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Between Necessity and Probability : Searching for the Definition and Origin of Life :  Searching for the Definition and Origin of Life - Radu Popa

Between Necessity and Probability : Searching for the Definition and Origin of Life

Searching for the Definition and Origin of Life

By: Radu Popa

Hardcover Published: March 2004
ISBN: 9783540204909
Number Of Pages: 252

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The Early History of Bio-Energy.- The Origin of Cell Boundaries and Metabolism.- The Origin of the Early Specificity; The Order, Complexity and Diversity of Life.- The Origin of the Handedness.- The Early History of Bio-Information.- The Purpose-Like Nature of Life.- Assembling the Early Puzzle of Life.- The Material-Independent Signatures of Life; Forensic Tools of Astrobiology.- Appendix A. Models and Theories of Early Life.- Appendix B. A Chronology of Definitions and Interpretations of Life.

From the reviews:

"In exobiology one can never expect ultimate answers, only illumination. This is indeed what the book does, and what makes it interresting in its field, in giving an interim status report. The very extensive references list makes clear that we are far from any paradigma in exobiology, despite the fact that a lot happened since the appearance of Schroedingers booklet "What is Life?" in 1944.

"Popa's contribution is a wide ranging critique of current thinking on life's origin. For those familiar with the problem, this is an engaging personal viewpoint." (P J Wilkinson, The Physicist Jan./Feb. 2005, vol. 42, page 33)

"The book ... aims to report new developments in research and teaching in the inter-disciplinary fields of astrobiology and biogeophysics. This encompasses all aspects of research into the origins of life - from the creation of matter to the emergence of complex life forms ... . The hard cover book is nicely edited following Springer's high-quality standards." (Roland Carchon, Physicalia, Vol. 57 (3), 2005)

"This is an interesting book that attempts to systematize life and its origin in an information-theoretic manner. ... The two most important themes are hierarchies and phase transitions as properties of life. ... In conclusion, a book for the specialist astrobiologist - trained in both biochemistry and biophysics - in search of novel ideas." (Alex Ellery, International Journal of Astrobiology, Vol. 6 (2), 2007)

Introductionp. 1
The Early History of Bioenergyp. 15
Energy-Related Phase Transitions Toward Lifep. 15
Catalysisp. 16
Reflexive Activityp. 20
Energy Transductionp. 25
Energy Control Mechanismsp. 31
Quantitative Consequences of Energy Control Mechanismsp. 33
Distribution of Energy Inputp. 34
The Origin of Cell Boundaries and Metabolismp. 39
The Make-up of Life's Boundariesp. 42
The Early Evolution of Cellular Boundariesp. 44
Outcomes of an Early Boundaryp. 50
Systems Without Defined Boundariesp. 51
Systems with Non-Specialized Boundariesp. 51
Self-Assembly of Specialized Boundariesp. 52
Boundary-Derived Properties of Lifep. 53
Coupling of Spatial Seclusion with a Reflexive Activityp. 55
The Origin of Metabolismp. 57
The Origin of Early Specificity. The Order, Complexity and Diversity of Lifep. 63
Orderp. 63
Complexityp. 64
Diversityp. 67
Specificityp. 69
Specificity of Polymer-Based Lifep. 70
The Origin of Specificityp. 72
Transition from External to Internal Controlp. 75
Major Events in the Early History of Specificityp. 76
The Origin of Feedback Mechanisms as a Source of Internal Stabilityp. 76
The Origin of Forward Regulationp. 78
Consequences of Internal Regulationp. 78
Forced Oscillations and Periodic Clocksp. 79
Specificity-Related Phase Transitions Toward Lifep. 79
Specificity-Related Minimal Requirements of Lifep. 80
The Origin of Handednessp. 81
Chirality and Lifep. 83
Natural Sources of Chiralityp. 85
Evolutionary Steps Toward Biological Chiralityp. 89
Handedness-Related Steps Toward Lifep. 93
The Early History of Bio-Informationp. 95
Early Sources of Bio-Informationp. 100
Contextual vs. Nominative Information and Explicit vs. Cryptic Informationp. 102
Postulates of the Early Evolution of Bio-Informationp. 109
The Contextual Information Erap. 110
The Mineral-to-Organic Erap. 110
The Organic-to-Organic Erap. 112
The Emergence of Encryptionp. 115
The Rise of the DNA Worldp. 117
Information-Related Fundamental Phase Transitions Toward Lifep. 119
Minimal Requirements for the Emergence of Bio-Informationp. 120
The Purpose-Like Nature of Lifep. 121
Assembling the Early Puzzle of Lifep. 139
The First Step Toward Life: Coupling Catalysis with Reflexive Activityp. 142
Self-Assemblyp. 143
Seclusion Within Specialized Boundaries and the Origin of Metabolismp. 144
Probabilistic Jumps Toward Catalytic Specificityp. 145
Feedback Regulationp. 145
Internalization of Minimal Specificityp. 145
Control over Chiralityp. 146
Inheritable Variabilityp. 147
Replicationp. 148
The Last Step Toward Life: The Emergence of Encryptionp. 150
The Non-Life-to-Life Transitionp. 150
Cosmochemical and Geochemical Requirements for the Origin of Lifep. 152
Major Trends During the Early History of Lifep. 154
Differences Between Early Life and Modern Lifep. 155
Early Life and Artificial Lifep. 157
The Definition of Lifep. 158
The Material-Independent Signatures of Life. Forensic Tools of Astrobiologyp. 159
Rules of Thumb in Astrobiologyp. 159
The Main Questions in Astrobiologyp. 161
How Many Parameters are Required to Identify Life?p. 162
False Premises and Misguided Fingerprints in Astrobiologyp. 162
The Material-Independent Signatures of Lifep. 170
Models and Theories of Lifep. 173
Major Steps Toward Lifep. 173
The (M,R)-System Modelp. 174
The Two-Polymerase Systemp. 177
The Hypercycle Modelp. 178
The Autocatalytic Network Modelp. 180
The Chemoton Modelp. 183
Pargellis's Model of Artificial Lifep. 188
The Autopoietic Modelp. 189
The Algorithmic Chemistry Modelp. 193
Chemical Reaction Automatap. 194
Chronology of Definitions and Interpretations of Lifep. 197
Dictionaryp. 207
Abbreviationsp. 225
Referencesp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Rittenhouse. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9783540204909
ISBN-10: 3540204903
Series: Advances in Astrobiology and Biogeophysics
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 252
Published: March 2004
Publisher: Springer-Verlag Berlin and Heidelberg Gmbh & Co. Kg
Country of Publication: DE
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5  x 1.27
Weight (kg): 0.57

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