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Life S Engines

Author: Paul G. Falkowski
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400865727
Size: 25.79 MB
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For almost four billion years, microbes had the primordial oceans all to themselves. The stewards of Earth, these organisms transformed the chemistry of our planet to make it habitable for plants, animals, and us. Life's Engines takes readers deep into the microscopic world to explore how these marvelous creatures made life on Earth possible—and how human life today would cease to exist without them. Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built—and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how evolution works to maintain this core machinery of life, and how we and other animals are veritable conglomerations of microbes. A vibrantly entertaining book about the microbes that support our very existence, Life's Engines will inspire wonder about these elegantly complex nanomachines that have driven life since its origin. It also issues a timely warning about the dangers of tinkering with that machinery to make it more "efficient" at meeting the ever-growing demands of humans in the coming century.

Oxygen

Author: Donald E. Canfield
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400849888
Size: 75.44 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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The air we breathe is twenty-one percent oxygen, an amount higher than on any other known world. While we may take our air for granted, Earth was not always an oxygenated planet. How did it become this way? Donald Canfield—one of the world's leading authorities on geochemistry, earth history, and the early oceans—covers this vast history, emphasizing its relationship to the evolution of life and the evolving chemistry of the Earth. Canfield guides readers through the various lines of scientific evidence, considers some of the wrong turns and dead ends along the way, and highlights the scientists and researchers who have made key discoveries in the field. Showing how Earth’s atmosphere developed over time, Oxygen takes readers on a remarkable journey through the history of the oxygenation of our planet. Some images inside the book are unavailable due to digital copyright restrictions.

Biography Of A Germ

Author: Arno Karlen
Publisher: Anchor
ISBN: 0385720661
Size: 63.18 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A fascinating introduction to the opportunistic microbe that causes Lyme disease traces the corkscrew shaped germ to its origins in the sea millions of years ago and reveals how it has managed to survive and prosper for so long. Reprint. 15,000 first printing.

Life S Ratchet

Author: Peter M. Hoffmann
Publisher: Basic Books
ISBN: 0465022537
Size: 22.16 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
View: 2006
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A physicist describes how life emerges from the random motion of atoms through sophisticated cellular machinery and describes the long quest to determine the true nature of life from ancient Greece to the study of modern nanotechnology. 20,000 first printing.

Aquatic Photosynthesis

Author: Paul G. Falkowski
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400849721
Size: 34.18 MB
Format: PDF
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Aquatic Photosynthesis is a comprehensive guide to understanding the evolution and ecology of photosynthesis in aquatic environments. This second edition, thoroughly revised to bring it up to date, describes how one of the most fundamental metabolic processes evolved and transformed the surface chemistry of the Earth. The book focuses on recent biochemical and biophysical advances and the molecular biological techniques that have made them possible. In ten chapters that are self-contained but that build upon information presented earlier, the book starts with a reductionist, biophysical description of the photosynthetic reactions. It then moves through biochemical and molecular biological patterns in aquatic photoautotrophs, physiological and ecological principles, and global biogeochemical cycles. The book considers applications to ecology, and refers to historical developments. It can be used as a primary text in a lecture course, or as a supplemental text in a survey course such as biological oceanography, limnology, or biogeochemistry.

Deep Life

Author: Tullis C. Onstott
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400884241
Size: 54.97 MB
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Deep Life takes readers to uncharted regions deep beneath Earth's crust in search of life in extreme environments and reveals how astonishing new discoveries by geomicrobiologists are helping the quest to find life in the solar system. Tullis Onstott, named one of the 100 most influential people in America by Time magazine, provides an insider’s look at the pioneering fieldwork that is shining vital new light on Earth’s hidden biology—a thriving subterranean biosphere that scientists once thought to be impossible. Come along on epic descents two miles underground into South African gold mines to experience the challenges that Onstott and his team had to overcome. Join them in their search for microbes in the ancient seabed below the desert floor in the American Southwest, and travel deep beneath the frozen wastelands of the Arctic tundra to discover life as it could exist on Mars. Blending cutting-edge science with thrilling scientific adventure, Deep Life features rare and unusual encounters with exotic life forms, including a bacterium living off radiation and a hermaphroditic troglodytic worm that has changed our understanding of how complex subsurface life can really be. This unforgettable book takes you to the absolute limits of life—the biotic fringe—where today’s scientists hope to discover the very origins of life itself.

