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9780190099008

Origin of Life What Everyone Needs to Know®

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780190099008

  • ISBN10:

    0190099003

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2020-09-01
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Summary

It seems likely that scientists will someday discover how life can emerge on habitable planets like the early Earth and Mars.

In Origin of Life: What Everyone Needs to Know? , David W. Deamer has written a comprehensive guide to the origin of life that is organized in three sections. The first section addresses questions such as: Where do the atoms of life come from? How old is Earth? What was the Earth like before life began? Where does water come from? After each question is answered, there is a follow-up: How do we know? This expands the horizon of the book, explaining how scientists reach conclusions and why we can trust these answers. The second section describes how certain organic molecules can spontaneously assemble into populations of protocells that can undergo selection and evolve toward primitive living systems. Here Deamer proposes a truly novel concept that life did not begin in the ocean but instead in fresh water hot springs on volcanic land masses resembling Hawaii today. True knowledge is not just what we know, but equally important is what we don't yet know. In the third section Deamer lists the outstanding questions that must be addressed before we can finally answer a fundamental question of biology: How can life begin?

Author Biography


David W. Deamer is Research Professor of Biomolecular Engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is author of several books, including Assembling Life (Oxford University Press 2019).

Table of Contents


Introduction

Section 1: How to Assemble a Habitable Planet
Section 2: From Not Alive to Almost Alive
Section 3: What We Still Need to Discover

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