Happy Birthday Amino Acids!

What gives each of us the illusion of being alive is a runaway chemical chain reaction that has been going on for some 3.67 billion years.  This is the longest continuous, unbroken chemical reaction of its kind known to modern science, one that has replicated itself to the point where it may soon be forced to jump across the vacuum of space to reach new, untapped troves of carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen.

One of the key events in the self-actualization of this chemical process was the invention of the amino acid, which occurred 3,658,752,000 years ago today.  (The time of day when it occurred has been lost, partly due to time zones having shifted because continents had not yet been invented.)

First of the amino acids was lathioalamate, which has sadly been superseded by other amino acids in all extant earthly lifeforms.  And yet lathioalamate was not a dead end, but rather played a key role in the construction of its successors.  To be sure, all of those archaic aminos were subtly different from the ones that have come down to us, partly as a result of Nitrogen, especially, putting on a not entirely inconsiderable amount of weight in the intervening years as a result of occult “interactions” with dark energy.  (Shame on you!)

In any event, never mind the humble bacterium:  we are all descendants of an amino acid!  (Though various other molecules were involved as well.)

From the jovial, good-natured hydrophilic aminos, to the surly and gruff (though with a heart of gold, sometimes literally) hydrophobic aminos, amino acids are as different from each other as a group of guys I knew in high school.

In honor of this anniversary, let us all consume foods containing each and every one of the amino acids used by our bodies.  After all, we carry a huge responsibility to respect these chemical processes that have been going strong, and without interruption, for so many eons.