise the body’s tissues. Cell differentiation begins as different genes turn on or off. A cell destined to be part of the heart muscle, for example, produces huge amounts of proteins that can contract.

Well-studied stem cells include those in the skin, small intestine, and bone marrow, all tissues whose cells are replaced very often. One type, mesenchymal stem cells, are tucked into bone marrow and other places, but they can migrate to the site of an injury. Here, responding to signals, they differentiate into blood, muscle, cartilage, bone, fat cells, and the outer layers of blood vessels—whatever is needed to repair the damage. Other types of stem cells have been more recently discovered, such as those in the brain, heart, and muscles.

Cells differ in the number of lysosomes they contain. 2) are the body’s scavengers, moving about and engulfing bacteria. They are loaded with lysosomes. Liver cells require many lysosomes to break down cholesterol and toxins. All lysosomes contain more than 40 types of digestive enzymes, which must be in correct balance to maintain health. Absence or malfunction of just one type of enzyme causes a lysosomal storage disease. In these inherited disorders, the molecule that the missing or abnormal enzyme normally degrades accumulates.

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