Obviously anyone with even a basic interest in origin of life questions will be watching the progress of Curiosity on Mars. Those of us who buy in to the serpentine and alkaline hydothermal vents concept will be interested in whether the crustal chemistry of Mars is olivine based and whether major water bodies were even present. Or equally, whether a semblance of white non-smokers might be present when acidic ground-water interacts with olivine, without needing an ocean and vents... An interesting time for testing hypotheses about whether there is life "out there", in our own back yard...
EDIT: A quick google shows olivine, serpentine and methane plumes are all present on Mars. The methane could easily be abiotic in origin, the question is whether it actually is or not...
On the more down to Earth front, if anyone thinks my basic ideas about the ratio of FADH2 based input vs NADH input to the ETC determining superoxide production are not totally incomprehensible, we are definitely not alone. I had a very nice email from Dr Speijer in Amsterdam, a fellow thinker along these lines. He has come to exactly the same conclusions and published an hypothesis paper in Bioessays back in 2011. The first section is just excellent. We may diverge in interpretation (but not FADH2:NADH ratios) very slightly late in the essay on PUFA, but it really is full of very good thinking and an excellent paper.
His ideas about peroxisomes (a very early eukaryotic invention) of course addresses that age old question of "Who's (macroscopic) fat is it anyway?", the answer being that the gut bacteria own it. On the sub cellular front, fat is primarily made in cytoplasm but at the behest of the mitochondria, only secondarily in peroxisomes and, as peroxisomes are probably a response to deal with overly long (ie excessively high FADH2 generating) fatty acids, the answer would seem to be mitochondria order fatty acid production, they own them and they have their own agenda for them. It's a sort of intracellular parallel the the fiaf series on gut bacteria and adipocytes. Very interesting concept.
If mitochondria own fatty acids I would expect them to enjoy burning fatty acids. Whatever the generation of controlled superoxide is, it's what keeps mitochondria happy. Then there is the brain to think about, its avoidance of fatty acids, it's love of ketones for an occasional fling and its very probable long term love affair with lactic acid. All based on FADH2 to NADH ratios of course.
There's a lot to post about. Back to the Protons series next (I think).