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First Life Discovering the Connections Between Stars, Cells, and How Life Began

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ISBN-10: 0520258320

ISBN-13: 9780520258327

Edition: 2011

Authors: David Deamer

List price: $46.00
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Description:

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 Lifedescribes the scientific story of astrobiology while presenting a fascinating hypothesis to explain the origin of life.
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Book details

List price: $46.00
Copyright year: 2011
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 5/10/2011
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 288
Size: 7.75" wide x 11.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 1.738
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction
A Fireball Over Australia
Where Did Life Begin?
When Did Life Begin?
Carbon and the Building Blocks of Life
The Handedness of Life
Energy and Life's Origins
Self-Assembly and Emergence
How To Build a Cell
Achieving Complexity
Multiple Strands of Life
Catalysts: Life in the Fast Lane
Copying Life's Blueprints
How Evolution Begins
A Grand Simulation of Prebiotic Earth
Prospects for Synthetic Life
Epilogue
Sources and Notes
Index