|Fig. 1 The Citric Counselors|
Could the smallest brain be "the citric acid cycle" (Fig. 1)?
With the help of the wonderful works of art of Celeste Roberge I will contemplate that question.
Let's contemplate and answer "If so, then a group of Carbon, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Sulfur, Phosphorus, and Oxygen atoms got together and "decided" to become "a cycle."
The cycle begins when a smaller group transfers some of "itself" ("its 2-carbon acetyl group") to another smaller group to make a larger group.
One wonders if that decreased or increased the brain power, because in the end "it" keeps on "thinking" the same thing and doing the same thing.
But "its longstanding sway over our planet's biotic processes" takes a lot of "molecule-level shenanigans", where 'splainin' how these atoms select their "self" (Transformer, The Krebs (Bi)Cycle) is something only those who play with the doll named "Coenzyme A" can "know" for sure (The Doll As Metaphor, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
II. The Data
|Oxaloacetate C4H4O5 +|
Acetyl-CoA ((C23H38N7O17P3S + H2O) -
CoA-SH (C21H36N7O16P3S)) =
|Citrate (C6H8O7) --> Isocitrate (C6H8O7)|
Step 2: The citrate is rearranged to form an isomeric form, isocitrate (C6H8O7)
|Isocitrate (C6H8O7) --> Alpha-ketoglutarate (C5H6O5)|
Step 3: The 6-carbon isocitrate is oxidized and a molecule of carbon dioxide is removed producing the 5-carbon molecule alpha-ketoglutarate. During this oxidation, NAD+is reduced to NADH and H+ (C5H6O5).
|Alpha-ketoglutarate (C5H6O5) --> Succinyl-CoA (C25H40N7O19P3S)|
Step 4: Alpha-ketoglutarate is oxidized carbon dioxide is removed, and coenzyme A is added to form the 4-carbon compound succinyl-CoA. During this oxidation, NAD+ is reduced to NADH + H+ (C25H40N7O19P3S).
|Succinyl-CoA (C25H40N7O19P3S) --> Succinate (C4H6O4)|
Step 5: CoA is removed from succinyl-CoA to produce succinate. The energy released is used to make guanosine triphosphate (GTP) from guanosine diphosphate (GDP) and Pi by substrate-level phosphorylation. GTP can then be used to make ATP (C4H6O4).
|Succinate (C4H6O4) --> Fumarate (C4H4O4)|
Step 6: Succinate is oxidized to fumarate. During this oxidation, FAD is reduced to FADH2 (C4H4O4).
|Fumarate (C4H4O4) --> Malate (C4H6O5)|
Step 7: Water is added to fumarate to form malate (C4H6O5).
|Malate (C4H6O5) --> Oxaloacetate C4H4O5|
Step 8: Malate is oxidized to produce oxaloacetate, the starting compound of the citric acid cycle. During this oxidation, NAD+ is reduced to NADH + H+ (C4H4O5).
III. The Art Of Artifical Thinking
|Step 1. Coenzyme A|
Contemplates Transferring A
chunk of self
|Step 2. The citrate is rearranged|
|Step 3. 6-carbon isocitrate is oxidized|
and a molecule of
carbon dioxide is removed
|Step 4. Alpha-ketoglutarate is oxidized|
carbon dioxide is removed
and coenzyme A is added to its "self"
|Step 5. CoA is removed|
to produce succinate
|Step 6. Succinate is oxidized|
|Step 7: Water is added|
to form malate
|Step 8: Malate is oxidized|
to produce oxaloacetate
"I AM A CYCLE NOW"
IV. The Answer
It is not that complicated:
“Teleology is like a mistress to the biologist; he dare not be seen with her in public but cannot live without her.” —J. B. S. Haldane
(Metaphor and Meaning in the Teleological Language of Biology). Watch the video below (spoiler alert "We don't know"), because the most-honest we can be with our words is "we don't know":
|Dr. Paul Falkowski|
(From transcript, emphasis added).
V. Closing Comments
There are billions of atoms in each of the "rock people" art work by Celeste, yet I could hopefully not convince you that they are contemplating and doing what a handful of atoms are said to be contemplating and doing (deciding to be a cycle).
This is just one example of what the use of teleology does to make "science" into pseudo-science (On The Origin of Genieology - 2).