22.28, Monday 28 Jan 2008 Link to this post
The chloroplast organelle, which performs photosynthesis in plants, is more complex, structurally, than the mitochondria which use oxygen to turn food molecules into ATP (energy-carrying chemical; an abstract interface) in most eucaryotes. Eucaryotes are cells with a nucleus--cells without a nucleus are procaryotes, which come as eubacteria and archaea.
Mitochondria, themselves, appear to be bacteria captured by procaryotes very early in the evolution of cells with nuclei, and now the two live symbiotically.
Two crazy things:
- We - and I identify with the procharyotes-mod-mitochondria for some reason - live stacked on a substrate of captured energy transformers. We can't live in the world raw. We wear an internal space-suit that permeates every cell.
- It's possible that plants are more advanced than animals, at a cellular level, but us animals - because we took the 'worse is better' approach - have had more time to do the bounded random walk into intelligence. Give it a billion years, and maybe the underlying smarter engineering of plants will win out in the end.
Life: amazing. (Current reading is ECB2. Lots to learn.)