Life's Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable

Princeton University Press
2
Free sample

For almost four billion years, microbes had the primordial oceans all to themselves. The stewards of Earth, these organisms transformed the chemistry of our planet to make it habitable for plants, animals, and us. Life's Engines takes readers deep into the microscopic world to explore how these marvelous creatures made life on Earth possible—and how human life today would cease to exist without them.

Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built—and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how evolution works to maintain this core machinery of life, and how we and other animals are veritable conglomerations of microbes.

A vibrantly entertaining book about the microbes that support our very existence, Life's Engines will inspire wonder about these elegantly complex nanomachines that have driven life since its origin. It also issues a timely warning about the dangers of tinkering with that machinery to make it more "efficient" at meeting the ever-growing demands of humans in the coming century.

Read more

About the author

Paul G. Falkowski holds the Bennett L. Smith Chair in Business and Natural Resources at Rutgers University, where he studies how microbes have shaped the history of Earth.
Read more
5.0
2 total
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
Read more
Published on
Apr 27, 2015
Read more
Pages
224
Read more
ISBN
9781400865727
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
Nature / Ecology
Nature / Ecosystems & Habitats / General
Science / General
Science / Life Sciences / Biochemistry
Science / Life Sciences / Biological Diversity
Science / Life Sciences / Ecology
Science / Life Sciences / Evolution
Science / Life Sciences / Microbiology
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
Biological processes in the oceans play a crucial role in regulating the fluxes of many important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, sulfur, oxygen, phosphorus, and silicon. As we come to the end of the 20th century, oceanographers have increasingly focussed on how these elements are cycled within the ocean, the interdependencies of these cycles, and the effect of the cycle on the composition of the earth's atmosphere and climate. Many techniques and tools have been developed or adapted over the past decade to help in this effort. These include satellite sensors of upper ocean phytoplankton distributions, flow cytometry, molecular biological probes, sophisticated moored and shipboard instrumentation, and vastly increased numerical modeling capabilities. This volume is the result of the 37th Brookhaven Symposium in Biology, in which a wide spectrum of oceanographers, chemists, biologists, and modelers discussed the progress in understanding the role of primary producers in biogeochemical cycles. The symposium is dedicated to Dr. Richard W. Eppley, an intellectual giant in biological oceanography, who inspired a generation of scientists to delve into problems of understanding biogeochemical cycles in the sea. We gratefully acknowledge support from the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Special thanks to Claire Lamberti for her help in producing this volume.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.