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17.5: Connection to Planetary Boundaries

  • Page ID
    306562
  • Connection to a Planetary Boundary:

    The article relates to the biosphere integrity boundary. Due to its properties and its ability to form sulfides, cysteine has a major role in biology. Before Earth’s atmosphere had ample oxygen, it was highly sulfuric, and so organisms had to evolve to make the most of sulfur. Some traits were passed down, as plants continue to synthesize cysteine.⁴ However, cysteine can be very toxic, especially to human health. If too much or too little cysteine is made, cell functions will be impacted, possibly killing the plant. If an animal eats a plant with too much cysteine, it can result in a potential overdose. 

     

    The article may be helpful in reducing the amount of cysteine, but the methyl iodide and S-methyl cysteine could present another set of problems.

     

    Sources:

    ⁴Hell, R.; Wirtz, M. Molecular Biology, Biochemistry and Cellular Physiology of Cysteine Metabolism in Arabidopsis thaliana. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3268551/ (accessed Apr 11, 2021).

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