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The Molecular Origins of Life: Assembling Pieces of the Puzzle 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
ISBN-13: 978-0521564755
ISBN-10: 0521564751
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Editorial Reviews


"It is predicted that completing [the] origin-of-life puzzle will be a major human endeavor in the next millennium. The Molecular Origins of Life provides a detailed look at many of the pieces scientists have started to assemble." Journal of the American Chemical Society

"Well edited...It is an entertaining volume yet contains excellent informative science." Choice

"A good reference book for those seeking down-to-earth up-to-date facts and theories... Cell

"A valuable tool for biologists, Earth scientists, astronomers, and chemists." Biosis

Book Description

The origin of life was probably a unique occurrence, and reconstructing this event is like assembling a puzzle made up of many pieces. The aim of this book is to integrate discoveries in astronomy, planetology, paleontology, biology and chemistry, and use this knowledge to give us a better understanding of the likely origin of life on Earth. Eighteen top experts contribute chapters that discuss everything from the environment and atmosphere of the early Earth, through the appearance of organic molecules in the prebiotic environment, to primitive chemical systems capable of self-replication and evolution by mutation.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (December 28, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521564751
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521564755
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,926,984 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is a great book for anyone interested in the origin of life on Earth, even though it came out in 1998. This field continues to flourish with new theories and new findings, but as a layperson interested in the topic, I have struggled at times to find foundational knowledge about biochemistry and geochemistry that would allow a deeper appreciation of the various theories of abiogenesis and their shortfalls. This book provides much of that, along with contributions by many of the leading theorists in the field, from Wachtershauser and the late Stanley Miller to Alan Schwartz, David Deamer and Christian de Duve. Many other books on abiogenesis either present just one perspective and seem to gloss over the shortcomings of that theory, or do such a superficial treatment of the topic that you can't make a good judgment of how likely or unlikely a particular theory is. The gap between that and the many available research papers of relevance is made a little more surmountable by a book like this. It is written in a style that an reasonably intelligent layperson can understand, especially if you can remember a little from Chem 100 back in college.
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