Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A new hobby

Hi. You might be wondering why I have not been posting for a long time. The reason for that is I have been learning some biology. However I cannot call myself 'a bio student'; I have not undergone a formal education. At school I must have learned some preliminary topics, but the last of that I can recall was probably 7yrs ago.

So what is it like learning biology now? Hmm. Well it is real slow. Not exactly perpetually dragging, but real slow. If I were to study it in some institution things would have moved on at a faster pace. The only thing that I'd brag about then is the lack of time devoted for certain important topics. (Yeah, what can I say. My ego rules!!).

The motivation behind this new hobby is to understand the processes that created life. Research into this area still requires more exploration. I mean there are still things (life processes) out there we need to have a good understanding of. (At least relatively in my case!). Well, you might be interested in things that I have found so far.

Hmm well I feel there is nothing new. Everything was once long ago told. But however I find it all fascinating. I have learned about the different kingdoms of life - Monera, archaea, protista, plantae, animalia & fungi. There is another classification - prokaryotes & eukaryotes. But strictly speaking the latter classification pertains to cells, I think.

I next learned about cells. How do you call something a cell. Here what fascinated is the ambiguity regarding viruses. People don't think is a cell in a strict sense. Because they are only active when they feed/destroy other cells, i.e. their metabolic activity is dormant until they find a host cell to feed on. But like other cells they reproduce and divide themselves. Most importantly they have no form unlike a cell (which has a cell wall).

But how and why did these living organisms become? And that question takes us back to the oceanic soup from where life once sprang! But wait a minute - what is this thing about a soup? Well, one point in the history of earth, long before any sort of terrestrial creatures evolved, life was present - in the oceans!! Water was the mother of all life back then. How did life become in these oceans? It is hard to say exactly how but theories say that under immense physical conditions (high temperature & pressure), and under strange combinations of various molecules life could have formed. It is hard to simulate such conditions in a lab because we don't have a clear knowledge of there conditions (and reactions), and there is no technology that could simulate such an environment.

Anyway there was a time where cells became...Almost all living things need food, oxygen, etc. In a population that consisted of such cells. There were parasites. These organisms like all organisms needed food, oxygen, etc. But they relied on a host to get a source of energy. So in an environment like this viruses must have come about.

Well, thats the story of viruses. There is more - protein synthesis, reproduction, DNA sequencing etc. If you click on the title of this post you'd be directed to a tutorial site. If you are interested you can pursue from there. If you have never ever really touched biology, then this is probably a good place to start. It is never too late for change.