Life Unfolding

Author: Jamie A. Davies
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199673535
Size: 17.11 MB
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Tells the story of human development from egg to adult, showing how the understanding of how human beings come to be has been transformed in recent years.

Microbes From Hell

Author: Patrick Forterre
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022626596X
Size: 22.82 MB
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At the close of the 1970s, the two-domain classification scheme long used by most biologists—prokaryotes versus eukaryotes—was upended by the discovery of an entirely new group of organisms: archaea. Initially thought to be bacteria, these single-celled microbes—many of which were first found in seemingly unlivable habitats like the volcanic hot springs of Yellowstone National Park—were in fact so different at molecular and genetic levels as to constitute a separate, third domain beside bacteria and eukaryotes. Their discovery sparked a conceptual revolution in our understanding of the evolution of life, and Patrick Forterre was—and still is—at the vanguard of this revolution. In Microbes from Hell, one of the world’s leading experts on archaea and hyperthermophiles, or organisms that have evolved to flourish in extreme temperatures, offers a colorful, engaging account of this taxonomic upheaval. Blending tales of his own search for thermophiles with discussions of both the physiological challenges thermophiles face and the unique adaptations they have evolved to live in high-temperature environments, Forterre illuminates our developing understanding of the relationship between archaea and the rest of Earth’s organisms. From biotech applications to the latest discoveries in thermophile research, from microbiomes to the communities of organisms that dwell on deep-sea vents, Forterre’s exploration of life-forms that seem to thrive at the mouth of hell provides a glimpse into the early days of Earth, offering deep insight into what life may have looked like in the extreme environments of our planet’s dawn.

From Dust To Life

Author: John Chambers
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400885566
Size: 60.13 MB
Format: PDF
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The birth and evolution of our solar system is a tantalizing mystery that may one day provide answers to the question of human origins. From Dust to Life tells the remarkable story of how the celestial objects that make up the solar system arose from common beginnings billions of years ago, and how scientists and philosophers have sought to unravel this mystery down through the centuries, piecing together the clues that enabled them to deduce the solar system's layout, its age, and the most likely way it formed. Drawing on the history of astronomy and the latest findings in astrophysics and the planetary sciences, John Chambers and Jacqueline Mitton offer the most up-to-date and authoritative treatment of the subject available. They examine how the evolving universe set the stage for the appearance of our Sun, and how the nebulous cloud of gas and dust that accompanied the young Sun eventually became the planets, comets, moons, and asteroids that exist today. They explore how each of the planets acquired its unique characteristics, why some are rocky and others gaseous, and why one planet in particular--our Earth--provided an almost perfect haven for the emergence of life. From Dust to Life is a must-read for anyone who desires to know more about how the solar system came to be. This enticing book takes readers to the very frontiers of modern research, engaging with the latest controversies and debates. It reveals how ongoing discoveries of far-distant extrasolar planets and planetary systems are transforming our understanding of our own solar system's astonishing history and its possible fate.

What Is Life

Author: Addy Pross
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0198784791
Size: 24.15 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrodinger posed a profound question: 'What is life, and how did it emerge from non-life?' This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists ever since. Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology? What could have led the first replicating molecules up such a path? Now, developments in the emerging field of 'systems chemistry' are unlocking the problem. Addy Pross shows how the different kind of stability that operates among replicating molecules results in a tendency for chemical systems to become more complex and acquire the properties of life. Strikingly, he demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper, well-defined chemical concept: the whole story from replicating molecules to complex life is one continuous process governed by an underlying physical principle. The gulf between biology and the physical sciences is finally becoming bridged. This new edition includes an Epilogue describing developments in the concepts of fundamental forms of stability discussed in the book, and their profound implications. Oxford Landmark Science books are 'must-read' classics of modern science writing which have crystallized big ideas, and shaped the way we think.