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Johan Laserna

The art of these wonderful microbes is truly astounding, but it is not alchemy, not even in a metaphorical sense. They are not turning one chemical element into another. There is no transmutation. No fusion of atomic nuclei. No forced decay of lead into gold.

Elio sometimes asks if the eukaryotes have added anything substantially to the art of living. Mayby one answer would be alchemy? Among the living, only postbacterial eukaryots – like humans – seem to master the art of nucleosynthesis. Some consortia of them are even able to create elements that have never existed, like antihydrogen.

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