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The Outer Reaches of Life

Series: Canto (Original Series)

By: J Postgate

276 pages, B/w illus

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Sep 1995 | #47120 | ISBN: 0521558735
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £24.99 $33/€28 approx
Hardback | May 1994 | #32265 | ISBN: 0521440106
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £66.99 $87/€76 approx

About this book

Fascinating general account of microbial life on earth - how microbes have adapted to apparently impossible habitats; why they are able to survive in superheated water or supercooled brine; at enormous pressures; without air; amid poisons. Postgate also provides clues on the role of microbes in the origin and evolution of terrestrial life, and offers glimpses of how life might have established itself elsewhere in the universe.
`...contains some superb expositions of basic scientific concepts' - The Times Literary Supplement
`Top class popular scientific writing' - Scientific and Popular Affairs

' top--class popular scientific writing ' Science and Public Affairs 'This book is a delight. It is written for the general public in that no prior scientific knowledge has been assumed ! Underneath the non-technical language and the humour, we are allowed to see current microbiology displayed and interpreted by one of its most experienced and erudite students.' SGM Quarterly (Chris Thurston, King's College, London)


1. Microbes and terrestrial life; 2. Some like it hot; 3. Cool, Man, cool; 4. The big squeeze; 5. Very salty indeed; 6. Corrosive and slippery places; 7. Life without oxygen; 8. Living on minerals; 9. Exotic menus; 10. Of wraiths and ghosts; 11. The inertness of nitrogen; 12. Getting about; 13. Microsensors; 14. A private space; 15. Company; 16. Immortality and the big sleep; 17. Readjustment; 18. Life's outer reaches.

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