Contents

List of Illustrations ix

Acknowledgements xi

Introduction Mitochondria: Clandestine Rulers of the World 1

Part 1 Hopeful Monster: The Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell 19

1. The Deepest Evolutionary Chasm 27

2. Quest for a Progenitor 38

3. The Hydrogen Hypothesis 51

Part 2 The Vital Force: Proton Power and the Origin of Life 65

4. The Meaning of Respiration 71

5. Proton Power 85

6. The Origin of Life 94

Part 3 Insider Deal: The Foundations of Complexity 105

7. Why Bacteria are Simple 114

8. Why Mitochondria Make Complexity Possible 130

Part 4 Power Laws: Size and the Ramp of Ascending Complexity 149

9. The Power Laws of Biology 156

10. The Warm-Blooded Revolution 178

Part 5 Murder or Suicide: The Troubled Birth of the Individual 189

11. Conflict in the Body 200

12. Foundations of the Individual 215

Part 6 Battle of the Sexes: Human Pre-History and the

Nature of Gender 227

13. The Asymmetry of Sex 232

14. What Human Pre-history Says About the Sexes 242

15. Why There Are Two Sexes 258

Part 7 Clock of Life: Why Mitochondria Kill us in the End 267

16. The Mitochondrial Theory of Ageing 274

17. Demise of the Self-Correcting Machine 289

18. A Cure for Old Age? 303

Epilogue 312

Glossary 322

Further Reading 327

Index 347

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