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Oxygen- Friend or Foe

In this episode, we argued for and against the role of oxygen on planet Earth. We covered both how oxygen evolved and how humans evolved to rely on it, and what the consequences of the abundance of oxygen are, namely reactive oxygen species.

How did oxygen evolve on planet Earth?

The Great Oxygenation Event

The Ice Age (Huronian Glaciation)

How did oxygen influence the evolution of metabolic mechanisms?

How necessary is oxygen? Do all animals breathe oxygen?

What negative effects can reactive oxygen species have?

Sleep Loss Can Cause Death through Accumulation of Reactive Oxygen Species in the Gut

Update (March 2023):

An excellent review article overviewing how oxygen has influenced evolution and particularly brain function was recently been published! Check it out here.


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