The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is?

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9781781250365: The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is?
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Why is life the way it is? Bacteria evolved into complex life just once in four billion years of life on earth - and all complex life shares many strange properties, from sex to ageing and death. If life evolved on other planets, would it be the same or completely different? In The Vital Question, Nick Lane radically reframes evolutionary history, putting forward a cogent solution to conundrums that have troubled scientists for decades. The answer, he argues, lies in energy: how all life on Earth lives off a voltage with the strength of a bolt of lightning. In unravelling these scientific enigmas, making sense of life's quirks, Lane's explanation provides a solution to life's vital questions: why are we as we are, and why are we here at all? This is ground-breaking science in an accessible form, in the tradition of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species, Richard Dawkins' The Selfish Gene, and Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs and Steel.

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About the Author:

Nick Lane is a biochemist at the Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment at University College, London and the founding member of the UCL Consortium for Mitochondrial Research. He was recently awarded a 2015 Biochemical Society Award for his outstanding contribution to the molecular life sciences. He is the author of Life Ascending (9781861978189), Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the meaning of life (9780199205646), and Oxygen: The molecule that made the world (9780198607830), all of which were widely praised by both the scientific and popular press.

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Published by Profile Books Ltd
ISBN 10: 1781250367 ISBN 13: 9781781250365
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