Living cells have one
striking difference from such simple manmade devices as transistor
radios: They have a history.
Every living cell developed from an earlier cell that was almost,
but not quite, like its offspring. The further back one goes, the
less alike a modem cell and its ancestor become. As we trace the
lineage backward, we see the outlines of the evolution of life and
ultimately the beginnings of life from nonliving chemical systems.
This will be, the ultimate chemical triumph: to understand in detail
how this process came about. The present chapter is devoted to the
role of structure and organization in a functioning chemical cell,
and the final chapter will be addressed to the problem of the origin
Right: A macrophage ingests bacteria as part of the immune
response to infection. The white blood cell (a eucaryotic cell -
yellow) is protecting its host by devouring the bacteria (blue).