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About Life Concepts in Modern Biology

ISBN-10: 1402054173

ISBN-13: 9781402054174

Edition: 2007

Authors: Paul S. Agutter, Denys N. Wheatley

List price: $54.99
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Description:

This book uses modern biological knowledge to tackle the question: "What distinguishes living organisms from the non-living world?" In the first few chapters, the authors draw on recent advances in cell and molecular biology to develop an account of the "living state" that applies to all organisms, but only to organisms. Subsequent chapters use this account to explore questions about evolution, the origin of life and the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Towards the end of the book the authors consider human evolution, intelligence and the extent to which our species can be regarded as biologically unique. About Life is written as far as possible in non-technical language; all scientific terms are explained straightforwardly when they are introduced. It is aimed at the general, non-specialist reader, but the novel approach that it takes to general issues in biology will also interest students of the life sciences.
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Book details

List price: $54.99
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Springer
Publication date: 1/23/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 244
Size: 7.25" wide x 9.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Preface
Introduction
Ingredients of the simplest cells: (Prokaryotes and the sizes of their contents)
Bigger cells: (Eukaryotic cells and their contents)
Hives of industry: (A survey of intermediary metabolism)
Delights of transport: (How the cell's contents are moved around)
As if standing still: (Cellular homeostasis and regulatory processes)
Internal state and gene expression: (Transcription and its control)
Sustaining and changing the internal state: (The interrelationship between gene expression and the cell's current composition and functional state)
Responding to the environment: (Signal processing, gene expression and internal state)
The living state: (A characterization of 'life')
Stability and change in DNA: (How genes can be altered)
The spice of life: (Diversity, natural selection and symbiosis)
Curriculum vitae: (An outline history of life on Earth)
The origin of life: (Some major ideas and unanswered questions)
Other worlds: (The possibility of extraterrestrial life)
Intelligent behaviour and brains: (The biological meaning of "intelligence")
Human evolution: (Human intelligence and the question of human uniqueness)
Cells, brains and computers: towards a characterisation of mind
Glossary and pronunciation guide
Further reading
Index