Read e-book online A World From Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life PDF

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By Ben McFarland

ISBN-10: 0190275014

ISBN-13: 9780190275013

A international From Dust describes how a suite of chemical ideas mixed with the rules of evolution with a purpose to create an atmosphere during which existence as we all know it could possibly spread. starting with uncomplicated arithmetic, those predictable principles ended in the appearance of the planet itself, in addition to cells, organs and organelles, ecosystems, and more and more advanced lifestyles kinds. McFarland presents an available dialogue of a geological background to boot, describing how the inorganic subject in the world underwent chemical reactions with air and water, making an allowance for lifestyles to emerge from the world's first rocks. He lines the historical past of existence all of the solution to sleek neuroscience, and exhibits how the bioelectric signs that make up the human mind have been shaped. hottest technological know-how books at the subject current both the physics of ways the universe shaped, or the biology of the way advanced existence took place; this book's process will be novel in that it condenses in an interesting method the chemistry that hyperlinks the 2 fields. This e-book is an obtainable and multidisciplinary examine how lifestyles on our planet got here to be, and the way it keeps to advance and alter even today.

This e-book contains forty illustrations by means of Gala Bent, print artist and studio college member at Cornish university of the humanities, and Mary Anderson, scientific illustrator.

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

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The Earth is less than 5 billion years old, and the chemistry behind the Irving-​Williams series has been constant throughout time. We can therefore apply the Irving-​Williams series to the geochemistry of old rocks and the biochemistry of old life. Chemical bonding also tells us how certain elements are bound tightly into rocks while others float in the air. It tells us how 32 A World from Dust energy is stored in the chemical bonds of fat and sugar and in atmospheric oxygen for later use. It also tells us something fascinating about our planet: it was not always this way.

Each element has a distinct history, too. Some have been around since the original quickening of life, and some came late to widespread biochemical use. This history was ordered and sequenced by the rules of chemistry. It even has a chemical direction, moving from left to right on certain segments of the periodic table. All of this says that, whatever life is, it is not entirely random. Neither is it entirely determined. In chemistry, gases are random, solids are set, and liquids are the in-​ between stage that flows with motion that is random at the atomic level but predictable at the human level.

I first encountered Williams’s ideas in the middle of the first decade of the 2000s, just as DNA sequencing technology matured to the level that we could routinely read whole genomes of all sorts of species. I remember being intrigued but not convinced that this wasn’t just a case of a chemist seeing chemistry everywhere around him. I also knew that the perfect test of Williams’s theories was emerging. Science was just beginning to read the genes of organisms great and small and to look for evidence of their sequence of development as written in the DNA language.

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

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