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Echoes of life: what fossil molecules reveal about earth history

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Publisher:
Oxford University Press,
Pub. Date:
2009.
Language:
English
Description
In 1936 a German chemist identified certain organic molecules that he had extracted from ancient rocks and oils as the fossil remains of chlorophyll--presumably from plants that had lived and died millions of years in the past. It was another twenty-five years before this insight was developed and the term "biomarker" coined to describe fossil molecules whose molecular structures could reveal the presence of otherwise elusive organisms and processes.Echoes of Life is the story of these molecules and how they are illuminating the history of the earth and its life. It is also the story of how a few maverick organic chemists and geologists defied the dictates of their disciplines and--at a time when the natural sciences were fragmenting into ever-more-specialized sub-disciplines--reunited chemistry, biology and geology in a common endeavor. The rare combination of rigorous science and literary style--woven into a historic narrative that moves naturally from the simple to the complex--make Echoes of Life a book to be read for pleasure and contemplation, as well as education.
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ISBN:
9780199721085
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full_title echoes of life what fossil molecules reveal about earth history
author gaines susan m
grouping_category book
lastUpdate 2016-12-14 05:07:33AM

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author Gaines, Susan M.
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author_additional Susan M. Gaines, Geoffrey Eglinton, Jürgen Rullkötter ; scientific illustrations by Florian Rommerskirchen.
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physical xviii, 355 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.
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table_of_contents Molecular informants: a changing perspective of organic chemistry -- Looking to the rocks: molecular clues to the origin of life -- From the moon to Mars: the search for extraterrestrial life -- Black gold: an alchemist's guide to petroleum -- Deep sea mud: biomarker clues to ancient climates -- More molecules, more mud and the isotopic dimension: ancient environments revealed -- Microbiologists (finally) climb on board -- Weird molecules, inconceivable microbes, and unlikely environmental proxies: marine ecology revised -- Molecular paleontology and biochemical evolution -- Early life revisited -- Thinking molecularly, anything goes: from mummies to oil spills, doubts to new directions.
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title Echoes of life what fossil molecules reveal about earth history
title_display Echoes of life what fossil molecules reveal about earth history
title_full Echoes of life [electronic resource] : what fossil molecules reveal about earth history / Susan M. Gaines, Geoffrey Eglinton, Jürgen Rullkötter ; scientific illustrations by Florian Rommerskirchen
title_short Echoes of life
title_sort echoes of life what fossil molecules reveal about earth history
title_sub what fossil molecules reveal about earth history