General Biology - Summary and Review of Two Articles - Article Example

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The paper presents the review of two articles: “Source of Half Earth's Oxygen Gets Little Credit” and “Life on Earth Began on Land, Not in Sea?” The writer of the paper believes that increasing the number of phytoplankton would not solve the problem in Earth’s warming.

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General Biology - Summary and Review of Two Articles
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General Biology 101: Summary and Review of Two Articles Source of Half Earths Oxygen Gets Little Credit Phytoplankton are one-celled plants that live in the ocean surface and support the productivity and life of those living in and off the ocean through the process of photosynthesis. In the process of photosynthesis, phytoplankton use energy from the sun to convert carbon dioxide and nutrients into complex organic compounds (Roach, n.p.). Thus, phytoplankton need two important things to undergo photosynthesis: energy from the sun and nutrients from the water. Half of the world’s oxygen is produced during the photosynthesis of phytoplankton as they release oxygen into the water and even if they die, a small fraction of organic carbon buried for millions of years eventually underwent photosynthesis and release oxygen (Roach, n.p.). Forests and oceans take carbon dioxide and release oxygen at a constant level. Human activities increase the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and causes drastic imbalance.
I believe that plants in the terrestrial and oceanic surface play equal roles in the process of photosynthesis and in maintaining homeostasis in the Earth’s atmosphere. As stated in the article, it is truly man’s activities that alter the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide causing the Earth to warm. However, although phytoplankton and terrestrial plants play equal roles in maintaining the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide, I believe that increasing the number of phytoplankton would not solve the problem in Earth’s warming as phytoplankton take carbon dioxide from the ocean and not from the atmosphere, and absorb solar energy.
Life on Earth Began on Land, Not in Sea?
Mosher (2012) wrote in his article that the first cellular life probably arose in vats of warm, slimy mud fed by volcanically heated steam. This concept was supported by the latest cellular and geologic research and contradicted what scientists say that cellular life began at primordial oceans. Charles Darwin’s suggestion that life began from a warm little pond rich in nutrients also supported the concept; however, oceanographers still continue to find the oases of life on the seafloor. Meanwhile, a team of researchers discovered that the cellular fluid is very similar to condensed vapors found in volcanic mud pots on land and that terrestrial environments boast the high ratios of potassium and sodium compared to marine environments (Mosher, n.p.), which explains why cellular life probably began on land as cells are rich in potassium and sodium. The first cells were believed to have no complex proteins to pump excess sodium making them highly permeable and completely at the mercy of their environments. Geothermal fields on land such as mud pots are probably rich in potassium, an environment favorable to begin cellular life; however, scientists ignored the theory because the modern Earth is in acidic condition.
I agree with what the scientists say that life began at primordial oceans. In my opinion, a warm, slimy mud fed by volcanically heated steam is not an ideal setting for cells to begin or either sustain life. I learned that a warm and moist environment could host bacterial cells but an environment with above boiling point temperature such as a volcanically heated steam could kill living cells thus, it is not possible for cellular life to begin in an environment that could kill them at once. In addition, I think that my perception about where cellular life began is true because of the current practice in medicine, particularly sterilization of instruments. Health practitioners freed surgical instruments of any microorganisms by exposing them extreme high temperature.
Works Cited
Roach, John. “Source of Half Earths Oxygen Gets Little Credit”. National Geographic News.
June 2004. Web. February 24, 2012, from
Mosher, Dave. (February 13, 2012). “Life on Earth Began on Land, Not in Sea?” National
Geographic News. February 13, 2012. Web. February 24, 2012, from Read More
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