For humankind, the most irreducible idea is the concept of life itself. In order to understand that life is essentially an infinite process, transmitted from generation to generation, The Never-Ending Story of Life takes the reader on a fascinating journey that unravels one of our greatest mysteries.
It begins with the premise that life is a fact – that it is everywhere; that it takes infinite forms; and, most importantly, that it is intrinsically self-perpetuating. Rather than exploring how the first living forms emerged in our universe, the book begins with our first primordial ancestor cell and tells the story of life – how it began, when that first cell diversified into many other cell types and organisms, and how it has continued until the present day. On this journey, the author covers the fundaments of biology such as cell division, diversity, regeneration, repair and death. The rather fictional epilogue even goes one step further and discusses ways how to literally escape the problem of limited recourse and distribution on our planet by looking at life outside the solar system.
This book is designed to explain complex ideas in biology simply, but not simplistically, with a special emphasis on plain and accessible language as well as a wealth of hand-drawn illustrations. Thus, it is suitable not only for students seeking an introduction to biological concepts and terminology but for everyone with an interest in the fundamentals of life at the crossroad of evolutionary and cell biology.
Carlos Semino has been an Associate Professor in cell biology and tissue engineering in the Department of Bioengineering, IQS-School of Engineering, URL, Barcelona, Spain, since 2007. He received his BS in Biology (Molecular Biology and Genetics) in 1990 at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina and his PhD in Chemistry in 1994 at the same university. He spent from 1994-1998 as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Laboratory of Phil Robbins at the Center for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), MA-USA. From 1998-2000 he worked as Senior Scientist in Molecular Toxicology at Phylonix Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cambridge, MA-USA. Then, from 2000-2008 he returned to MIT as Research Scientist at the Center for Bioengineering (CBE) in the Biological Engineering Division. From 2007-2010 he was appointed as visiting Professor at Leipzig University, The Center for Regenerative Medicine, Germany and from 2013-2014 as visiting Professor at MIT at the laboratory of Elazer Edelman. He is currently performing basic research in his Tissue Engineering Research Laboratory (TERL) and giving theoretical and practical courses for undergrad and grad students in molecular biology, cellular biology and tissue engineering. He has received multiple research awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF, USA), the National Institute of Health (NIH, USA), the European Commission and the Ministry of Science and Education in Spain. He has more than 120 peer-reviewed publications with more than 6,000 citations.