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Astrobiology―the study of the intimate relationship between life and the cosmos―is a fast-growing field that touches on aspects of cosmology, astrophysics, and chemistry. In the first scholarly overview of this dynamic field, biochemists Kevin W. Plaxco and Michael Gross tell the story of life from the Big Bang to the present.
Emphasizing the biochemical nature of astrobiology, Plaxco and Gross examine the origin of the chemical elements, the events behind the developments that made the Universe habitable, and the ongoing sustenance of life. They discuss the formation of the first galaxies and stars, the diverse chemistry of the primordial planet, the origins of metabolism, the evolution of complex organisms, and the feedback regulation of Earth's climate. They also explore life in extreme habitats, potential extraterrestrial habitats, and the search for extraterrestrial life.
This broadly accessible introduction captures the excitement, controversy, and evolution of the dynamic young field of astrobiology. It shows clearly how scientists from different disciplines can combine their special knowledge to enhance our understanding of the Universe.
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Kevin W. Plaxco is a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Michael Gross is a science writer based in Oxford.Review:
The authors have provided a comprehensive yet concise introduction to the field.(The Space Review)
Certainly the most readable introduction to astrobiology now available.(Chemical and Engineering News)
Well-written... Technical enough to demand some background in physics, chemistry, and earth science, general readers will benefit from it.(Choice)
Plaxco and Gross bring us as close to aliens as we can currently get. I recommend this book to anyone interested in science's newest kid on the block.(Steve Ringwood Astronomy Now)
Comprehensive... A good read for all those who are fascinated by the search for extraterrestrial life and the origin of life on our own planet. I shall certainly value it in my own library.(Anthony Campbell Chemistry World)
An accessible guide to this young and interdisciplinary field.(Physics World)
The fascinating world of extremophiles is well presented, and a broad overview of the searches for evidence of life beyond Earth rounds off the book. The text is liberally illustrated with relevant figures that greatly enhance the content, and entertaining snippets of information detailing the quirks of research in this field nicely supplement the scientific content.(Astrobiology)
Plaxco and Gross do an excellent job... theirs may well be the best textbook available on the subject.(Choice)
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Book Description Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0801883679
Book Description The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. 1. Seller Inventory # DADAX0801883679