Calcium: The Grand-Master Cell Signaler

Author : James F. Whitfield & Balu Chakravarthy

Published in : Canadian Cataloguing in Publication Data

ISBN :  0-660-18991-7

File type : pdf

File Size : 6 mb

Language : English


here have been many revolutions, but none have had as great an impact on this planet and ourselves as the Great Calcium-Driven Eukaryotic Revolution (GCDER) that happened around 3–1.8 Ga(i.e.,3×10 9 –1.8×10 9 years)ago. 2,3 The events leading up to that momentous revolution started fast and furiously after the birth of the planet, about 4.5 Ga ago, perhaps on the surfaces of the plentiful clay crystals or iron pyrites which collected, concentrated, and catalyzed the interaction of the many inorganic and organic molecules being forged in the hot young planet or were coming preformed in the deluge of accretion rocks that were building the planet. In time, relatively impermeable, protolipid membranes came to enclose such crystal-bound concentrates within which net-
works of reactions for making, maintaining, and replicating the new living things could then be established and retained. 4–7 There was no lack of energy in the neonatal planet to drive these reactions. There was solar energy, but this was a mixed blessing because “sun-blockers,” such as a layer of water and mucilages, were needed to reduce the intensity of the sunlight and protect the nascent structures from prompt demolition, since there was no ozone layer in the as yet oxygen less world to shield them from UV. Until 4 Ga ago ,there were massive showers of space rocks, the impacts of which periodically melted large parts of the planet and converted the oceans to steam and destroyed any proto cells. In between the bombardments, there was much CO 2 from the “out-gassing” volcanoes that were making and pumping out the planet’s new atmosphere (the planet was much too small to retain the hydrogen that was the largest part of its natal gas cloud), and since nothing had yet been invented to use it, it caused a greenhouse warming. There also were volcano-generated pyrophosphates, the forerunners of ATP that made their way into the crystal-bound concentrates.
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