One Plus One Equals One: Symbiosis and the evolution of complex life

Paperback | October 7, 2016

byJohn Archibald

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We are in the midst of a revolution. It is a scientific revolution built upon the tools of molecular biology, with which we probe and prod the living world in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. Need to track a bacterium at the root of a hospital outbreak? No problem: the offending germ'scomplete genetic profile can be obtained in 24 hours. We insert human DNA into E. coli bacteria to produce our insulin. It is natural to look at biotechnology in the 21st century with a mix of wonder and fear. But biotechnology is not as 'unnatural' as one might think. All living organisms use the same molecular processes to replicate their genetic material and the same basic code to "read" their genes. Thesimilarities can be seen in their DNA. Here, John Archibald shows how evolution has been "plugging-and-playing" with the subcellular components of life from the very beginning and continues to do so today. For evidence, we need look no further than the inner workings of our own cells. Molecularbiology has allowed us to gaze back more than three billion years, revealing the microbial mergers and acquisitions that underpin the development of complex life. One Plus One Equals One tells the story of how we have come to this realization and its implications.

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We are in the midst of a revolution. It is a scientific revolution built upon the tools of molecular biology, with which we probe and prod the living world in ways unimaginable a few decades ago. Need to track a bacterium at the root of a hospital outbreak? No problem: the offending germ'scomplete genetic profile can be obtained in 24 ...

John Archibald is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Dalhousie University, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, Program in Integrated Microbial Biodiversity, and was a Visiting By-Fellow at Churchill College, University of Cambridge, UK, in ...
Format:PaperbackDimensions:224 pagesPublished:October 7, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019875812X

ISBN - 13:9780198758129

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. Life as we don't know it2. Revolutions in biology3. The seeds of symbiosis4. Molecular rulers of life's kingdoms5. Bacteria becomes organelles: an insider's take6. The complex cell: when, who, where, and how?7. Green evolution, green revolution8. Back to the future9. EpilogueGlossary