The paradox of needing low oxygen to thrive in high oxygen
We generally consider oxygen to be essential for animal life to exist and function. However, to build tissues and heal them when wounded, new cells require conditions of low oxygen (hypoxia). Tissues are built by immature cells, and these cells stay immature under conditions of hypoxia. This insight from how tissues are formed suggests that animal evolution has learned to keep hypoxia internally. The EU-funded ParadOX project investigates the role of processes that harness hypoxia to enable organisms to thrive in conditions with oxygen and even drive the diversification of animals. The project re-evaluates several events in Earth’s history with hypoxia-dependency in mind. Through a geobiological lens of experimental and theoretical work, the project will focus on the role of hypoxia in plants and animals.
Call for proposal
See other projects for this call