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The Science of Astrobiology: A Personal View on Learning to Read the Book of Life

Series: Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology Volume: 20

By: Julian Chela-Flores(Author)

336 pages, 104 colour & 21 b/w photos and illustrations, tables


Hardback | Jul 2011 | Edition: 2 | #192923 | ISBN-13: 9789400716261
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1 week Details
NHBS Price: £179.99 $238/€202 approx

About this book

Since the publication of The New Science of Astrobiology in the year 2001 – the first edition of the present book – two significant events have taken place raising the subject from the beginning of the present century to its present maturity. Firstly, in 2001 the Galileo Mission still had two years to complete its task, which turned out to be an outstanding survey of the Jovian system, especially of its intriguing satellite Europa. Secondly, the Cassini Huygens Mission was still on its way to Saturn. Its present success has surpassed all expectations of ESA and NASA. Astrobiologists still did not know that Titan was the fifth body in the Solar System that possibly contained a water ocean (including the Earth and the three Galilean satellites other than Io). For these reasons The Science of Astrobiology includes overviews of the evolutionary and molecular biology that are necessary. There is a discussion of other sectors of culture that are the natural frontiers of astrobiology, especially the humanities.


Recommendations to the readers

Introduction: The cultural and scientific context of astrobiology

The Book of Life

Part 1: The Origin of Life in the Universe
- Chap. 1. From cosmic to chemical evolution
- Chap. 2. From chemical to prebiotic evolution
- Chap. 3. Sources of life's origin: A search for biomarkers
- Chap. 4. From prebiotic evolution to the emergence of single cells

Part 2: The Evolution of Life in the Universe
- Chap. 5. From the age of prokaryotes to the emergence of eukaryotes
- Chap. 6. Eukaryogenesis and evolution of intelligent behavior

Part 3: The Distribution of Life in the Universe
- Chap. 7. On the possibility of biological evolution on Mars
- Chap. 8. On the possibility of biological evolution on the moons of Jupiter
- Chap. 9. On the possibility of biological evolution on the moons of Saturn
- Chap. 10. How different would life be elsewhere in the universe? 10.1 Possible degrees of evolution of life
- Chap. 11. The search for exointelligence in worlds around other stars

Part 4: The Destiny of Life in the Universe
- Chap. 12. Is the destiny of life inexorably linked with intelligence? 12.1 The origin of the neuron: a first step in the evolution of intelligence
- Chap. 13. Cultural frontiers of astrobiology
- Chap. 14. When astrobiology meets philosophy
- Chap. 15. Why we may be unable to read the complete Book of Life
- Chap. 16. An intelligible universe with the science of astrobiology

Epilogue: Learning to read the Book of Life: An interdisciplinary process

Acronyms and abbreviations
Illustrated glossary
General index
Index of illustrations
Index of Tables
Alphabetical index
About the author
Books by the author

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