Biogenesis : Theories of Life's Origin

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Biogenesis provides an up-to-date and detailed discussion of the interdisciplinary study of the origin of life, including in-depth investigations into its history, assumptions, experimental strategies, theories, models, and controversies. Written both critically and objectively, the book explores topics including the history of the search for life's origin from the Greek philosophers to contemporary scientists; selected attributes of life which are connected to theories of biogenesis; the main features of our solar system and earth, where life is assumed to have originated; and the rationale and strategies of scientific theories of the origin of life. Filled with fascinating insights, Biogenesis will appeal to a wide range of scientists and students in biology, chemistry, and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 361 pages
  • 157.48 x 233.68 x 30.48mm | 657.71g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 6 halftones, 53 line figures, bibliography
  • 0195117549
  • 9780195117547

Table of contents

Prologue - on universes, elements, planets, and life. Part I History of the search into the origin of life - on the shoulders of so many: from myths to logos to stagnation; experimental biology of the 17th century; systematic biology, doubts and uncertainties - the 18th century; demise and resurrection of the spontaneous generation school - Pasteur and Darwin; the modern era - spontaneous generation at the molecular level. Part II Central features of life as we know it in our phylogenetic tree: a general morphological-functional characterization of the cell; general chemical, biochemical, and molecular-biological characterization; general thermodynamic considerations; central biochemical molecules and processes; biological conservation and continuity and the phylogenetic tree; biological life - a multitude of points of view. Part III Our universe, galaxy, and solar system: planet Earth. Part IV Beyond the progenote - rationale, strategies, scenarios, and models in the search of the origin of life; basic assumptions and strategies; clues and speculations by back-extrapolation from cosmology and geology; clues from biology - evolution, conservatism, continuity, and their implications; top-down reconstruction of processes and early evolutionary stages without specific geochemical consideration; bottom-up reconstruction without specific biogeochemical conditions; bottom-up biogeochemical reconstruction - starting from organic scratch in the absence of minerals; bottom-up biogeochemical reconstruction - minerals functioning as scaffolds, adsorbents, catalysts, and information carriers; bottom-up biogeochemical reconstructions - mineral involvement in energy production and transfer; possible sites for molecular evolution scenarios and their rhythms; computer modeling of biogeochemical more

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