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.