A Short History of Nearly Everything - Part 5, Chapter 19 Summary & Analysis

Bill Bryson
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Part 5, Chapter 19 Summary and Analysis

Humans are no closer to synthesizing life in a lab today than they were in 1953. The best they're able to create is a green broth of organic compounds, under much more favorable conditions than occur in nature. So far, scientists have been unable to create even one protein and many proteins are required to create life- up to one million different types in the human body.

In order to become protein, amino acids must link. For collagen to form, 1,055 amino acids must join in precise order spontaneously. This is stunningly improbable to occur as a random event. DNA, proteins and cell membranes are all essential for complex life, yet each is useless without the other. This begs the question: How could they possibly have evolved separately and randomly?

The answer is that proteins probably evolved from simpler proteins. Molecules...

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This section contains 926 words
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