Cellular Seduction

Illustration for TIME by Yuko Shimizu

Most of us go through life without thinking much about our mitochondria — the small power producers within our cells. We remember them, if at all, as blobs in cell diagrams from biology class. But, by controlling cell differentiation, movement, death and growth, they are crucial to keeping us alive. And in the surreal, over-the-top and often unintentionally humorous biomedical horror Parasite Eve, Japanese novelist Hideaki Sena depicts them as sentient beings — so indignant over our indifference that they want to wipe us out and take over the world. Of course the notion is far-fetched, but...

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