What Is Life?: How Chemistry Becomes Biology

What Is Life How Chemistry Becomes Biology In his famous text What is Life Erwin Schr dinger pointed out how strange living systems appeared to be when viewed from a strictly physical standpoint All living systems are highly organized and

  • Title: What Is Life?: How Chemistry Becomes Biology
  • Author: Addy Pross
  • ISBN: 9780199641017
  • Page: 139
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In his famous 1944 text What is Life Erwin Schr dinger pointed out how strange living systems appeared to be when viewed from a strictly physical standpoint All living systems are highly organized and the emergence of these organized systems would seem to contradict the most basic tenets of physics and chemistry, which say that systems tend toward chaos and disorder WIn his famous 1944 text What is Life Erwin Schr dinger pointed out how strange living systems appeared to be when viewed from a strictly physical standpoint All living systems are highly organized and the emergence of these organized systems would seem to contradict the most basic tenets of physics and chemistry, which say that systems tend toward chaos and disorder What is even remarkable is that despite dramatic developments in molecular biology in the half century since Schr dinger s remarks, we still don t understand what life is or how it relates to the inanimate world In addressing Schrodinger s classic question, renowned scientist Addy Pross offers a radically new approach to these fundamental questions of biology what is life and how did it emerge Pross examines these issues from a chemical perspective, providing a new understanding of how the sciences of chemistry and biology relate to one another Pross shows that recent developments in a new area of chemistry called systems chemistry now allow researchers to outline the chemistry biology connection, shedding light on how and why some prebiotic chemical systems are able to make the magical transformation from inanimate to animate Through the application of these simple chemical concepts, this book reveals the essence of the animate inanimate connection, explains the strange properties of living systems in chemical terms, and offers profound new insights into classical biological issues, such the mechanism and driving force for evolution and the origin of altruism Pross reveals that the emergence of life on earth and classical Darwinian theory are intimately related that Darwinian theory is just the biological expression of a general chemical principle, one that Darwin himself predicted would likely be uncovered in time.

    One thought on “What Is Life?: How Chemistry Becomes Biology”

    1. This is one of those instances where I should probably qualify my remarks by mentioning that I am not a scientist and my formal education in biology and chemistry is limited to my studies in high school.About one fourth of the way into this book I came close to abandoning it because the author seemed to be belaboring his points and I couldn't see clearly where he was headed. But I stuck with it and am glad to have done so because, even though I am not convinced he is correct, he does manage to p [...]

    2. বৈজ্ঞানিক তথ্য-উপাত্তর ভিত্তিতে চার্লস রবার্ট ডারউইনের বিবর্তন তত্ত্বের অবস্থান আজ অনড়, দেশ ও সংস্কৃতিভেদে নানারূপে বিবর্তন তত্ত্বের অস্বীকৃতি থাকলেও জীববিজ্ঞানীমহলে বিবর্তনতত্ত্ব এখ [...]

    3. يذكر بإيجاز المبادئ الكيميائية لانبثاق الحياة وتطور الأنواع وزيادة التعقيد من الاستنساخ إلى الأيض.

    4. The author offers nothing towards answering the title "What is Life" and offers nothing but the most simplistic presentation for addressing the subtitle "How Chemistry Becomes Biology".When he does address the title, he forces the presentation into his preferred world view of teleonomy (just a fancy way of saying animate objects are teleological and inanimate objects are not, whatever).He's going to equate maximum efficiency with DKS (dynamic kinetic systems) and explain that life arises from th [...]

    5. I’m rather underwhelmed by this book. Though it is praised as “uncover[ing] the chemical roots of Darwinian theory, thereby opening a novel route connecting biology to chemistry and physics” (and by a Nobel prize winner, no less!), I think this route is far from novel. It’s always been obvious to me that biology is chemistry in living cells, that all the rules of chemistry derive from properties described by physics, and indeed that physics is based on mathematics and mathematics on logi [...]

    6. If things did start as a tepid soup of various chemicals, what took place that led to non-living matter becoming alive, and ultimately to me typing ineffectual reviews on ? Pross' answer, while ultimately chemical, bridges the gap between chemistry and biology by exploring the development of chemical, replicative systems.While it takes a while to get into its stride, by the last third of the book I was hooked. The initial slow pace is partly because Pross takes a safe route and assumes an absolu [...]

