Life Explained

Life Explained

Hardback Odile Jacob Series

By (author) Michel Morange, Translated by Matthew Cobb, Translated by Malcolm Debevoise

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  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 192 pages
  • Dimensions: 145mm x 211mm x 20mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 2 January 2009
  • Publication City/Country: New Haven
  • ISBN 10: 030013732X
  • ISBN 13: 9780300137323

Product description

Fifty years ago Francis Crick and James D. Watson proposed the double helix model for the DNA molecule. They believed they had, as Crick put it, discovered the "secret of life", and many agreed. But in the intervening years, science has marched - sometimes leaped - forward, and now the question "What is life?" must be posed once again.In this accessible and fascinating book, Michel Morange draws on recent advances in molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, astrobiology, and other disciplines to find today's answers to the question of life. He begins by discussing the various answers that have been formulated in the past, setting contemporary definitions of life within a rich philosophical and scientific tradition that reaches back to ancient Greece. Then, with impeccable logic and a wealth of appropriate detail, Morange proceeds to lay out the fundamental characteristics that define life. The road to an understanding of life remains incompletely charted, he concludes, but the nature of its final destination is no longer an enigma.

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Author information

Michel Morange is professor of biology at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, where he directs the Centre Cavailles for the History and Philosophy of Science. He is the author of The Misunderstood Gene and A History of Molecular Biology, and has published many articles in scientific journals. Matthew Cobb is senior lecturer in animal behaviour at the University of Manchester. Malcolm DeBevoise has translated some thirty works from French in all branches of scholarship.

Review quote

"This book is remarkable for the clarity and soundness of its arguments, the fair and balanced way in which it presents controversial positions, and its unique capacity to map out unresolved questions."--Bruno J. Strasser, Yale University --Bruno J. Strasser