How precise is cyclic life? That was the question Mats Walldén set out to answer on this cloudy December morning. After a brilliant performance from both Mats and his opponent, prof. Peter Graumann, the answer was presented; life is 20% precise. With reference to another fine piece of literature, an ultimate answer is not always as satisfying as you might think. For a more complete understanding you might read the thesis in its entirety, however, if you cannot seem to find the time, I recommend the first section life (page 11-12) and the conclusions and future outlooks (page 60-63). Below are a few lines from the introductory paragraph, a rather dystopic view of the unicellular situation. You cannot help but wondering; is there nothing we can do for these poor creatures? “Gravity is all but suspended and instead of falling to the earth a small object is continually bombarded by its environment, forcing it to perform a random walk, to diffuse, if not attached or actively propelling itself. Inertia is negligible, so that movement stops immediately when active propulsion is discontinued. Ballistic weaponry is exchanged for a chemical arsenal as collisions carry no momentum. Sexual reproduction is rare and caring for progeny is rarer still.”
Figure: (Top left) The committee (Professors Mia Phillipson and Klas Hjort and Associate Professor Daniel Daley) and the respondent listens carefully as opponent Professor Peter Graumann review the process of cell division. (Top right) Mats explains… something on the whiteboard. (Bottom left) The sigh of relief as the verdict is delivered. (Bottom right) Begin the celebration!!!