“The Ackerman family possesses power of “the Missing Titan”. Being the right hand warriors of the royal family, the method of inheriting titan power is not by “devouring the current possessor” but done genetically. The power of the titan is running in the blood of each Ackerman. As they contains the gene of “the Missing Titan”, each member has potentials to have his/her titan power (Ackerpower) awakened, yet as a trade off, the power holds by an Ackerman is much weaker comparing to the original titan.”
So how to do it genetically?
I remember stuff from biology lessons that animal cells contain organelles (specialized sub-units within each cell) known as mitochondria, which contain their own DNA different from their “host”. Some theories suggest that mitochondria and chloroplasts in plant cells used to be single-celled organisms, yet they shared an endosymbiotic relationship with cells of other larger species, eventually “assimilated” into their host cells.
In chapter 66, Rod Reiss just licked some of the spilled titan serum and still transformed into a titan (successfully or not?):
What would happen if a human only received a very small portion (like 0.01 mL) of titan serum?
I keep thinking something like “titan DNA in the serum being assimilated by human body like vitamins and developed into new organelles of human cells (!?)”, that when normal titan shifters (like Eren) have to worry about his/her own body (and soul too) being assimilated (or engulfed) by the titan body, the Ackermans—possessors of the Ninth Titan power, have the titan gene entered into the DNA, by the process of injecting each member the spinal fluid of the original titan shifter, that the titan traits, like extraordinary strength and fast self-healing abilities, is running in the blood of each Ackerman. When an Ackerman faces a life-or-death situation, the so-called Ackerpower will be awakened.
Despite the power becomes extremely weak, disabling an Ackerman to transform into a titan, the gene of the Ninth Titan can be passed down to the next generations through reproduction. Perhaps it is the reason why the King had ordered the MPs to hunt down the Ackermans (see chapter 65) and wanted all Ackermans dead, because he was afraid some rebellious Ackermans may have their titan power awakened, which could threatened his throne.
The sun’s warmth on his face felt like some sort of liberation after being cooped up in the cramped classroom all morning. Baz’s eyes roamed the quad as he made his way to his spot (a nice, shady nook tucked away in a quiet corner of the courtyard).
His spot wasn’t empty.
A boy with brazen curls was stuffing a pastry into his mouth with wolffish hunger. Dammit.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Simon tore his eyes away from the scone he was about to eat. Another student was standing a few feet away, staring at him with a blazing expression. There was a cup of coffee in one hand and a hefty textbook tucked under an arm.
“Eating a scone,” Simon replied flatly.
The man ran a hand through his long, silky black hair. (Simon felt a sudden urge to run his hands through his hair). “I can see that, but this is my spot.”
“This isn’t your spot.” Simon took a large bite of the scone. He didn’t give a shit about the (attractive) stranger, as long as he could eat his food before it got cold.
“I always come here,” the man persisted.
“You weren’t here five minutes ago.”
The man wrinkled his nose. Good, be disgusted with my lack of manners and get out of here.
“I was in class.”
“Shame.” He swallowed his mouthful of scone and shrugged.
Baz clenched his jaw, holding the man’s stubborn, blue gaze for a few moments before sighing. “Fine. I guess we’ll have to share the spot.”
Baz sat down onto the grass, setting his coffee aside to make room for his text book. It was the prime place to study; cool and quiet and away from the other students.
Except this student.
Baz really did try focusing on the material (a detailed description of the endosymbiotic theory), but he couldn’t keep his eyes off of the boy’s moles. They traveled up the length of his arms, across his collar bones, up his neck, onto his face.
“Why are you staring at me?”
“Because you’re making an absurd amount of noise,” Baz sneered. “Why don’t you find some manners?”
“Why don’t you find a new spot?”
Baz beat the boy to the spot the next day. Good riddance you freckly bastard.
“Don’t look so happy, I’m just late.”
Simon needed scones like he needed air. It was a morning ritual to stop by the bakery just off of campus, except he had gotten stuck at the tail end of a long line. Which was utter bullshit, he would’ve loved to see the look on the man’s face when he found Simon waiting for him with a bag of fresh scones.
The man rolled his eyes before taking a seat. Simon watched him unfold his long legs and sprawl them in front of him in the grass. He was wearing skinny jeans. Simon hated how good they looked.
He rolled his eyes. “And here I was about to have a party.”
Simon plopped down and unwrapped his scones as loud as he could. “Sorry, mate.”
“I don’t know your name.”
They had made it to the spot at the same time today.
“Do you need to?” Baz cocked an eyebrow.
The boy stuffed a steaming scone into his mouth and shrugged his shoulders. Baz had notice shrugging was practically a second language to him. “We’ve been doing this for almost two weeks.”
