The origin of life was probably the result of a singular event in the Earth's history, and reconstructing this event is like assembling a puzzle made up of many pieces. These pieces are composed of information acquired from many different disciplines. The aim of this book is to integrate the most recent discoveries in astronomy, planetology, paleontology, biology and chemistry, and use this knowledge to present plausible scenarios that give us a better understanding of the likely origin of life on Earth. Eighteen experts contribute chapters that discuss everything from the environment and atmosphere of the early Earth, to the appearance of organic molecules in the prebiotic environment, to primitive chiral chemical systems capable of self-replication and evolution by mutation. The book also discusses various clues to the origin of life that can be obtained by a study of the past and present microbial world, as well as from other planets.
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