The Beginnings of Biological Evolution
J. William Schopf (toim.)
luotu 15.12.2022 klo 16:24
Kustantaja: University of California Press, 2002
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Always a controversial and compelling topic, the origin of life on Earth was considered taboo as an area of inquiry for science as recently as the 1950s. Since then, however, scientists working in this area have made remarkable progress, and an overall picture of how life emerged is coming more clearly into focus. We now know, for example, that the story of life's origin begins not on Earth, but in the interiors of distant stars. This book brings a summary of current research and ideas on life's origin to a wide audience. The contributors, all of whom received the Oparin/Urey Gold Medal of the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, are luminaries in the fields of chemistry, paleobiology, and astrobiology, and in these chapters they discuss their life's work: understanding the what, when, and how of the early evolution of life on Earth.
Life's Origin takes us on an expansive tour of life's beginnings from the formation, literally billions of years ago, of a small cluster of life-generating chemical elements. The book explains the nonbiologic accumulation in the primordial oceans of small, simple, organic compounds; the linking of these into larger, more complicated molecules; the rise of gene-carrying chemicals; and finally, the advent of living cells more than 3.5 billion years ago Presented in nontechnical language and including a useful glossary of scientific terms, Life's Origin gives a state-of-the-art encapsulation of the fascinating work now being done by scientists as they begin to characterize life as a natural outcome of the evolution of cosmic matter.