    7. I read this book a year ago in the summer of my high school senior year, when I still wanted to major in neuroscience. It was like an unexpected treasure I found in the library. Now everything has changed but the book stayed amazing. It's scientific, but pretty easy to understand. Most importantly, the content is about the origin of life, the mysterious, unsolved matter which always interests me so much. The book offers an amazing insight about it. For the first time I thought I got more informa [...]

    8. very nice bookhow could life arise from the matter ? how could they drives against the laws of stability ( the thermodynamic stability )it explains very important concepts like DKS - dynamic kinetics stability - , homochirality ,replicators & systems chemistry , historical and ahistorical clues , and alot of points d it illustrate that biological evolution is a continuation to the chemical evolution . and it a draw a lines of where we are now at understanding of life , what we could know at [...]

    9. The Story about the cloud where from dead things living things are made! - if I'd have to put it in brief, or much better: Story about things that tamper, interfere with the II. Law!(It's unlikely that some reader lacking basics of thermodynamics will jump on this book, but here is to test yourself: which law is going to kill us? The I or the II Law? If you have answer you may proceed, if no, I'd first take some lectures about these two laws!Adam and Eve vs. the Serpent! Since that dramatic mome [...]

    10. Learned a lot. Coming from non scientific background, the book gave me introduction to many scientific phenomenon and schools. Teleonomy, chirality, life's non equilibrium state in opposition to second law of thermodynamics, holism vs reductionism. The author makes the book and concepts as readable and understandable as possible. When explaining the difference between linear vs exponential he comes up with a famous legend- which I first read in a Indian context, here presented as a Chinese one ( [...]

    11. My friend Manoj recently said, “In 5 billion years, an atom learned to talk.”This observation begs the question: How did the atom learn to talk? How did non-life become life?Pross sets out to answer this question and in so doing addresses many obstacles, the largest of which is Newton’s Second Law of Thermodynamics. If you’re unfamiliar with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it states that "In any cyclic process, the entropy will either increase or remain the same." It is often expressed [...]

    12. If I'd read this book hoping to learn the actual sequence of events that led to the origin of life on Earth, I would have been disappointed. Luckily, I realize that if that kind of discovery had been made, I would have probably read about it already on a science blog somewhere. The article on abiogenesis, including all the various hypotheses that have been proposed, is long enough to almost qualify as a short book itself - so it's clear that there is no standard, generally agreed upon historica [...]

    13. ترجمه روانی ندارد. از واژگان فارسی نامانوس استفاده کرده و بسیار لیترال ترجمه شده است. فعل ها در آخر جمله نیامده و دقیقا مانند جمله بندی انگلیسی ترجمه شده که خواندن را مشکل می کند. نام کتاب از حیات چیست شرودینگر گرفته شده که در واقع ادامه آن کتاب محسوب می شود.

    14. I read this because it was book of the month on 's Science and Inquiry group, for January 2015. I had some concerns in the prologue and first chapter, because the author was emphasizing the seemingly unnatural nature of life, going so far as to refer to "nature's design." Design suggesting to me a designer. Then discussing teleonomy, the apparent purposefulness of life. Then referring to evolution as Darwinism, citing and critiquing original words by Charles Darwin. All in all, the book seemed t [...]

    15. Wow, that was one good book!What is life? And how did it emerge? How does inanimate matter become animate? Scientists on the whole do not dispute that it happened -- but cannot say how, or when or why. Pross studies replicative chemistry, work that started with Saul Spiegelman's work on RNA in the 60s. Here, he explains biology in chemical terms, but at the same time, shows how this chemical explanation fulfills what Darwin predicted 150 years ago.We normally think of abiogenesis and evolution a [...]

    16. After spending the first few chapters outlining the major obstacles to developing a theory of abiogenesis, Pross then proceeds to lay out his proposed solution to the problem. I found his analysis of the intractable problems of abiogenesis to be insightful and spot on with what I know from my other reading in origin of life research. Then in the second half of the book he, almost too glibly, in my opinion, outlines his solution to the problem, which in a nutshell, is that life evolved from chemi [...]

