offers an invaluable vision of life..before DNA and proteins...enjoyable to read, easy to understand..will appeal to readers with a strong interest in evolution and molecular biology. --Current Reviews for Academic Libraries -H. Zhou, Seton Hall U.
So, should you buy this book and read it? Yes -- if you have any interest in molecular evolution you will be enlivened, informed and amused. Will you get definitive proof of the RNA world? No -- as Elvis Costello said, it's 'still too soon to know' - John Sutherland, Nature Chemistry 2: 603 (2010)
.. those items are what I most liked about the book. Other readers will likely find other gems and insight in what is an accessible account of "Life from an RNA World". - Arthur G. Hunt, Reports of the National Center for Science Education, 2011.
Yarus captivates with skilled character development -- but here, the characters are the prebiotic molecules that gave rise to everything that has ever lived or is alive today on our planet. (Thomas Cech, Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 1989)Life from an RNA World
is an unconventional book about RNA. Rather than opening with the central dogma and attendant teachings on molecular biology, Yarus uses evolution as a gateway. He then takes us on a journey through evolutionary time, concentrating on the roles of the various forms of RNA...[He] is a proficient guide. (Tim Harris Nature
Michael Yarus' book is a very enjoyable read, be the reader a well informed molecular biologist, or a lay person...Surely this book will highlight and increase the interest in the RNA world; raising the awareness that we are all, after all, the children of RNA. (Michael Ladomery Chemistry World
Although precise historical details of the particular origin of life on Earth are probably unknowable, most scientists agree that a world existed in which RNA performed the duties of both genes and enzymes. This RNA world in turn evolved into the DNA-RNA-protein world of today. Michael Yarus's Life from an RNA World
offers an engaging introduction to the subject...Recent discoveries make Yarus's book particularly timely, especially as a light-hearted introduction for scientifically minded readers outside the field. His chatty prose conveys the voice of a tour guide on a journey through the RNA world, introducing essential evolutionary and molecular biology and pointing out must-not-miss attractions. Even members of the origins-of-life community may appreciate his whimsical explanations of familiar phenomena. (Irene A. Chen Science