ABSTRACT

This chapter presents the dichotomy between the soup and the scaffolding. The semi-permeable membranes that hold back some chemicals, allow some others through and actively transport other substances in one direction or another may seem to create a compromise between soup and scaffolding but they do not really solve the problem of the integration at every level so that organelles, cells, organs and organisms act as a whole. The increasing emphasis, noted on 'integrative biology' is a reminder of the fact that it is easier to take life apart than to put it together again, to recover the physiology and the anatomy from the chemistry. For a long time, there was controversy as to whether some of these ultramicroscopic structures were real or whether they were merely artefacts of the staining methods used. The mystery of life is that it is able to create the most immediate conditions of its own continuation while being anything but neat.