By William R. Nes
A turning element turns out to were reached lately in our realizing of organic structures. After approximately 1930, whilst it grew to become attainable to envision the dynamic features of a mobile heavily and to extend the breadth of our wisdom of the chemical substances that are concerned, there has been a sense that the elucidation of a pathway or the use to which a compound or a strategy was once positioned biologically had a ubiquitous personality. one of the purposes for believing this was once the fidelity of the amino acid construction blocks for proteins. not just have been an identical common constructions came across despite organismic kind, however the stereochemistry used to be a similar. this kind of statement ended in the assumption of the "unity of nature. " Few humans, after all, idea a whole cohesion existed, since it used to be already identified within the latter a part of the 19th century that the sterols, the polysaccharides, and the pigments of assorted organisms can be considerably diversified, yet just recently, over the past decade or so, has the fuH scope ofthe difference-as weil as ofthe similarity-begun to emerge. Of specific value, it has now develop into obtrusive that an enormous hiatus exists among a few sorts of organism. much more very important, might be, and definitely extra unforeseen, are the gigantic gaps which were found inside of in a different way comparable organisms. The evolutionary approach is most likely at the back of what we become aware of, and consequently an realizing of the principles and laws which govern similarity and distinction may still ultimately bring about an elucidation of evolution itself.
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Extra resources for Lipids in Evolution
The oldest fossils ofthe usual kind (visible to the unaided eye sometimes ca lied megafossils) were first found in Scotland dating in the Lower Devonian. Predevonian remains have, however, been found in marine strata. • 1974) has shown their presence in a Silurian marine stratal sequence on the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea. Moreover, it was shown that the abundance of spores is a function of water depth and shoreline proximity, suggesting their origin in land plants. , ferns, seed ferns (primitive embryophytes), scouring rushes, scale trees, and precursors (cordaites) of the conifers] were present forming forests.
In some cases, however, very little diagenesis has occurred. Knoche and Ourisson (1967) examined a clay layer from a sandstone 200 million years old containing organismic fossils only of horsetails (Equisetum). The n-alkane distribution (mostly odd, C23 -C29 , with a maximum of C27 ) was essentially the same as 0 btained from an extant specimen of E. brongnarti and E. , 1967). Similarly, the Messel oil shale, a 50-millionyear-old stratum never covered deeply « 300 m) and hence not subjected to the higher temperatures and pressures, abounds in fossil flora closely related to those extant today in tropical regions.
Although not discussed by Attaway and Parker, the published mass-spectral data (M+ 386, 388, 400, 412, 414, 416, and 428) indicate the presence of cholestanol (388), 24-ethy1cholestanol (416), and a C 30 compound (428). , dihydro-ß-amyrin. Attaway and Parker (1970) also identified stigmasterol and the three homologous cholesterols from a "grab" sam pie taken from the San Pedro Basin off the coast of southern California. The tracing given of the gas-liquid chromatogram again showed other components.