Boundaries and Transitions from Symbiotic to Assimilated

Question: What happens when one life form leverages and then absorbs the function of another life form, when a symbiotic relationship becomes a subroutine?

In cell biology, an organelle is a specialized subunit within a cell that has a specific function. In some instances, we know that these organelles evolved from previously distinct organisms with a so-called life of their own. A useful symbiotic bacteria, for example, may be replicated by a host organism, integrated as a new cellular structure. Photosynthesis in plant cells emerged in this way.

More interesting questions: Are the two states of before and after divided by an instant with nothing in between? Or, does the evolution involve a third state, a transitory state that defies definition? Does a natural transition differ from one catalyzed by the hands of people? Can symbiotic assimilations occur when compromised of organic, synthetic and digital matter?

Scientist may have discovered this moment in the wild. More: New Scientist …destined to be organelles.

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