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Transformer

The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death

Nick Lane

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$49.99

Hardback

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02 August 2022
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For decades, biology has been dominated by information - the power of genes. Yet in terms of information there is no difference between a living cell and one that died a moment ago. What really animates cells and sets them apart from non-living matter? This question goes back to the flawed geniuses and heroic origins of modern biology. The answer could turn our picture of life on Earth upside down.

In Transformer, Nick Lane captures a scientific renaissance that is hiding in plain sight. At its core is a cycle of reactions that transforms inorganic molecules into the building blocks of life, and the reverse - the iconic Krebs cycle that sits at the heart of metabolism. This conflicted merry-go-round of energy and matter has long taunted true understanding. Nick Lane is in the vanguard of scientists now tracing its ramifications across the tree of life.

To grasp the Krebs cycle is to fathom the deep coherence of biology. It connects the first photosynthetic bacteria with our own peculiar cells. It links the emergence of consciousness with the inevitability of death. And it puts the subtle differences between individuals in the same grand story as the rise of the living world itself.

Life is at root a chemical phenomenon: this is its deep logic.
By:  
Imprint:   Profile
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Edition:   Main
Dimensions:   Height: 282mm,  Width: 162mm,  Spine: 40mm
Weight:   620g
ISBN:   9781788160544
ISBN 10:   1788160541
Pages:   400
Publication Date:  
Audience:   College/higher education ,  Professional and scholarly ,  Primary ,  Undergraduate
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Nick Lane is a biochemist and writer. He is Professor of Evolutionary Biochemistry at University College London, and the author of Life Ascending, which won the 2010 Royal Society Prize, and The Vital Question, of which Bill Gates wrote 'this biology book blew me away'. His lab is attempting to recreate the chemical conditions that drove the origin of life on Earth.

Reviews for Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death

Praise for Nick Lane: 'He is an original researcher and thinker and a passionate and stylish populariser. His theories are ingenious, breathtaking in scope, and challenging in every sense ... intellectually what Lane is proposing, if correct, will be as important as the Copernican revolution and perhaps, in some ways, even more so -- Peter Forbes * Guardian * An amazing inquiry into the origins of life. I loved it -- Bill Gates One of the deepest, most illuminating books about the history of life to have been published in recent years * Economist * [Nick Lane] is ... one of the most imaginative thinkers about the evolution of life on Earth -- Clive Cookson * Financial Times * The origin of life may forever be a mystery, but not if Nick Lane can help it. His The Vital Question is one of the most astonishing science books I have read * Wall Street Journal *


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