Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H20 / Edition 1

Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H20 / Edition 1

by Ruth M. Lynden-Bell
     
 

Reflecting a rich technical and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H20 focuses on the properties of water and its interaction with life. The book develops a variety of approaches that help to illuminate ways in which to address deeper questions with respect to the nature of the universe and our

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Overview

Reflecting a rich technical and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H20 focuses on the properties of water and its interaction with life. The book develops a variety of approaches that help to illuminate ways in which to address deeper questions with respect to the nature of the universe and our place within it.

Grouped in five broad parts, this collection examines the arguments of Lawrence J. Henderson and other scholars on the "fitness" of water for life as part of the physical and chemical properties of nature considered as a foundational environment within which life has emerged and evolved. Leading authorities delve into a range of themes and questions that span key areas of ongoing debate and uncertainty. They draw from the fields of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, planetary and earth sciences, physics, astronomy, and their subspecialties. Several chapters also deal with humanistic disciplines, such as the history of science and theology, to provide additional perspectives.

Bringing together highly esteemed researchers from multidisciplinary fields, this volume addresses fundamental questions relating to the possible role of water in the origin of life in the cosmos. It supports readers in their own explorations of the origin and meaning of life and the role of water in maintaining life.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439803561
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis
Publication date:
06/02/2010
Pages:
396
Product dimensions:
7.20(w) x 10.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Meet the Author

Ruth M. Lynden-Bell is emeritus professor of chemistry at Queen’s University, Belfast and an emerita fellow of Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge.

Simon Conway Morris is a professor of earth sciences at the University of Cambridge.

John D. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at the University of Cambridge, and Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College.

John L. Finney is emeritus professor of physics in the London Centre for Nanotechnology at University College London.

Charles L. Harper, Jr. is chancellor for international distance learning and senior vice president of the American University System as well as president of Vision-Five.com Consulting.

Table of Contents

Foreword ix

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xv

Contributors xvii

Part I This Strange Substance Called "Water"

Chapter 1 Is Water an Amniotic Eden or a Corrosive Hell? Emerging Perspectives on the Strangest Fluid in the Universe Simon Conway Morris Ard A. Louis 3

Chapter 2 Water and Life: Friend or Foe? Felix Franks 11

Chapter 3 An Introduction to the Properties of Water: Which Might Be Critical to Biological Processes? John L. Finney 29

Chapter 4 Water as a Biomolecule Philip Ball 49

Chapter 5 Water's Hydrogen Bond Strength Martin F. Chaplin 69

Part II The Specific Properties of Water-How and Why Water is Eccentric

Chapter 6 Properties of Liquids Made from Modified Water Models Ruth M. Lynden-Bell Pablo G. Debenedetti 89

Chapter 7 Understanding the Unusual Properties of Water Giancarlo Franzese H. Eugene Stanley 101

Chapter 8 Counter factual Quantum Chemistry of Water Wesley D. Allen Henry F. Schaefer, III 119

Chapter 9 Properties of Nanoconfined Water Branka M. Ladanyi 135

Part III Water in Biochemistry

Chapter 10 Water: Constraining Biological Chemistry and the Origin of Life Steven A. Benner 157

Chapter 11 Fine-Tuning and Small Differences between Large Numbers John L. Finney 177

Chapter 12 Fine-Tuning Protein Stability Carlos Warnick Pace Abbas Razvi J. Martin Scholtz 189

Chapter 13 Water and Information Thomas C. B. McLeish 203

Chapter 14 Counterfactual Biomolecular Physics: Protein Folding and Molecular Recognition in Water and Other Fluid Environments Peter G. Wolynes 213

Part IV Water, the Solar System, and the Origin of Life

Chapter 15 Sources of Terrestrial and Martian Water Humberto Campins Michael J. Drake 221

Chapter 16 Water: The Tough-Love Parent of Life Veronica Vaida Adrian F. Tuck 235

Chapter 17 What is the Diversity of Life in the Cosmos? Peter D. Ward 249

Chapter 18 The Primordial Bubble: Water, Symmetry-Breaking, and the Origin of Life Louis Lerman 259

Chapter 19 Liquids, Biopolymers, and Evolvability: Case Studies in Counterfactual Water-Life Wilson C. K. Poon 291

Part V Water-The Human Dimension

Chapter 20 Some Early Responses to the Special Properties of Water Colin A. Russell 303

Chapter 21 Lawrence Henderson's Natural Teleology Bruce H. Weber 327

Chapter 22 Water: A Navigable Channel from Science to God? Alister E. McGrath 345

Index 357

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