Origin Of Life, To Help You Get A Life!

 I think I’ll grow this post for a while, for fun – yes, fun!

Want to see the Origin of FitOldDog – go to my very first WordPress blog post, 2010, at this link

Understanding the origin of life is important for exercise, nutrition, mental health, diabetes, aging, and all the rest – I’ll get there!

It all started with chemistry, biochemistry, deep down in the sea! Blah, blah, blah!

Just watch my old movie, and think about it – made it over 30 years ago – I love research:

The origin of life?

What a fascinating question, with relevance today!

Photo of our new dog, Willbe. Photo by FitOldDog.

Willbe was learning to trust his new home. The origin of life required the right home – deep sea vents. Willbe is happy, now!

When it comes to the origin of life on Earth, what was the ‘nidus’ of the evolution of our current energy systems, and thus life itself?

I haven’t really considered this recently, and I am sure that as an athlete you wonder where all your energy came from. Then I was reading a book by Nick Lane, entitled ‘Life Ascending,‘ and I came across an interesting and surprising statement in a description of our current (non-creationist) understanding of the earliest evolution of life on earth, which appears to have occurred in deep-sea thermal vents. Nick Lane traces this saga over the last four billion years in a most entertaining manner. Having had a career in Biological Science for about 40 years, not to mention my interest in pond water creatures and the like as a young boy, I wasn’t too surprised by anything I read until page 34 when I came across the following paragraph, which actually did made me ‘sit up and blink’ (what an odd but real response to surprise):

origin of life depends on the invention of tools.

Life bootstraps it’s self into existence, by creating tools, from pyruvate to bicycles. Here’s my tri gear for the Raleigh Half Ironman, 2016. This isn’t my Cori Cycle, it’s my Guru Cycle!

“Acetyl thioesters are significant because they stand at an ancient branch point in metabolism, still found in organisms today. When carbon dioxide reacts with an acetyl thioester we take a branch leading to the formation of more complex organic molecules. The reaction occurs spontaneously and releases energy, to produce a three carbon molecule call pyruvate [I blinked with surprise right here, then I continued reading”], a name to make biochemists sit up and blink, for it is an entry point into Krebs cycle.”

Guess I know enough Biochemistry to blink!

If you are an athlete, or just interested in how your body works, you must learn about Krebs cycle (the big circle in the lower center of the KEGG Metabolism Chart below, which you can explore for free. Amazing!). Another interesting point in Nick Lanes book was the issue of Krebs Cycle running backwards, which was another surprise, but you will have to read his book if you want to know more. If I have a chance to ask Dr. Lane, I would like to know why we can make fat from sugar but not sugar from fat (except from odd-numbered fatty acids and glycerol, of course). Are we just stuck on an old fitness peak that is confined by the carbon count of the Krebs cycle?

Origin of Life: FitOldDog's glycogen diagram.

Life begins with energy, from the sun, turning back entropy (decay into background heat).

It would appear that we are finally making sense of the origin of life on this planet – I knew we would, somehow! These issues lead me to explore pyruvate, yet again, but this time I was using that remarkable device, the World Wide Web, and I came across a very interesting blog by an ‘eclectic biochemist,’ Larry Moran, which is really worth a gander. In his blog, Dr. Moran refers to The Sandwalk, “the path behind the home of Charles Darwin where he used to walk every day, thinking about science.” This walk, of which I was also unaware, reminded me of another excellent book that relates to our understanding of things that have lived on our planet, and how we are slowly piecing our history together, The Map That Changed The World, by Simon Winchester. So many great books, so little time!

Basically, if you want to be the best athlete that you can be, I would recommend the investment of a little time in understanding Bioenergetics, most of which is available for your perusal on the web. Or better still, take a look at Harper’s Biochemistry, it really is a fun read, believe it or not.

KEGG Metabolism Chart – Take a look. It is magic!!! Explore, from our origins, up until today.


OK! Back to work on Bioenergetics using Chez Ollie (not the wheat beer, but more about that later).


More to come, as I build this story, and then translate the Origin of Life, into each of us getting a life.

-k @FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.