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Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms and the Order of Life
     

Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms and the Order of Life

by Franklin M. Harold
 

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ISBN-10: 0195163389

ISBN-13: 9780195163384

Pub. Date: 04/04/2003

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

What is life? Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the world's most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question.
What is the

Overview

What is life? Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the world's most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question.
What is the relationship of living things to the inanimate realm of chemistry and physics? How do lifeless but special chemicals come together to form those intricate dynamic ensembles that we recognize as life? To shed light on these questions, Franklin Harold focuses here on microorganisms—in particular, the supremely well-researched bacterium E. coli—because the cell is the simplest level of organization that manifests all the features of the phenomenon of life. Harold shows that as simple as they appear when compared to ourselves, every cell displays a dynamic pattern in space and time, orders of magnitude richer than its elements. It integrates the writhings and couplings of billions of molecules into a coherent whole, draws matter and energy into itself, constructs and reproduces its own order, and persists in this manner for numberless generations while continuously adapting to a changing world.
A cell constitutes a unitary whole, a unit of life, and in this volume one of the leading authorities on the cell gives us a vivid picture of what goes on within this minute precinct. The result is a richly detailed, meticulously crafted account of what modern science can tell us about life as well as one scientist's personal attempt to wring understanding from the tide of knowledge.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195163384
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/04/2003
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
675,835
Product dimensions:
9.10(w) x 6.00(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile:
1370L (what's this?)

Table of Contents

Prefaceix
Acknowledgmentsxiii
1Schrodinger's Riddle1
2The Quality of Life9
3Cells in Nature and in Theory17
4Molecular Logic33
5A (almost) Comprehensible Cell63
6It Takes a Cell To Make a Cell99
7Morphogenesis: Where Form and Function Meet117
8The Advance of the Microbes159
9By Descent with Modification189
10So What is Life?217
11Searching for the Beginning235
Epilogue253
Notes259
References270
Glossary289
Index299

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