Moving on…

My blog posts also get posted to Facebook, and for a short time I wondered if maybe they were too weird for Facebook.  Then I saw the post about the guy who went into Starbucks and was offended that the red cups did not say “Christmas” or “Jesus” or “NRA”.   Mine are weird, but a little less harmful.  They have nothing to do with some imaginary war on Christianity.

Thirty years ago I started searching for hypothetical organisms which could convert motion into food–kinetitrophic organisms.  I started with a question about how the structure would work physically and/or chemically.

If the rotary flagella of bacteria could be reversed in some way, would that make a kinetitrophic organism?  If any other type of locomotion were run in reverse, would that do it?  In the age of long play records, there was a device sold which was used to remove static electricity from them.  It used something called the “piezoelectric effect.”  When certain crystals are mechanically stressed they release a static electric charge.  Could something like that form the basis of kinetitrophic chemical pathways?

I read The Nature of the Chemical Bond by Linus Pauling and Bioenergetics by Albert L. Lehninger.  (I might still have both books in a box somewhere or I may have sold them–I don’t really remember.)  Understanding and getting a mental picture of how chemicals work was key to later observations.  Conformational isomers can transfer and trap energy, and that will form the basis to the argument I will make later (and have already suggested) about kinetitrophic behavior in dinoflagellates.

But maybe we don’t need a complete understanding of how kinetitrophic organisms work to show that they exist.



About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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