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What is Life?: How chemistry becomes biology: How chemistry becomes biology [NOOK Book]

Overview

Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrödinger posed a simple, yet profound, question: 'What is life?'. How could the very existence of such extraordinary chemical systems be understood? This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists both before, and ever since.

Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry ...
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What is Life?: How chemistry becomes biology: How chemistry becomes biology

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Overview

Seventy years ago, Erwin Schrödinger posed a simple, yet profound, question: 'What is life?'. How could the very existence of such extraordinary chemical systems be understood? This problem has puzzled biologists and physical scientists both before, and ever since.

Living things are hugely complex and have unique properties, such as self-maintenance and apparently purposeful behaviour which we do not see in inert matter. So how does chemistry give rise to biology? Did life begin with replicating molecules, and, if so, what could have led the first replicating molecules up such a path? Now, developments in the emerging field of 'systems chemistry' are unlocking the problem. Addy Pross shows how the different kind of stability that operates among
replicating entities results in a tendency for certain chemical systems to become more complex and acquire the properties of life. Strikingly, he demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper and more fundamental chemical principle: the whole story from replicating molecules to
complex life is one continuous coherent chemical process governed by a simple definable principle. The gulf between biology and the physical sciences is finally becoming bridged.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"I would recommend this book for readers who would like a clear introduction to the fundamental chemical concepts that must have been part of the story of the origin of life." —Reports of the National Center for Science Education
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780191650895
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford
  • Publication date: 9/27/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 648,698
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Addy Pross received a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from Sydney University in 1970. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and a recognized authority in the area of chemical reactivity to which he contributed with the highly cited and acclaimed Pross-Shaik model of chemical reactivity. He has held visiting positions in many universities word-wide, including the University of Lund, Stanford University, Rutgers University, University of California at Irvine, University of Padova, the Australian National University Canberra, and Sydney University. He has served on the editorial board of chemical and biological journals and a variety of academic management boards. In recent years he has directed his attention to the biological arena where he has applied his expertise in chemical reactivity to the Origin of Life problem and the broader question of the problematic chemistry-biology interface.

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Table of Contents

Prologue
1. What is Life? A historical perspective
2. Understanding life
3. Chemical stability and chemical reactivity
4. The origin of life problem
5. Toward a general theory of evolution
6. What is Life?

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2012

    This is a fascinating book that offers a compelling vision of ho

    This is a fascinating book that offers a compelling vision of how life develops and what it is. In a sense, the text reads like a mystery, 
    developing pace as it goes along and tempting one to turn to the last pages prematurely to discover the ending. Don't - the material 
    along the way is as insightful and you will not want to miss it.

    This may also be an important step forward in our understanding of life processes, with the theory that is developed offering insights
    into what a theory is and how it works, and providing food for further thought and development.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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