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The Emergence of Life
- From Chemical Origins to Synthetic Biology

by Pier Luigi Luisi

The origin of life from inanimate matter has been the focus of much research for decades, both experimentally and philosophically. Luisi takes the reader through the consecutive stages from prebiotic chemistry to synthetic biology, uniquely combining both approaches.
This book presents a systematic course discussing the successive stages of self-organisation, emergence, self-replication, autopoiesis, synthetic compartments and construction of cellular models, in order to demonstrate the spontaneous increase in complexity from inanimate matter to the first cellular life forms. A chapter is dedicated to each of these steps, using a number of synthetic and biological examples. With end of chapter review questions to aid reader comprehension, this book will appeal to graduate students and academics researching the origin of life and related areas such as evolutionary biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics and natural sciences.

• First book to offer a systematic course on the origins of life
• Review questions at the end of each chapter
• Added contributions from prominent scientists to give complementary/alternative views

Contents
Preface;
1. The conceptual framework of the research on the origin of life on Earth;
2. Approaches to the definitions of life;
3. Selection in prebiotic chemistry - why this …and not that?;
4. The bottle neck - macromolecular sequences;
5. Self-organization;
6. Emergence and emergent properties;
7. Self-replication and self-reproduction;
8. Autopoiesis - the logic of cellular life;
9. Compartments;
10. Reactivity and transformation of vesicles;
11. Approaches to the minimal cell;
Outlook;
Bibliography.

Published by Cambridge University Press, website; this book on Amazon

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