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Life Explained

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Life Explained Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fifty years ago Francis Crick and James D. Watson proposed the double helix model for the DNA molecule. They believed they had, as Crick put it, discovered the “secret of life,” and many agreed. But in the intervening years, science has marched—sometimes leaped—forward, and now the question “What is life?” must be posed once again.

 

In this accessible and fascinating book, Michel Morange draws on recent advances in molecular genetics, evolutionary biology, astrobiology, and other disciplines to find todays answers to the question of life. He begins by discussing the various answers that have been formulated in the past, setting contemporary definitions of life within a rich philosophical and scientific tradition that reaches back to ancient Greece. Then, with impeccable logic and a wealth of appropriate detail, Morange proceeds to lay out the fundamental characteristics that define life. The road to an understanding of life remains incompletely charted, he concludes, but the nature of its final destination is no longer an enigma.

Review:

"In this seamless translation, author and French biology professor Morange (The Misunderstood Gene) addresses the question 'What is life?' by looking at answers from Aristotle to the atomic age and 'bringing out the various points of agreement and contradiction hidden among them.' After addressing definitions of life proposed by others, Morange outlines 'three essential characteristics' of life: reproductive ability, complex molecular structures and the metabolic replication of those structures. From there, Morange discusses a range of current inquiries, among them astrobiology research, genome studies and adaptation in extreme conditions. An informative and engaging tour of life, and our understanding of it, as a process 'perpetually being transformed,' this title should appeal to the more serious of armchair philosopher-scientists." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Michel Morange is professor of biology at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he directs the Centre Cavaillès for the History and Philosophy of Science. He is the author of The Misunderstood Gene and A History of Molecular Biology, and has published many articles in scientific journals. Matthew Cobb is senior lecturer in animal behavior at the University of Manchester. Malcolm DeBevoise has translated some thirty works from French in all branches of scholarship.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300137323
Author:
Morange, Michel
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Translator:
Cobb, Matthew; DeBevoise, Malcolm
Translator:
Cobb, Matthew
Translator:
Debevoise, Malcolm
Author:
Debevoise, Malcolm
Author:
Cobb, Matthew
Subject:
General science
Subject:
SCI086000
Subject:
Philosophy
Subject:
Biology
Subject:
Life Sciences - General
Subject:
Biology -- Philosophy.
Subject:
Biology-General
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Series:
An Editions Odile Jacob Book
Publication Date:
20091124
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8 x 5.19 in 0.6 lb

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Related Subjects


History and Social Science » Politics » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Origin of Life
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Biology

Life Explained Used Hardcover
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Product details 224 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300137323 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this seamless translation, author and French biology professor Morange (The Misunderstood Gene) addresses the question 'What is life?' by looking at answers from Aristotle to the atomic age and 'bringing out the various points of agreement and contradiction hidden among them.' After addressing definitions of life proposed by others, Morange outlines 'three essential characteristics' of life: reproductive ability, complex molecular structures and the metabolic replication of those structures. From there, Morange discusses a range of current inquiries, among them astrobiology research, genome studies and adaptation in extreme conditions. An informative and engaging tour of life, and our understanding of it, as a process 'perpetually being transformed,' this title should appeal to the more serious of armchair philosopher-scientists." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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