“Oh, I’m Simon.”
Baz didn’t show up for a week.
“Where the hell have you been?”
“Wow, you sound almost offended.” Baz dropped his bag into the grass and sat down beside it. “I’ve been studying.”
“You could’ve studied here.” Simon plucked absentmindedly at a loose string on his sweater.
“I can’t with you around,” Baz admitted.
“Because I’m loud and disgusting?”
More like because I want to replace your moles with my kisses. “Something like that.”
“We’ve been doing this for weeks.” Simon handed Baz a scone before taking a bite of his own.
“Yeah, and you’ve only just shared your food,” Baz mumbled around a mouthful of pastry.
That was the first time either of them had laughed in front of each other.
Simon started notice things about Baz when weeks became two months of sitting together.
Like that he was chiseled from hard marble, pale and all swooping edges. And the way his eyes match the color of the ocean before a storm. And the loose strands of black hair that fall into his forehead from the occasional bun. And everything
He wanted Baz.
Simon was an oblivious idiot. Baz didn’t take homework or text books with him anymore to the spot. He went there for the golden boy now. To hear his laugh, to memorize the trail of moles and over his skin, to breathe him in.
He wanted Simon.
“Do you even go to class?”
“Yes.” Simon fiddled with the zipper of his jacket, unable to meet Baz’s eyes. He couldn’t stop thinking about spending the day lying on the grass with their fingers entwined.
Simon had never been attracted to a boy before. This was the first time he had ever fantasized about kissing a boy. Was Baz gay? He didn’t know.
Was Simon gay? He didn’t know that either. But he did know that he wanted to feel Baz’s lips against his.
Simon’s cheeks burned under Baz’s gaze. He could see the storm clouds rolling in his eyes, sharp and grey like everything else he was, beautiful.
Simon kissed him with smiling lips and winding fingers. Baz’s hands slid beneath the hem of Simon’s tee shirt, pressing into hot skin and drawing him closer until they tumbled backwards into the grass.
It was a mess.
A beautiful mess made of tangled limbs and hungry lips.
It had become their spot, and Baz could live with that.
(1938-2011) was an evolutionary theorist and science author, the first
modern proponent of the significance of symbiosis in evolution. Her research
fundamentally transformed and established the understanding of the evolution of
cells with nuclei. Her work was seen as controversial and was widely rejected
for years, until genetic evidence proved it definitively.
Her 1966 paper, “On the Origin of Mitosing Cells”,
was rejected for publication by 15 scientific journals initially, but today it
is considered a landmark in endosymbiotic theory. She also proposed the Gaia
theory, which sees Earth as a self-regulating system.
This unique snail species lives just beside black smokers that are churning out superheated water exceeding 350°C. Has also harnessed the power of chemosynthesis, housing endosymbiotic bacteria in an enlarged part of its gut. This produces the energy it needs. it has a food factory inside its body and doesn’t even need to feed! This is likely the reason it can grow to about 45mm in size, when most of its close relatives without endosymbionts are only 15mm or smaller.
I was asked by @fortethegemini what diatoms are if they aren’t plants, and I figured I’d just make a whole post out of it since it’s a pretty complicated topic.
Here in this phylogenetic tree of eukaryotes (courtesy of Worden et al, 2015) we can see that diatoms are in the clade Stramenopiles, in the upper left. Plants, on the other hand, belong to Archaeplastida. I know those words probably don’t mean much, so to put it simply diatoms are separated from plants by about 1 billion years of evolution. That is to say, their nearest common ancestor split into two lineages 1 billion years ago, one lineage which would become the Stramenopiles, and the other archaeplastids.
Diatoms are actually closely related to brown algae (like kelp) and oomycetes (the nasty “molds” that cause the Irish Potato Famine).
So this all begs the question: how come diatoms are photosynthetic like plants, yet so far apart on the tree of life?
One thing to realize is that these trees of life don’t show you the whole picture. We need to go back in time, over a billion years ago. A eukaryotic cell once enveloped a photosynthetic cyanobacterium (the original photosynthesizers) but instead of digesting it, the cell kept the cyanobacterium around as a sort of photosynthetic livestock. Eventually, the cell line with these “livestock” would evolve and diverge and become red algae, green algae, and plants. The cyanobacteria eventually became what we know now as chloroplasts. This is called primary endosymbiosis, and it’s also how we got mitochondria.
But it gets more complicated.
(image also courtesy of Worden et al, 2015)
The ancestor of diatoms was a predatory, non-photosynthetic cell that engulfed a red algae and also kept it around instead of digesting it. This is called secondary endosymbiosis. To make things even more confusing, there’s evidence that some cells have practiced tertiary endosymbiosis, a sort of Russian doll of endosymbionts.
