Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's all one song

"It's all one song." -- Neil Young replying to a man in the audience, who said "It all sounds the same!"
I just discovered WikiQuote and it's there so it must be true.


Anywhow I'm probably the only person who thinks this is a good metaphor for evolution, particularly macroevolution, but this story made me think of it again.

In a finding that overturns conventional wisdom, scientists are reporting the first discovery of the female sex hormone progesterone in a plant. Until now, scientists thought that only animals could make progesterone.

"While the biological role of progesterone has been extensively studied in mammals, the reason for its presence in plants is less apparent." They speculate that the hormone, like other steroid hormones, might be an ancient bioregulator that evolved billions of years ago, before the appearance of modern plants and animals.

It seems to me we shouldn't be too surprised by the discovery of progesterone in plants because it is, after all, all one song.

Occurrence of Progesterone and Related Animal Steroids in Two Higher Plants
J. Nat. Prod., January 28, 2010

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