Imagine that all microorganisms suddenly disappeared from Earth. From what you have learned in this chapter, why do you think that animals would eventually disappear from Earth? Why would plants disappear? By contrast, if all higher organisms suddenly disappeared, what in Figure 1.4a tells you that a similar fate would not befall microorganisms?
Answer to relevant QuestionsWhy is the rigid layer of the bacterial cell wall called peptidoglycan? What are the structural reasons for the rigidity that is conferred on the cell wall by the peptidoglycan structure? What is the function of gas vesicles? How are these structures made such that they can remain gas tight? In the experiment described in Figure, what is the control and why is it essential? Describe in a single sentence the structure of a unit membrane. Define the types of protein structure: primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary. Which of these structures are altered by denaturation?
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