I know this sounds completely far-fetched, but there’s lots of evidence for the endosymbiotic theory. For starters, chloroplasts and mitochondria have their own genomes tucked away inside them, genomes that very closely resemble bacterial genomes when you get down to the molecular scale. Another piece of evidence is the extra membranes they have. Chloroplasts have an extra membrane from when the eukaryotic cell enveloped and ate it. Then, in secondary endosymbiosis, the chloroplast has three to four membranes, and in some lineages the nucleus of the algae that was eaten was retained inside what is now the newer chloroplast.
Well there you have it. Please, don’t feel hesitant to ask me any questions. I’ll be happy to clear up any concepts for anyone who is reading this!
woa are upside down jellyfishs actually always upside down? how do they swim?
WELL MY FRIEND, they actually don’t! Or, not much, at least.
Cnidarians (jellies & co) have a pretty neat adaptation in that they have an endosymbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae - a fancy way of saying that they have photosynthetic algae that live right inside of them. The algae gets protection and food in the form of waste, and the host gets delicious, delicious photosynthesized goodies.
Even though you didn’t ask and likely don’t care*, coral (the “& co” part of Cnidaria) also has a pretty integral relationship with zooxanthellae! Coral is made up of millions of polyps (think perpetual baby jellies) that secrete a calcium carbonate skeleton - a skeleton that would be entirely white without the various species of algae living within. Endosymbiosis!! So perfect!!!!!
JUST KIDDING the relationship isn’t perfect, and depends on an extremely delicate balance. You’ve heard of “coral bleaching” (usually in conjunction with global warming), where wild corals are slowly losing their trademark colour - which, when you take into account where that colour is coming from, is actually much more serious than it sounds**.
The stress of a change in water temperature can actually cause cnidarians to lose their cool (pun intended) and kick out the algae as a sort of last-ditch attempt to save themselves. This would be a great strategy if the stress was, say, an infection or parasite, and not the inescapable slow burn of the entire planet.
So the algae leaves, the coral starves, and millions of other organisms have to go find a new home. Except, of course, all the corals are doing it, so pretty soon there won’t be any homes to go to. Coral bleaching is no joke and I got super sidetracked from the whole point of this message but whatever
*But I care and that’s all that really matters so sit the heck down and get out your notebooks class
**This is facetious. How can you hear “bleaching” and think that doesn’t sound serious???? how do people still think this isn’t a big deal????? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU
Did you know that the mitochondria is the power house of the cell?
Yes! The term “powerhouse of the cell” was coined by biologist Philip Siekevitz in his article rightfully called “Powerhouse of the Cell” and was published in 1957.
The reason that he believed they were a “powerhouse”, was because they generate the energy that our cells need to do their jobs. For example, brain cells need a lot of energy to be able to communicate with each other and also to communicate with parts of the body that may be far away, to do this substances need to be transported along the cells, which needs lots of energy. Muscle fibres also need a lot of energy to help us to move, maintain our posture and lift objects.
Mitochondria live within our cells, but that was not always the case! They were once organisms in their own right. When survival became tough they formed a relationship with another organism and they both benefited. One gained the ability to use oxygen to produce energy, while the other gained protection against predators. This relationship has lasted for billions of years and has allowed multi-celled life forms to become bigger and more complex. We call this the endosymbiotic theory, which comes from the Ancient Greek words for ‘to live within together’.
There is a lot of evidence to support this theory for the origin of mitochondria, this evidence includes;
The fact that the DNA contained within mitochondria is circular which is different to the DNA on our chromosomes and is similar to the DNA found within bacteria.
Mitochondria have two membranes.
The DNA contained within the mitochondria is very similar to the DNA of Ricke but is much smaller, due to the donation of information to the nucleus.
(and yes I knew you were sending this as a joke, but I thought I would explain why they are called that and the history behind the little powerhouses!)
Why aren't people/animals photosynthetic, even if just supplementarily? Or rather, since I know evolution is random, would it be advantageous for animals to be capable of photosynthesis? (Like, if instead of just having melatonin absorb light it acted in a fashion similar to - or was simply replaced by - chlorophyll)
This is a fascinating question. Thank you very much for asking it. I was a bit unsure of how to answer it until I really began thinking about it. I am not an evolutionary biologist, so I didn’t think I would be able to answer this without help from the literature, but the development of photosynthesis actually has very little to do with normal evolution we usually think of.
