Books : reviews

John Archibald.
One Plus One Equals One: symbiosis and the evolution of complex life.
OUP. 2014

The secret to the origin of complex life lies within each of us. Our cells are chimaeras, formed through the amalgamation of two distinct types of simple cells, one inside the other. The mitochondria inside us were once free-living bacteria. The same is true of the light-gathering chloroplasts of plant cells. The complex cells of which all animals and plants are made are the product of symbiotic mergers that occurred deep in the history of life.

Once the subject of great controversy, modern molecular techniques are uncovering evidence for the critical role of symbiosis in the biological and ecological transformation of our planet. In this exciting account, John Archibald explains this revolutionary new view of life and its history that molecular biology is bringing to light.