Cosmic Biology: How Life Could Evolve on Other Worlds / Edition 1

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Overview

It is very unlikely that little green humanoids are living on Mars. But what are the possible life forms that might exist in our Solar System and how might they have evolved?
This uniquely authoritative and imaginative book on the possibilties for alien life addresses the intrinsic interest that we have about life on other worlds - reinforcing some of our assumptions and reshaping others. It introduces new possibilties that will enlarge our understanding of the issue overall, in particular the enormous range of environments and planetary conditions within which life might evolve.
Cosmic Biology
-discusses a broad range of possible environments where alien life might have evolved;
-explains why carbon-based, water-borne life is more likely that its alternatives, but is not the only possiblity;
-applies the principles of planetary science and modern biology to evolutionary scenarios on other worlds;
-looks at the future fates of living systems, including those on Earth.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

As a neurobiologist,Louis NealIrwin hasbeen a student of evolution, complexity, and behavior over a 40 year career of academic teaching and research. Irwinhas published close to 60 original research articles, literature and book reviews, encyclopedia entries, and commentaries on the brain, behavior, and evolution, including one book ("Scotophobin") on the early development of neuroscience.
Ten years ago,Irwin became a Solar System Educator for NASA, originally in conjunction with the launch of the Cassini-Huygens Mission to Saturn but later as representative for all the robotic exploratory missions managed by the Jet Propulsion Lab. In that capacityhe became familiar with the details of space exploration for the purpose of conducting teacher workshops.Soon thereafter,he also began a collaboration with Dirk Schulze-Makuch on research into the definition of life and the plausibility of searching for and finding life on other worlds.As NASA turned its attention to the emerging field of astrobiology, Schulze-Makuch andIrwin began to publish their research in that area, culminating in the joint authorship of "Life in the Universe: Expectations and Constraints," which many regard as the definitive work in the field of astrobiology for the technical specialist.
Dirk Schulze-Makuch As a trained hydrogeologistDirk Schulze-Makuchentered the field of astrobiology by studing extremophilic organisms in hot springs. Propelled by a major NASA grantDirk then joined the Europa Focus Group and some time later the Titan Focus Group of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Recent interests include nearly all aspects of astrobiology including mission-aligned efforts to detect life on Mars and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

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Table of Contents

Preface.- List of Illustrations.- Chapter 1: Rare Earths and Life Unseen.- Chapter 2: Life, Chemistry, Action!.- Chapter 3: Life's Fundamentals.- Chapter 4: Fire and Water.- Chapter 5: Frozen Desert.- Chapter 6: Hell Fire and Brimstone.- Chapter 7: Suspended Animation.- Chapter 8: Deep and Dark.- Chapter 9: Fire and Ice.- Chapter 10: Petrolakes.- Chapter 11: Exotic Cocktails.- Chapter 12: Biocomplexity in the Cosmos.- Chapter13: Anticipating the Future.- Glossary.- Index.

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