Chloroplasts are the endomembrane organelle capable of turning solar energy into glucose via photosynthesis by splitting water molecules and consuming atmospheric carbon dioxide through a chain of proteins, starting with the photoaystems. The rest of the enzymes aren’t really necessary to discuss to answer this question, but what is necessary to point out is that unlike most endomembrane organelles, chloroplasts contain their own genetic material that is separate from the DNA inside the planet cell’s nucleus. Mitochondria also have their own genetic material. This one of the convincing pieces of evidence for the biological theory of endosymbiosis.
Endosymbiotic theory is strongly supported and widely accepted by biologists. It states that chloroplasts and mitochondria were most likely prokaryotic organisms that were engulfed by early eukaryotic ancestors that then co-evolved to create the most primative eukaruotic cells that then evolved into plant and animal cells. After billions of years of evolution, endomembrane organelles are no longer capable of living outside of a eukaryote.
So basically, the answer to your question of why animals don’t photosynthesize is because the eukaryotic ancestors of modern animal cells did not engulf chloroplasts, or if they did, they did not keep them and co-evolve through a symbiotic relationship. It has nothing to do with random evolution because genomic DNA (the stuff inside the DNA of every eukaryotic cell) does not contain information about photosynthesis. Most of that information is stored in the individual chloroplast, which will transcribe mRNA transcripts on its own. It is rather interesting and noteworthy, however, that some of the mitochondria DNA (mDNA) has been discovered in genomic DNA. This is a separate phenomenon, though.
ALSO, since mDNA (and chloroplast DNA, but this isn’t too relevant since some plants are asexual, anyways, but I’m sure it’s important to plant phylogenists) are not completely incorporated into the eukarytoic genome, your mDNA is not 50% from each parent like your genomic DNA is! mDNA is actually maternally inherited because mitochondria are in the oocyte. Yes, sperm need mitochondria to propel their flagella through the vas deferns, urethra, vagina, uterus, and finally, fallopian tubes to reach the oocyte, but when the membrane around the oocyte is penetrated by a sperm cell, the mitochondria in the sperm are not incorporated into the oocyte, so your mother’s mitochondria are the only ones left to remain in the developing embryo. For this reason we can track maternal lineage using mDNA!
Now, onto the final part of your question, which I am really excited you asked about. Melatonin is a molecule produced by both the pineal gland; melanin is actually the pigment synthesized by your skin cells in response to sunlight to protect you from harmful UV radiation. Both melanin and melatonin are produced in a light-dependent manner, which means they are produced when photosensitive cells are stimulated by sunlight, just as photosynthesis is initiated by sunlight (in most plants - there are exceptions). Chlorophyll, carotene, etc. are pigments that capture solar energy for photosynthesis. Melanin is also a pigment (the more you have, the darker you are, e.g. Europeans have been exposed to far less sunlight than Africans, so there is a difference in skin color, which is why racism is stupid…the amount of melanin in your skin doesn’t make you more or less of a human being…), but it does not store energy to be used for photosynthesis; it just protects your DNA from mutagenic UV rays.
Now, back to melatonin really quick. The pineal gland secretes melatonin when it is day light. Throughout the day, melatonin builds up, which is one of the mechanisms that make you tired, hence why most people sleep at night, after melatonin has reached its peak. This is an example of a negative feedback loop (which I encourage you to send me an ask about!). Melatonin supplements are used to help people fall asleep for this reason. (Side note: another mechanism that makes us tired is the break down of ATP, the major energy source for the cell. Caffeine is an adenosine antagonist, which means it stops adenosine from making you tired.)
Onto what if animals were photosynthetic? Well, it would certainly solve the problem of world hunger, but not eating actual food would deprive our body of vital vitamins, minerals, etc. that are necessary for body functions. The other issue would be that we would all become diabetic. Why? Because we would still have the urge to eat even though our glucose supply is being satisfied by photosynthesis. Ghrelin and orexin are two hormones that regulated food consumption. The acts of putting food in your mouth, chewing, food traveling down the esophagus, and food entering your stomach are mechanisms by which hunger is regulated.
By simply relying on photosynthesis to provide our energy needs, we would not only become malnourished, but we would still always be hungry, which would result in overeating, obesity, etc. The excessive glucose intake from photosynthesis and eating would overwork your pancreas to create insulin, which would eventually create an insulin tolerance (aka diabetes mellitus type II). Not to mention, only the exterior cells of the body would be able to photosynthesize. Leaves are thin enough that light can penetrate all the cells. Any internal cells of the animal’s body wouldn’t be exposed to light, and, consequently, would not be able to photosynthesize.
I think I hit all the points of your question (and then some, hah). If I missed anything or you would like me to clarify, please send me another ask! ^_^