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Book review: Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life

I don't remember hearing any mention of mitochondria in physiology lectures as a medical student in the 1950s. Although they are often in the news nowadays, Lane still describes mitochondria as a badly kept secret and an enigma. In this brilliant evolution-based account he shows why they are literally vital to life and have a central role in sex, ageing, and death. If they did not exist the world would be wholly populated by bacteria, and this may well be the case in almost all other planets on which life exists. In other words, the evolution of the eukaryotic cell (cell with a nucleus) was a one-off event that might easily never have happened. [More]

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