First Life
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First Life

Discovering the Connections between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began
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ISBN-13:
9780520948952
Seiten:
288
Autor:
David Deamer
eBook Typ:
Adobe Digital Editions
Kopierschutz:
Adobe DRM [Hard-DRM]
Sprache:
Englisch
Beschreibung:

This pathbreaking book explores how life can begin, taking us from cosmic clouds of stardust, to volcanoes on Earth, to the modern chemistry laboratory. Seeking to understand life’s connection to the stars, David Deamer introduces astrobiology, a new scientific discipline that studies the origin and evolution of life on Earth and relates it to the birth and death of stars, planet formation, interfaces between minerals, water, and atmosphere, and the physics and chemistry of carbon compounds. Deamer argues that life began as systems of molecules that assembled into membrane-bound packages. These in turn provided an essential compartment in which more complex molecules assumed new functions required for the origin of life and the beginning of evolution. Deamer takes us from the vivid and unpromising chaos of the Earth four billion years ago up to the present and his own laboratory, where he contemplates the prospects for generating synthetic life. Engaging and accessible,
First Life describes the scientific story of astrobiology while presenting a fascinating hypothesis to explain the origin of life.
This pathbreaking book explores how life can begin, taking us from cosmic clouds of stardust, to volcanoes on Earth, to the modern chemistry laboratory. Seeking to understand life’s connection to the stars, David Deamer introduces astrobiology, a new scientific discipline that studies the origin and evolution of life on Earth and relates it to the birth and death of stars, planet formation, interfaces between minerals, water, and atmosphere, and the physics and chemistry of carbon compounds. Deamer argues that life began as systems of molecules that assembled into membrane-bound packages. These in turn provided an essential compartment in which more complex molecules assumed new functions required for the origin of life and the beginning of evolution. Deamer takes us from the vivid and unpromising chaos of the Earth four billion years ago up to the present and his own laboratory, where he contemplates the prospects for generating synthetic life. Engaging and accessible, First Life describes the scientific story of astrobiology while presenting a fascinating hypothesis to explain the origin of life.
Acknowledgments



Introduction

1. A Fireball Over Australia

2. Where Did Life Begin?

3. When Did Life Begin?

4. Carbon and the Building Blocks of Life

5. The Handedness of Life

6. Energy and Life’s Origins

7. Self-Assembly and Emergence

8. How To Build a Cell

9. Achieving Complexity

10. Multiple Strands of Life

11. Catalysts: Life in the Fast Lane

12. Copying Life’s Blueprints

13. How Evolution Begins

14. A Grand Simulation of Prebiotic Earth

15. Prospects for Synthetic Life

Epilogue



Sources and Notes

Index