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Chimeras and lightning: a radical perspective on the evolution of complex life

Life on earth – from mushrooms to humans and everything in between – seems enormously diverse. At the cellular level, however, almost all complex lifeforms are surprisingly similar. Why life is this way, though, remains mysterious. In this Aeon interview, the UK biochemist and author Nick Lane discusses his research on the connection between energy and genes, which, he hypothesises, made possible the radical transformation from single-celled organisms to complex life about 4 billion years ago.

Interviewer: Nigel Warburton

Producer: Kellen Quinn

Editor: Adam D’Arpino

13 November 2015

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