The ninth and final basic property of cells that Karp provides us with is that:
Though the exact mechanism by which cells arose is yet unknown to biologists, science-based potential explanations have been proposed for decades. It is thought that the precursor to cells was some sort of precellular life form. And the precursor to that precellular life form is thought to be nonliving organic materials present in the primordial seas (Karp 2013).
Though it is difficult to say exactly where cells came from, it is much easier to talk about their evolution. Information about the evolution of cells is obtained by studying organisms that exist today. Though different cells found in different parts of the body differ substantially in a number of ways, such as cells of the human intestinal tract and cells that line that same tract, these cells often have a lot in common. These cells may share a common genetic code, a plasma membrane, and ribosomes (Karp 2013).
Modern biologists have deduced that all of the organisms on Earth today originally came from a single, common ancestral cell that lived over three billion years ago. This cell is known as the last universal common ancestor because it gave rise to and connects all of the living organisms on the earth today. Evolution, such as that of the last universal common ancestor over billions of years, continues to occur. That being said, the basic properties of cells that we discussed (nine in total) are subject to said evolution, and can be modified over time. Not only that, but there are perhaps a multitude of organisms that don’t actually exist yet, but will in the future, that will evolve to have a number of properties characteristic of their own cells (Karp 2013).
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