19 May 2012

Boundaries and thresholds

Three shorts on: widening the definition of life; finding what may be the first biological clock; and locating what may be one of its outer edges:
  • One may define life, to the extent that the question makes sense, as a 'far-from-equilibrium dissipative system,' says Charley Lineweaver;
  • An enzyme called peroxiredoxin (PRX) has acted as a biological clock in all organisms since about 2.5 billion years ago;
  • 86 million year old mud 30 metres below the sea floor contains archaea that take hundreds to thousands of years to go through one division.

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