Endosymbiosis

I recently read this article http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/33711/title/Steal-My-Sunshine/ and I really began to notice a very distinct reference to an aspect of evolution, something I believe in, that is rarely mentioned.  That is the absorption of other symbiotic organisms in what is termed endosymbiosis. Effectively, this means that one organism absorbed another, but instead of digesting it, the 2 organisms merged, and symbiotic life as we know it began. This is in contrast to what most people think of as evolution. The simple explanation usually given is one of random mutations and such, and while this type can fall under this broad umbrella, it is different than just survival of the fittest, it is mutual survival of the fittest. A concept that is often lost in modern explanations. Some of these algae and other single-celled organisms stay fairly autonomous and functioning, as in a coral. Yet there are some that lose their innate photosynthetic ability, and their metabolic abilities become more useful to the host organism. This strikes me as somewhat akin to sexual symbiosis, and could have a profound effect on the historical,  and statistical nature of evolution. It is like having a virus that a human becomes symbiotic with, or a fungus, and then have that organisms functions develop along with “normal” evolution. It is a huge set of genetic “leap” possibilities that punctuates an otherwise smooth and random evolution. I found this article both informative, and thought provoking. I am happy to have learned something, and I hope everyone who reads this does too.

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