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Chapter 4 : Searching for the Meaning of “Life”

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Searching for the Meaning of “Life”, Page 1 of 2

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Abstract:

The author was exhilarated by the opportunity at MIT to work with an extremophile (). The DNA-based biotechnology revolution is growing, and Cambridge is at the heart. The author's thesis described the regulation of active oxygen production by the fungus . Her job was to test the biodegradability by mixed bacterial cultures of consumer product ingredients such as those used in fabric softeners, laundry detergents, and diapers. Hydrogen was produced by the Big Bang and is the most abundant element in the universe. The proximal electron donor for life three to four billion years ago on prebiotic earth was iron, which forms the core of earth and other terrestrial planets. The author suspects that it is the ability of nitrogen to form flat, stable aromatic compounds with carbon that is critical to nitrogen's importance; configuration is important to proper alignment of molecules. The theory that eukaryotes arose by endosymbiosis between bacteria and archaeans is tremendously heartening. The rise of different eukaryotic types by the mixing and matching of cell organelles, as described by Margulis, renews the author's faith in probability. The rapid evolution of microorganisms-because of their short generation times-will produce a corollary to the Law of Microbial Infallibility.

Citation: Faison B. 2000. Searching for the Meaning of “Life”, p 26-34. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch4

Key Concept Ranking

Microbial Ecology
1.5185796
Inorganic Compounds
1.0113257
Viruses
0.7592898
Chemicals
0.756383
Carbon Dioxide
0.7554385
Elements
0.6122937
Phanerochaete chrysosporium
0.5909091
1.5185796
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Citation: Faison B. 2000. Searching for the Meaning of “Life”, p 26-34. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch4
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Citation: Faison B. 2000. Searching for the Meaning of “Life”, p 26-34. In Atlas R (ed), Many Faces, Many Microbes. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818128.ch4
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References

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1. Hu, M. Z.-C.,, J. M. Norman,, B. D. Faison,, and M. E. Reeves. 1996. Biosorption of uranium by Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain CSU: Characterization and comparison studies. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 51:237247.
2. Faison, B. D., 1993. The chemistry of low-rank coals and its relationship to the biochemical mechanisms of coal transformations. In D. L. Crawford (ed.), Microbial Transformations of Low-Rank Coals. CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fla..
3. Faison, B. D. 1991. Biological coal conversions. Crit. Rev. Biotechnol. 11:347366.
4. Faison, B. D.,, T. M. Clark,, S. N. Lewis,, C. Y. Ma,, D. M. Sharkey,, and C. A. Woodward. 1991. Degradation of organic sulfur compounds by a coal-solubilizing fungus. Appl. Biochem. Biotechnol. 28/29:237251.
5. Faison, B. D.,, C. A. Cancel,, S. N. Lewis,, and H. I. Adler. 1990. Binding of strontium by Micrococcus luteus: Mechanism and potential applications. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 56:36493656.
6. Faison, B. D.,, T. K. Kirk,, and R. L. Farrell. 1986. Role of veratryl alcohol in regulating ligninase activity in Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 52:251254.
7. Faison, B. D.,, and T. K. Kirk. 1983. Relationship between lignin degradation and production of reduced oxygen species by Phanerochaete chrysosporium. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 46:11401145.

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