The Genesis Quest: The Geniuses and Eccentrics on a Journey to Uncover the Origin of Life on Earth

The Genesis Quest: The Geniuses and Eccentrics on a Journey to Uncover the Origin of Life on Earth

by Michael Marshall

Hardcover(First Edition)

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Overview

How did life begin? Why are we here? These are some of the most profound questions we can ask.
 
For almost a century, a small band of eccentric scientists has struggled to answer these questions and explain one of the greatest mysteries of all: how and why life began on Earth. There are many different proposals, and each idea has attracted passionate believers who promote it with an almost religious fervor, as well as detractors who reject it with equal passion.
 
But the quest to unravel life’s genesis is not just a story of big ideas. It is also a compelling human story, rich in personalities, conflicts, and surprising twists and turns. Along the way the journey takes in some of the greatest discoveries in modern biology, from evolution and cells to DNA and life’s family tree. It is also a search whose end may finally be in sight.
 
In The Genesis Quest, Michael Marshall shows how the quest to understand life’s beginning is also a journey to discover the true nature of life, and by extension our place in the universe.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226715230
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/22/2020
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 183,531
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Michael Marshall is a science writer interested in life sciences and the environment. He has a BA and MPhil in experimental psychology from the University of Cambridge and an MSc in science communication from Imperial College, London. He has worked as a staff journalist at New Scientist and the BBC. Since 2017 he has been a freelance writer, published by outlets including BBC Future, the Observer, Nature, New Scientist, and the Telegraph. In 2019 he was shortlisted for News Item of the Year by the Association of British Science Writers. He lives in Devon, UK, with his wife and daughter.

Table of Contents

Introduction

PART ONE Primordial Science
1. The Biggest Question
2. A Soviet Free Thinker
3. Creation in a Test Tube

PART TWO Strange Objects
4. The DNA Revolution
5. Crystal Clear
6. The Schism

PART THREE Scattered, Divided, Leaderless
17. The Other Long Molecule
18. Rise of the Replicators
19. The Blobs
10. The Need for Power
11. Born in the Depths

PART FOUR Reunification
12. Mirrors
13. Return of the Blobs
14. Just Messy Enough

Epilogue: The Meaning of Life

Acknowledgements
Bibliography
Notes
Index
 

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