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Original Essays | September 17, 2014

Merritt Tierce: IMG Has My Husband Read It?



My first novel, Love Me Back, was published on September 16. Writing the book took seven years, and along the way three chapters were published in... Continue »
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    Love Me Back

    Merritt Tierce 9780385538077

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This title in other editions

Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own

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Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"Weird indeed, and not a little wonderful." —Nature

In the 1980s and 1990s, in places where no one thought it possible, scientists found organisms they called extremophiles: lovers of extremes. There were bacteria in volcanic hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, single-celled algae in Antarctic ice floes, and fungi in the cooling pools of nuclear reactors.

But might there be life stranger than the most extreme extremophile? Might there be, somewhere, another kind of life entirely? In fact, scientists have hypothesized life that uses ammonia instead of water, life based not in carbon but in silicon, life driven by nuclear chemistry, and life whose very atoms are unlike those in life we know. In recent years some scientists have begun to look for the tamer versions of such life on rock surfaces in the American Southwest, in a "shadow biosphere" that might impinge on the known biosphere, and even deep within human tissue. They have also hypothesized more radical versions that might survive in Martian permafrost, in the cold ethylene lakes on Saturn's moon Titan, and in the hydrogen-rich atmospheres of giant planets in other solar systems. And they have imagined it in places off those worlds: the exotic ices in comets, the vast spaces between the stars, and — strangest of all — parallel universes.

Distilling complex science in clear and lively prose, David Toomey illuminates the research of the biological avant-garde and describes the workings of weird organisms in riveting detail. His chapters feature an unforgettable cast of brilliant scientists and cover everything from problems with our definitions of life to the possibility of intelligent weird life. With wit and understanding that will delight scientists and lay readers alike, Toomey reveals how our current knowledge of life forms may account for only a tiny fraction of what's really out there.

Review:

"A breakneck tour through natural history, encounters of an impossible kind, researchers as weird as the organisms they pursue that leads the reader to wonder where science ends and fantasy begins." Richard Fortey, New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Conveys these far-out theories with precision and humor." Jascha Hoffman, New York Times

Review:

"Toomey is calm and clear-eyed....A good man to have watching the skies, and the ocean floor." AV Club

Review:

"An ingenious overview of anything that might be alive." Kirkus Reviews, Starred review

About the Author

David Toomey is an associate professor of English and director of the Professional Writing and Technical Communication Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He lives in Amherst.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780393348262
Subtitle:
The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own
Author:
Toomey, David
Publisher:
W. W. Norton & Company
Subject:
Biology
Subject:
Biology-General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20140231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
20.96 x 13.97 mm

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » New Arrivals » Nonfiction
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Anatomy and Physiology
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » General

Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 288 pages W. W. Norton & Company - English 9780393348262 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A breakneck tour through natural history, encounters of an impossible kind, researchers as weird as the organisms they pursue that leads the reader to wonder where science ends and fantasy begins."
"Review" by , "Conveys these far-out theories with precision and humor."
"Review" by , "Toomey is calm and clear-eyed....A good man to have watching the skies, and the ocean floor."
"Review" by , "An ingenious overview of anything that might be alive."
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