Sunday, November 04, 2007

Inner Life of a Cell

This incredible animation shows what happens when a leukocyte slows down inside a capillary and gets ready to sqeeze through the lining endothelial cells... bear in mind this sort of thing happens probably billions of times a second when you have a cold! I particularly like the 'walking protein'.

One thing that i've been wondering about for a while about is the fact that proteins are built from 1-dimensional linear chains of amino acids- coded for by linear chains of DNA/RNA. What an inefficient way to make a 3 dimensional structure. It's like having to bend a "chair" out of a single very long length of coat-hanger wire, rather than just banging 4 legs on to a base.

Maybe life began as self-replicating (linear) RNA and the process was adapted to serve the building of "bodies" made of (linear) amino-acid chains.

There MUST be a better nano-construction method- and i'm sure the Aliens will have discovered it.

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