The Touchstone of Life: Molecular Information, Cell Communication, and the Foundations of Life

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9780195140576: The Touchstone of Life: Molecular Information, Cell Communication, and the Foundations of Life

No one can escape a sense of wonder when looking at an organism from within. From the humblest amoeba to man, from the smallest cell organelle to the amazing human brain, life presents us with example after example of highly ordered cellular matter, precisely organized and shaped to perform coordinated functions. But where does this order spring from? How does a living organism manage to do what nonliving things cannot do--bring forth and maintain all that order against the unrelenting, disordering pressures of the universe?
In The Touchstone of Life, world-renowned biophysicist Werner Loewenstein seeks answers to these ancient riddles by applying information theory to recent discoveries in molecular biology. Taking us into a fascinating microscopic world, he lays bare an all-pervading communication network inside and between our cells--a web of extraordinary beauty, where molecular information flows in gracefully interlaced circles. Loewenstein then takes us on an exhilarating journey along that web and we meet its leading actors, the macromolecules, and see how they extract order out of the erratic quantum world; and through the powerful lens of information theory, we are let in on their trick, the most dazzling of magician's acts, whereby they steal form out of formlessness.
The Touchstone of Life flashes with fresh insights into the mystery of life. Boldly straddling the line between biology and physics, the book offers a breathtaking view of that hidden world where molecular information turns the wheels of life. Loewenstein makes these complex scientific subjects lucid and fascinating, as he sheds light on the most fundamental aspects of our existence.

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Review:

"If there were something like a guidebook for living creatures, I think the first line would read like a biblical commandment: Make thy information larger. And next would come the guidelines for colonizing, in good imperialist fashion, the biggest chunk of negative entropy around."

Werner Loewenstein, a cell biologist at Woods Hole Biological Laboratories, has written a remarkably engaging book tying together information theory, thermodynamics, molecular biology, and the structure of cells. The subject is not one to which the human brain is well suited, but with Loewenstein's guidance you may get a better grasp on concepts like entropy than you've ever had before.

Loewenstein describes life as a circus: "Flowing in from the cosmos, information loops back onto itself to produce the circular information complex we call Life.... To those who are inside the Circus, it will always seem the greatest show on Earth, though I can't speak for the One who is outside it."

The Touchstone of Life covers some of the ground surveyed in Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach and Kauffman's At Home in the Universe, but with an even stronger sense of the physical realities constraining the "Circus." It should prove fascinating for anyone interested in biology, consciousness, physics, or the future of computing. --Mary Ellen Curtin

About the Author:

Werner R. Loewenstein was Professor of Physiology and Director of the Cell Physics Laboratory at Columbia University and is presently Director of the Laboratory of Cell Communication at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Massachusetts. He lives in Woods Hole and Key Biscayne, Florida.

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Werner R Lowenstein, Former Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Cell Physics Laboratory at Columbia University an
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. No one can escape a sense of wonder when looking at an organism from within. From the humblest amoeba to man, from the smallest cell organelle to the amazing human brain, life presents us with example after example of highly ordered cellular matter, precisely organized and shaped to perform coordinated functions. But where does this order spring from? How does a living organism manage to do what nonliving things cannot do--bring forth and maintain all that order against the unrelenting, disordering pressures of the universe? In The Touchstone of Life, world-renowned biophysicist Werner Loewenstein seeks answers to these ancient riddles by applying information theory to recent discoveries in molecular biology. Taking us into a fascinating microscopic world, he lays bare an all-pervading communication network inside and between our cells--a web of extraordinary beauty, where molecular information flows in gracefully interlaced circles. Loewenstein then takes us on an exhilarating journey along that web and we meet its leading actors, the macromolecules, and see how they extract order out of the erratic quantum world; and through the powerful lens of information theory, we are let in on their trick, the most dazzling of magician s acts, whereby they steal form out of formlessness. The Touchstone of Life flashes with fresh insights into the mystery of life. Boldly straddling the line between biology and physics, the book offers a breathtaking view of that hidden world where molecular information turns the wheels of life. Loewenstein makes these complex scientific subjects lucid and fascinating, as he sheds light on the most fundamental aspects of our existence. Codice libro della libreria APC9780195140576

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Werner R Lowenstein, Former Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Cell Physics Laboratory at Columbia University an
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ISBN 10: 0195140575 ISBN 13: 9780195140576
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, USA, United States, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.No one can escape a sense of wonder when looking at an organism from within. From the humblest amoeba to man, from the smallest cell organelle to the amazing human brain, life presents us with example after example of highly ordered cellular matter, precisely organized and shaped to perform coordinated functions. But where does this order spring from? How does a living organism manage to do what nonliving things cannot do--bring forth and maintain all that order against the unrelenting, disordering pressures of the universe? In The Touchstone of Life, world-renowned biophysicist Werner Loewenstein seeks answers to these ancient riddles by applying information theory to recent discoveries in molecular biology. Taking us into a fascinating microscopic world, he lays bare an all-pervading communication network inside and between our cells--a web of extraordinary beauty, where molecular information flows in gracefully interlaced circles. Loewenstein then takes us on an exhilarating journey along that web and we meet its leading actors, the macromolecules, and see how they extract order out of the erratic quantum world; and through the powerful lens of information theory, we are let in on their trick, the most dazzling of magician s acts, whereby they steal form out of formlessness. The Touchstone of Life flashes with fresh insights into the mystery of life. Boldly straddling the line between biology and physics, the book offers a breathtaking view of that hidden world where molecular information turns the wheels of life. Loewenstein makes these complex scientific subjects lucid and fascinating, as he sheds light on the most fundamental aspects of our existence. Codice libro della libreria APC9780195140576

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Werner R. Loewenstein
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 384 pages. Dimensions: 9.2in. x 6.1in. x 1.0in.No one can escape a sense of wonder when looking at an organism from within. From the humblest amoeba to man, from the smallest cell organelle to the amazing human brain, life presents us with example after example of highly ordered cellular matter, precisely organized and shaped to perform coordinated functions. But where does this order spring from How does a living organism manage to do what nonliving things cannot do-bring forth and maintain all that order against the unrelenting, disordering pressures of the universe In The Touchstone of Life, world-renowned biophysicist Werner Loewenstein seeks answers to these ancient riddles by applying information theory to recent discoveries in molecular biology. Taking us into a fascinating microscopic world, he lays bare an all-pervading communication network inside and between our cells-a web of extraordinary beauty, where molecular information flows in gracefully interlaced circles. Loewenstein then takes us on an exhilarating journey along that web and we meet its leading actors, the macromolecules, and see how they extract order out of the erratic quantum world; and through the powerful lens of information theory, we are let in on their trick, the most dazzling of magicians acts, whereby they steal form out of formlessness. The Touchstone of Life flashes with fresh insights into the mystery of life. Boldly straddling the line between biology and physics, the book offers a breathtaking view ofthat hidden world where molecular information turns the wheels of life. Loewenstein makes these complex scientific subjects lucid and fascinating, as he sheds light on the most fundamental aspects of our existence. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780195140576

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