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new biology


Evolution of the First Organism

Joseph Panno, Ph.D.

THE CELL: Evolution of the First Organism Copyright © 2005 by Joseph Panno, Ph.D. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage or retrievalsystems, without permission in writing from the publisher. For information contact: Facts On File, Inc. 132 West 31st Street New York NY 10001 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Panno, Joseph. The cell : evolution of the first organism / Joseph Panno. p. cm. — (New biology) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-8160-4946-7 (alk. paper) 1. Cells—Popular works. 2.Cells—Evolution—Popular works. I. Title. QH582.4.P36 2004 571.6—dc222003025841 Facts On File books are available at special discounts when purchased in bulk quantities for businesses, associations, institutions or sales promotions. Please call our Special Sales Department in New York at (212) 967-8800 or (800) 322-8755. You can find Facts On File on the World Wide Web at Textdesign by Erika K. Arroyo Cover design by Kelly Parr Illustrations by Sholto Ainslie and Joseph Panno Printed in the United States of America MP FOF 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 This book is printed on acid-free paper.

For my wife, Diana, who worked with me in the lab for many years, and for my daughter Eleanor, who knew about cells before she could read or write. V

PrefaceAcknowledgments Introduction xi xiii xv


The Origin of Life
The Big Bang The Importance of Violent Storms Essential Molecules Formed Spontaneously Life Began in an RNA World Once upon a Wave The Classification of Cells

1 2 4 10 11 15


Prokaryotes: Laying the Foundations
A Simple but Versatile Cell The Quest for Power The Importance of Good Housekeeping A Lost World A New Genetic OrderThe Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

17 21 26 27 28 32


Eukaryotes: Dawn of a New Era
Overview of Eukaryote Structure and Function The Nucleus Protein Synthesis Designing a Molecular Forest The Birth of Communication

40 45 48 49 52

Symbiosis and the Quest for Power Recycling and Defense

57 58


The Cell Cycle
DNA Replication Binary Fission Mitosis Meiosis

62 6767 70


The Human Genome Project The Future of Genomic Research Turning Genes On and Off Gene Monitors and Repair Crews Jumping Genes

76 83 84 88 90


From Cells to Bodies
The Road to Multicellular Creatures Cell Junctions Cells in the Human Body Cells of the Immune System

92 96 98 108


Neurons: Pushing Back the Night
Neural Anatomy Signal Transduction TheSynaptic Junction Myelination Neurotransmitters Neural Circuits Summary

113 114 118 118 121 122 125


Resource Center
Light Microscopy Histology and Histochemistry Recombinant DNA Technology

126 130 133 147 173 177

Glossary Further Reading Index

The New Biology set consists of the following six volumes: The Cell, Animal Cloning, Stem Cell Research, GeneTherapy, Cancer, and Aging. The set is intended primarily for middle and high school students, but it is also appropriate for first-year university students and the general public. In writing this set, I have tried to balance the need for a comprehensive presentation of the material, covering many complex fields, against the danger of burying—and thereby losing—young students under a mountain ofdetail. Thus the use of lengthy discussions and professional jargon has been kept to a minimum, and every attempt has been made to ensure that this be done without sacrificing the important elements of each topic. A large number of drawings are provided throughout the series to illustrate the subject matter. The term new biology was coined in the 1970s with the introduction of recombinant DNA...
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