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Human Body

12 tHE EArlIEst survIvor one stormy night about four billion years ago Organic life sprang from one first cell, formed amid a swarm of molecular mosaics in a long lost pool. Just how all the ingredients coalesced in the right circumstances, nobody knows, but happily, the mother of us all survived, replicated, diversified, and evolved. After the dark early eons, cells used light, carbon dioxide CO2, and water to make carbohydrates and oxygen, as plants still do. With atmospheric oxygen rising wildly, one cell mastered a chain reaction that used this fiery gas to turn carbohydrates and water into CO2 and energy, as we still do. This genius made it welcome inside other cells, thus furthering the tradition of endosymbiosis. Hundreds of descendants of these archaebacteria live inside each of your cells, as mitochondria, and the air you breathe is for them. Promitochondria werent the only cohabitants in early cells, but have kept their genes and reproduction largely to themselves. Eukaryotic cells, which make up complex organisms like plants and humans, were made by several organisms, with pooled genes evolving into a nucleus. So our smallest living subunit, the cell, itself began as a cooperative of even smaller earlier organisms. Prokaryotes bacteria retain the ability to exchange genes below just as we swap ideas, the global bacterial superorganism accessing a common gene pool in order to adapt to local niches.
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