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Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:43 PM

Top 10: Life's greatest inventions

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn9951-top-10-lifes-greatest-inventions.html?page=1


1. Multicellularity

2. The eye

3. The brain

4. Language

5. Photosynthesis

6. Sex

7. Death

8. Parasitism

9. Superorganism

10. Symbiosis

Very cool article! I was amazed by this one:

9. Superorganism: LARGE numbers of individuals living together in harmony, achieving a better life by dividing their workload and sharing the fruits of their labours. We call this blissful state utopia, and have been striving to achieve it for at least as long as recorded history. Alas, our efforts so far have been in vain. Evolution, however, has made a rather better job of it.

Take the Portuguese man-of-war. It may look like just another jellyfish blob floating on the high seas, but zoom in with a microscope and you see that what seemed like one tentacled individual is in fact a colony of single-celled organisms (). These "siphanophores" have got division of labour down to a fine art. Some are specialised for locomotion, some for feeding, some for distributing nutrients.



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Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply Top 10: Life's greatest inventions (Original post)
AlecBGreen Dec 2012 OP
yourout Dec 2012 #1
AlecBGreen Dec 2012 #3
YankeyMCC Dec 2012 #2
MannyGoldstein Dec 2012 #4

Response to AlecBGreen (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:46 PM

1. Sex is to low on the list :)

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Response to yourout (Reply #1)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:54 PM

3. lol, I agree

to some extent it drove the formation of the rest.

I teach high school bio and one day I said "from a biological standpoint, reproduction is what its all about." One of my cheekier students went home, came back the next day and she said "I told my dad that you said we're supposed to go out and have sex cause thats the whole point of life. He wants to talk to you..." I'll have to choose my words more carefully next time! (p.s. thankfully she was just kidding around!)

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Response to AlecBGreen (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 08:53 PM

2. Number 6!?

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Response to AlecBGreen (Original post)

Tue Dec 18, 2012, 11:37 PM

4. I vote for kidneys

They allow us to live out of the water.

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