The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and the Order of Life

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9780195163384: The Way of the Cell: Molecules, Organisms, and the Order of Life

What is life? Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the world's most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question.
What is the relationship of living things to the inanimate realm of chemistry and physics? How do lifeless but special chemicals come together to form those intricate dynamic ensembles that we recognize as life? To shed light on these questions, Franklin Harold focuses here on microorganisms--in particular, the supremely well-researched bacterium E. coli--because the cell is the simplest level of organization that manifests all the features of the phenomenon of life. Harold shows that as simple as they appear when compared to ourselves, every cell displays a dynamic pattern in space and time, orders of magnitude richer than its elements. It integrates the writhings and couplings of billions of molecules into a coherent whole, draws matter and energy into itself, constructs and reproduces its own order, and persists in this manner for numberless generations while continuously adapting to a changing world.
A cell constitutes a unitary whole, a unit of life, and in this volume one of the leading authorities on the cell gives us a vivid picture of what goes on within this minute precinct. The result is a richly detailed, meticulously crafted account of what modern science can tell us about life as well as one scientist's personal attempt to wring understanding from the tide of knowledge.

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Review:

"What is life?" asked physicist Edwin Schrödinger in an influential essay by that title published half a century ago. In this book, Franklin Harold ventures no definitive answers about what he calls "the supreme marvel of the universe." Instead, with wit and learning, he surveys the advances in scientific understanding about the nature of life since Schrödinger's time.

Harold focuses closely on microorganisms, which, he observes, do not often figure in popular books of biology, perhaps because most general readers associate them only with disease and not with their many beneficial contributions to the world's workings. In fact, he suggests, the answer to Schrödinger's question is likely to be found at the microscopic level. Current evolutionary models derived from the study of ribosomal RNA from hundreds of species of plants and animals now point to the development of life from some cenancestor in a setting billions of years old, one in which "microorganisms rather than dinosaurs fill the horizon." The identity of that ancestor is not yet known, he writes; it may have resembled a bacterium, or it may have been a loosely organized assemblage of protocells "engaged in the promiscuous exchange of genetic information."

No matter what it looked like, Harold notes in this instructive survey of modern biological theory, life probably originated in an apparently inhospitable environment, as studies of deep-ocean thermal vents and the lithosphere now point to, rather than in the oceanic "chemical stew" of old. It's a fascinating story, and Harold tells it ably. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:


Franklin M. Harold is Emeritus Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Colorado State University. He lives in Edmonds, Washington.

For more information about the author, visit http://franklinharold.com

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Descrizione libro 2003. PAP. Condizione libro: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Codice libro della libreria VU-9780195163384

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. What is life? Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the world s most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question. What is the relationship of living things to the inanimate realm of chemistry and physics? How do lifeless but special chemicals come together to form those intricate dynamic ensembles that we recognize as life? To shed light on these questions, Franklin Harold focuses here on microorganisms-in particular, the supremely well-researched bacterium E. coli-because the cell is the simplest level of organization that manifests all the features of the phenomenon of life. Harold shows that as simple as they appear when compared to ourselves, every cell displays a dynamic pattern in space and time, orders of magnitude richer than its elements.It integrates the writhings and couplings of billions of molecules into a coherent whole, draws matter and energy into itself, constructs and reproduces its own order, and persists in this manner for numberless generations while continuously adapting to a changing world. A cell constitutes a unitary whole, a unit of life, and in this volume one of the leading authorities on the cell gives us a vivid picture of what goes on within this minute precinct. The result is a richly detailed, meticulously crafted account of what modern science can tell us about life as well as one scientist s personal attempt to wring understanding from the tide of knowledge. Codice libro della libreria BTE9780195163384

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.What is life? Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the world s most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question. What is the relationship of living things to the inanimate realm of chemistry and physics? How do lifeless but special chemicals come together to form those intricate dynamic ensembles that we recognize as life? To shed light on these questions, Franklin Harold focuses here on microorganisms-in particular, the supremely well-researched bacterium E. coli-because the cell is the simplest level of organization that manifests all the features of the phenomenon of life. Harold shows that as simple as they appear when compared to ourselves, every cell displays a dynamic pattern in space and time, orders of magnitude richer than its elements.It integrates the writhings and couplings of billions of molecules into a coherent whole, draws matter and energy into itself, constructs and reproduces its own order, and persists in this manner for numberless generations while continuously adapting to a changing world. A cell constitutes a unitary whole, a unit of life, and in this volume one of the leading authorities on the cell gives us a vivid picture of what goes on within this minute precinct. The result is a richly detailed, meticulously crafted account of what modern science can tell us about life as well as one scientist s personal attempt to wring understanding from the tide of knowledge. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780195163384

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press Inc, United States, 2003. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. What is life? Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the world s most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question. What is the relationship of living things to the inanimate realm of chemistry and physics? How do lifeless but special chemicals come together to form those intricate dynamic ensembles that we recognize as life? To shed light on these questions, Franklin Harold focuses here on microorganisms-in particular, the supremely well-researched bacterium E. coli-because the cell is the simplest level of organization that manifests all the features of the phenomenon of life. Harold shows that as simple as they appear when compared to ourselves, every cell displays a dynamic pattern in space and time, orders of magnitude richer than its elements.It integrates the writhings and couplings of billions of molecules into a coherent whole, draws matter and energy into itself, constructs and reproduces its own order, and persists in this manner for numberless generations while continuously adapting to a changing world. A cell constitutes a unitary whole, a unit of life, and in this volume one of the leading authorities on the cell gives us a vivid picture of what goes on within this minute precinct. The result is a richly detailed, meticulously crafted account of what modern science can tell us about life as well as one scientist s personal attempt to wring understanding from the tide of knowledge. Codice libro della libreria AAV9780195163384

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Paperback. 320 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 5.7in. x 1.0in.What is life Fifty years after physicist Erwin Schrodinger posed this question in his celebrated and inspiring book, the answer remains elusive. In The Way of the Cell, one of the worlds most respected microbiologists draws on his wide knowledge of contemporary science to provide fresh insight into this intriguing and all-important question. What is the relationship of living things to the inanimate realm of chemistry and physics How do lifeless but special chemicals come together to form those intricate dynamic ensembles that we recognize as life To shed light on these questions, Franklin Harold focuses here on microorganisms--in particular, the supremely well-researched bacterium E. coli--because the cell is the simplest level of organization that manifests all the features of the phenomenon of life. Harold shows that as simple as they appear when compared to ourselves, every cell displays a dynamic pattern in space and time, orders of magnitude richer than its elements. It integrates the writhings and couplings of billions of molecules into a coherent whole, draws matter and energy into itself, constructs and reproduces its own order, and persists in this manner for numberless generations while continuously adapting to a changing world. A cell constitutes a unitary whole, a unit of life, and in this volume one of the leading authorities on the cell gives us a vivid picture of what goes on within this minute precinct. The result is a richly detailed, meticulously crafted account of what modern science can tell us about life as well as one scientists personal attempt to wring understanding from the tide of knowledge. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Codice libro della libreria 9780195163384

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