    17. This dropped into my hands while I listened to the panspermia chatter surrounding the marvellous Rosetta/Philae mission to comet 67P last November. However, the book attempts to answer the 'how' rather than the 'whence life' question. Pross presents this in the principal of how abiogenesis occurs despite the constraints imposed on matter by the second law of thermodynamics. Pross argues simple chemical processes are the key to understanding how inert matter acquires the essential replicating and [...]

    18. This book was a bit difficult for me, since I have only high school science training. But it's an interesting topic so I stuck with it. And actually, I think the author did a pretty good job of making it intelligible for the layperson. I believe I understand his general theories. That biology is really just complex chemistry, which is just complex physics okay, I can buy that. That the biology of how life started can be better understood if we examine it in terms of chemical processes okay. A [...]

    19. If you're not a complete layman you might want to read the first 100 pages diagonally. The reason I gave it 5 stars is because what comes next, the last 100 pages, is worth a book in and of it's own.

    20. A high school me who read this book may have gone on to become a biologist. Fascinating information, really well written, really accessible.

    21. To me the central claim of the book just doesn't make sense - or correlate with basic facts of biological reality. The author claims that life "began with replication", but how can that possibly be, if every life we know of is enclosed in a membrane? How does one write a whole book on life, claiming that life "is such" i.e. replication, without even mentioning another ubiquitous condition of life: the phospholipid membrane? It boggles the imagination.What value this book can be said to have deri [...]

    22. Not a lot of technical details in this short book, but it still makes a good argument for its thesis: that biological evolution can and should be extended to the realm of chemistry via the emerging field of "systems chemistry", and that this is the best way to understand biology as a kind of chemistry - the replicative chemistry of autocatalytic reaction networks.While ordinary chemical systems tend towards stability in the form of thermodynamic equilibrium, so that they are most stable when the [...]

    23. Bilimin en büyük sorularından birini yepyeni araştırmalar ışığında ele alan ufuk açıcı bir kitap 'Yaşam Nedir?'. Problemin formüle edilişine bakarak tipik bir bir biyoloji kitabı beklentisi uyandırsa da aslında alt başlığı 'Kimyanın Biyolojiye Dönüşümü', olaya kimya perspektifiğinden bakacağının ipucunu baştanveriyor. Fakat bahsi geçen kimya, standart kimyasından çok daha farklı, kimya alanında oldukça modern bir bakış olan 'sistem kimyası' perspektifi. [...]

    24. Dr. Pross’s book shares a title (but not a subtitle) with the seminal work by the renowned physicist Erwin Schrödinger from 1944. While Schrödinger addresses a wide range of topics on how life might be explained in terms of physics and chemistry, Pross’s focus is narrower. Pross asks—and proposes an answer for—the straightforward (but thorny) question of how abiogenesis could occur. Abiogenesis is life from the non-living. Darwin did an excellent job of explaining how we could get from [...]

    25. In 1944 Erwin Schrodinger published a little book with the title, ‘What is Life?’ Though, obviously not the first to pose this question, it is purported to have provided at least part of the inspiration to those, such as Watson and Crick, who would later go some way to answering it. Addy Pross, though using the same title, adds the sub-title, ‘How Chemistry Becomes Biology’ and this is quite odd as he spends most of this very slim book attempting to persuade the reader of exactly the opp [...]

    26. Book 39 of 2015 is What is Life? How Chemistry Becomes Biology by Addy Pross.Someone recently called my understanding of science unsophisticated. When I probed deeper in to what was meant by this, I found that he saw my acceptance of scientific facts as me lacking the ability to challenge an idea.I thought about this for a while and dispute his perception of this because facts are facts. And facts determined using the scientific method are solid in my world. Damn us rational people.What I think [...]

    27. Physicists over the past hundred years have done a remarkable job in explaining the origin of the universe—from a singularity 13.7 billion years ago to the formation of stars, galaxies, planets, and the elements on the periodic table.Biologists over the past 150 years have done a similar remarkable job in describing how the complexity of life we see on earth today arose from the simple beginnings of a bacterial cell. When we take these two frameworks and put them together, there is a gap that [...]

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *