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I see you're around. I posted a few other hypotheses [you got my brain twitching!] on the Mg/Ca issue here...

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 05:13:50 AM EST
Ma as an essential ingredient for all life. Hmmmmm - that is a new one. I wonder what the other indespensible components of the Life Recipe are?

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 05:23:16 AM EST
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Masurium?

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 05:26:54 AM EST
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My tribute to the Greek god Typos ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 05:31:25 AM EST
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Depending on your definition of life, only Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Oxygen. The least you can call living is an autocatalytic RNA molecule.

"Magnesium is essential to cell function and is found in every cell type of every organism" tells you nothing about primitive life.

However, it is most likely that life arose in the sea. Sea water is rich in Chloride, Sodium, Magnesium, Sulphate, Calcium, Potassium, Carbon, Bromide, Boron, Strontium and Fluoride [there is an issue of how much this composition depends on the fact that life has been present for billions of years] and you would espect those elements to play a role in Earth life.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 05:35:27 AM EST
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An interesting spin-off from the CO2/panic discovery that I wrote about earlier is the theory that large fish living in shallow water dominated by oxygen devouring plant life would have used their forefins to push themselves up above the surface to 'gasp' air (via gills?). Evolutional mutation would throw up 'improved' pelvic fins that would hand out a survival advantage.

The human reaction to sudden increases in CO2 in the environment is the head thrown up and back.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 05:47:55 AM EST
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there is an issue of how much this composition depends on the fact that life has been present for billions of years
It is assumed that initially the Earth started out with vast amounts of iron dissolved in the world's acidic seas. Eventually, as photosynthetic organisms generated oxygen, the available iron in the Earth's oceans was precipitated out as iron oxides.
As this happened about 2 billion years ago, clearly primitive life evolved in a very different environment from the current one.

Those whom the Gods wish to destroy They first make mad. -- Euripides
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 11:13:09 AM EST
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But thanks for the heads up! You caught me at a bad moment - the weekend had kicked in and I resolved to let the brains have some necessary rest and dedicate myself to some strenuous handy work as cutting wood and cooking (on electricity. Not on wood.). But - and this may seem the appropriate moment - when walking the dog yesterday, I amusedly wondered whether I should lift up your string of comments into a diary, title it "Solving the Mysteries of Science on a Friday Afternoon" and use it as a platform to ditch in all kind of new comments and discoveries. It's always a pleasure when you start digging into a subject - something new pops up every time.

I am working, mentally, on a reply, but I also need to get a source right first. Alternatively, have you read Bill Bryson's "A short history of nearly everything"?

by Nomad on Sun Oct 8th, 2006 at 07:50:40 AM EST
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