The Surprising Archaea: Discovering Another Domain of Life

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9780195111835: The Surprising Archaea: Discovering Another Domain of Life
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Although they comprise one of the three fundamental branches of life, the Archaea were only recognized as a group about twenty years ago. This recognition was based on similarities between their RNA sequences, similarities all the more striking because of the diversity of archaeal lifestyles. They include microorganisms that live in boiling water, within the guts of animals, or in concentration brines. It is also evident that the Archaea diverged early in the history of life, and are of great evolutionary interest as a result. This book tells their emerging story, from their toughness in the face of forbidding environments to their unique place in evolution and in the world ecosystem.

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About the Author:

John L. Howland, Josiah Little Professor of Natural Science, Bowdoin College.

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"The 'Surprising' of the title hardly does them justice; these creatures are genuinely amazing, and we all need to know more about them....The book comes into its own ... in taking us through the breathtaking range of lifestyles and metabolisms of the Archaea. They are the real extremophiles.... Later chapters give us real insight into the importance of the Archaea, and what they may tell us about the Earth's original chimaeric, gene-exchanging life-forms, and possibly about potential life-forms deep within the apparently barren rocks of other extraterrestrial objects.... [B]iologists concerned with life's beginnings, the phylogeny of modern taxa and the adaptability of cellular machineries will appreciate this volume. The final chapter, on the future of the Archaea, should be compulsory reading, not just for those interested in genes, evolution and biodiversity, but also for fuel scientists, chemical engineers and pharmaocologists..."--Nature


"In this slim volume Howland (Bowdoin College, Maine) introduces readers to a domain of organisms, and their biological life-style, that have only become moderately understood within the last 30 years. ... Students, undergraduate as well as graduate, need to learn about these organisms. Undergraduate students particularly would be well advised to read the section on obtaining energy, since the concepts covered there will be useful in many other contexts. Given that need, which this book adequately addresses, it seems that this volume should be added to the research library."--Choice


"In The Surprising Archaea, John Howland gives a succinct account of the development and excitement of the field. He explains its fundamental evolutionary premises particularly well. First, there is the belief that archaea are so very different from bacteria because the two groups diverged when life was quite new and still ill-formed; that is, the root of the SSU rRNA tree corresponds to some single last common ancestral cell, older than the oldest cellular fossils (3.5 billion years). Second, some features of archaea, extreme thermophily in particular, are primitive--unchanged from the ancestral condition. Third, archaea were principal partners in forming the chimeras we know as eukaryotes; they contributed the basic information-processing machinery. ... [I]f you want a quick and easy explanation why those of us who were turned on to archaea in the 1970s remain tuned in today, this is the best you will find."--Science


"The Iurprising Archaea examines discovery and the evolutionary and ecological importance of these organisms. in addition to exploring the archaeal rise from obscurity to their current prominent place in molecular and evolutionary biology, the book promotes a wider awareness of the world of microbes. It constitutes a "biography" of the Archaea, concluding with a look at the future of archaeal research. . . .This book is appropriate for a wide range of scholars, researchers, and undergraduate and graduate students of biology, as well as anyone with an interest in the nature and diversity of life." Biology Digest


"The Archaea, or archebacteria, constitute the fifth kingdom of living organisms, as distinct from true bacteria as from fungi, animals, and plants. They were very likely the first life forms form which all other living things evolved, because they are naturally evolved, because they are naturally adapted to thrive in the anoxic extreme environments that prevailed when life originated on the earth. . .Their discovery has given a unique vantage on the principles of life because they present unique life histories and metabolisms, in effect a novel, previously unrecognized type of life."--Ethology, Ecology, Evolution


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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. The Archaea, or archaebacteria, constitute the fifth kingdom of living organisms, as distinct from true bacteria as from fungi, animals, and plants. They were very likely the first life forms, from which all other living things evolved, because they are naturally adapted to thrive in the anoxic extreme environments that prevailed when life originated on the earth. Less than 20 years ago they were discovered inhabiting hot springs, salt pans, animal rumens, deep sea vents, soils, and deeply buried sediments in environments in which other life forms could not survive. Their discovery has given a unique vantage on the principles of life, because they present unique life histories and metabolisms, in effect a novel, previously unrecognized type of life. Many of the Archaea are of significant commercial importance; for instance, PCR, which has revolutionized molecular biology, is based on enzymes found in a member of the Archaea that was originally found in a hot geyser pool in Yellowstone National Park. Seller Inventory # APC9780195111835

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Book Description Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2000. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.The Archaea, or archaebacteria, constitute the fifth kingdom of living organisms, as distinct from true bacteria as from fungi, animals, and plants. They were very likely the first life forms, from which all other living things evolved, because they are naturally adapted to thrive in the anoxic extreme environments that prevailed when life originated on the earth. Less than 20 years ago they were discovered inhabiting hot springs, salt pans, animal rumens, deep sea vents, soils, and deeply buried sediments in environments in which other life forms could not survive. Their discovery has given a unique vantage on the principles of life, because they present unique life histories and metabolisms, in effect a novel, previously unrecognized type of life. Many of the Archaea are of significant commercial importance; for instance, PCR, which has revolutionized molecular biology, is based on enzymes found in a member of the Archaea that was originally found in a hot geyser pool in Yellowstone National Park. Seller Inventory # APC9780195111835

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 224 pages. Dimensions: 8.4in. x 5.8in. x 0.6in.Although they comprise one of the three fundamental branches of life, the Archaea were only recognized as a group about twenty years ago. This recognition was based on similarities between their RNA sequences, similarities all the more striking because of the diversity of archaeal lifestyles. They include microorganisms that live in boiling water, within the guts of animals, or in concentration brines. It is also evident that the Archaea diverged early in the history of life, and are of great evolutionary interest as a result. This book tells their emerging story, from their toughness in the face of forbidding environments to their unique place in evolution and in the world ecosystem. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780195111835

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