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What is Life?


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Table of Contents

Prologue 1: Living things are so very strange 2: Historic quest for a theory of life 3: Understanding 'understanding' 4: Stability and instability 5: The knotty origin of life problem 6: Biology's crisis of identity 7: Biology is chemistry 8: What is Life? References and Notes Index

About the Author

Addy Pross received a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry from Sydney University in 1970. He is currently a Professor of Chemistry at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and a recognised authority in the area of chemical reactivity to which he contributed with the highly cited and acclaimed Pross-Shaik model of chemical reactivity. He has held visiting positions in many universities word-wide, including the University of Lund, Stanford University, Rutgers University, University of California at Irvine, University of Padova, the Australian National University Canberra, and Sydney University. He has served on the editorial board of chemical and biological journals and a variety of academic management boards. In recent years he has directed his attention to the biological arena where he has applied his expertise in chemical reactivity to the Origin of Life problem and the broader question of the problematic chemistry-biology interface.


Review from previous edition: 'A stimulating and thought-provoking read, [which] provides a sound chemical framework for considering the various theories and strands of research directed towards understanding the ultimate question - what is life?' -- Chemistry World`I don't pretend to understand the chemistry - but by using analogies about boulders rolling down hills, and cars driving up them, Pross does a good job of explaining the principle.' -- Brandon Robshaw, Independent on SundayReview from previous edition: 'Addy Pross's growing sense of excitement is palpable in this lucid, thoughtful, and accessible exploration of the very foundations of that most exquisite and extraordinary property of matter, life.' -- Peter Atkins`Strikingly, [Pross] demonstrates that Darwinian evolution is the biological expression of a deeper and more fundamental chemical principle: the whole story from replicating molecules to complex life is one continuous coherent chemical process governed by a simple definable principle.' -- GrrlScientist blog`A thoughtful and readable manifesto Pross gets high marks for his effort to demystify genesis and put chemistry in its place.' -- Franklin M. Harold, Microbe, Volume 8 Number 3`A lively, intellectually stimulating examination of profound scientific and philosophic questions. It provides an intriguing and possibly plausible way to think about life and its origins. It provides much food for constructive thought.' -- Chemical and Engineering News`A fascinating and insightful read. It has utility and enjoyment value to readers from a wide variety of backgrounds. Definitely food for thought.' -- Niles Lehman, Trends in Evolutionary Biology`By formulating a new stability kind in nature, Addy Pross has uncovered the chemical roots of Darwinian theory, thereby opening a novel route connecting biology to chemistry and physics. This book is more than worth reading - it stirs the readers mind and paves the way toward the birth of further outstanding ideas.' -- Ada Yonath, Nobel Laureate in Chemistry`[What is Life?] is a stimulating and thought-provoking read, and provides a sound chemical framework for considering the various theories and strands of research directed towards understanding the ultimate question - what is life?' -- Chemistry World

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