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Marine microbiology: Origins of Death

Programmed cell death is usually seen as the unique prerogative of plants and animals. So how is it that photosynthetic plankton have been killing themselves by uncannily similar methods for billions of years? Nick Lane investigates.

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Additional information

Nick Lane is author of Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life.

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Apoptosis Insight

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Paul Falkowski’s team at Rutgers

Eugene Koonin's group at NCBI

Nick Lane’s website

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Lane, N. Marine microbiology: Origins of Death. Nature 453, 583–585 (2008).

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