New PDF release: A World From Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life

By Ben McFarland

ISBN-10: 0190275014

ISBN-13: 9780190275013

A international From Dust describes how a collection of chemical principles mixed with the rules of evolution which will create an atmosphere within which lifestyles as we all know it could possibly spread. starting with uncomplicated arithmetic, those predictable ideas resulted in the arrival of the planet itself, in addition to cells, organs and organelles, ecosystems, and more and more advanced lifestyles kinds. McFarland offers an available dialogue of a geological historical past to boot, describing how the inorganic subject in the world underwent chemical reactions with air and water, bearing in mind existence to emerge from the world's first rocks. He lines the historical past of lifestyles all of the technique to smooth neuroscience, and exhibits how the bioelectric signs that make up the human mind have been shaped. preferred technology books at the subject current both the physics of the way the universe shaped, or the biology of the way complicated existence took place; this book's method will be novel in that it condenses in an enticing approach the chemistry that hyperlinks the 2 fields. This booklet is an obtainable and multidisciplinary examine how existence on our planet got here to be, and the way it keeps to strengthen and alter even today.

This publication comprises forty illustrations through Gala Bent, print artist and studio school member at Cornish university of the humanities, and Mary Anderson, scientific illustrator.

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Extra info for A World From Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life

Example text

These words are written in DNA, which is nothing less than a chemical string 20 A World from Dust of letters that are read in a particular direction. DNA has only four nucleotide letters, written in carbon with serifs of oxygen and nitrogen and connected with phosphate. These carry information depending on their order, making words that form instructions written in a radically foreign language. Finding a cell is like finding a micro-​ekko, and finding DNA deep within the cell is like finding some scraps of old paper on the bench inside.

So this book’s grand narrative must start from the evidence before it is knit together in a narrative. This story is built from three areas of evidence: rocks (geology), genes (biology), and the chemical rules that tie the two together.  J.  Williams. R.  P. Williams cowrote a book titled Evolution’s Destiny: Co-​evolving Chemistry of the Environment and Life (2012) about how chemistry guided evolution. I owe Williams for much of this story. In fact, Williams has been writing books like this for decades now, based on chemical laws.

When moving oxygen around, hemoglobin acts like a train car, but the same molecule can cook up some nitric oxide and act more like a kitchen. Hemoglobin is versatile because iron is versatile. Hemoglobin is the household name for metal-​binding proteins, but it has lots of company. About one-​t hird of proteins have metals bound to them, and usually the metals are essential to holding the protein together, to catalyzing a reaction, or sometimes both. Copper is used in plants to move the electrons that harvest solar energy.

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A World From Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life by Ben McFarland

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