Weird Life

Weird Life

The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different From Our Own

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
1
Baker & Taylor
An introduction to some of the universe's more unusual life-forms and the maverick scientists who search for them includes organisms that consume acid and organisms that reproduce without DNA, tracing the discoveries of unfamiliar life forms in extreme areas of the solar system. 10,000 first printing.

Norton Pub
In the 1980s and 1990s, in places where no one thought it possible, scientists found organisms they called extremophiles: lovers of extremes. There were bacteria in volcanic hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, single-celled algae in Antarctic ice floes, and fungi in the cooling pools of nuclear reactors.But might there be life stranger than the most extreme extremophile? Might there be, somewhere, another kind of life entirely? In fact, scientists have hypothesized life that uses ammonia instead of water, life based not in carbon but in silicon, life driven by nuclear chemistry, and life whose very atoms are unlike those in life we know. In recent years some scientists have begun to look for the tamer versions of such life on rock surfaces in the American Southwest, in a “shadow biosphere” that might impinge on the known biosphere, and even deep within human tissue. They have also hypothesized more radical versions that might survive in Martian permafrost, in the cold ethylene lakes on Saturn’s moon Titan, and in the hydrogen-rich atmospheres of giant planets in other solar systems. And they have imagined it in places off those worlds: the exotic ices in comets, the vast spaces between the stars, and—strangest of all—parallel universes.Distilling complex science in clear and lively prose, David Toomey illuminates the research of the biological avant-garde and describes the workings of weird organisms in riveting detail. His chapters feature an unforgettable cast of brilliant scientists and cover everything from problems with our definitions of life to the possibility of intelligent weird life. With wit and understanding that will delight scientists and lay readers alike, Toomey reveals how our current knowledge of life forms may account for only a tiny fraction of what’s really out there.
Prepare to discover life unlike any we’ve seen before.

Book News
Extremophile is the scientific name for organisms that thrive in extreme environments such as very cold or hot temperatures or in the presence of radioactivity. Toomey (English, University of Massachusetts-Amherst) explains the latest findings on extremophiles and organisms even more extreme, such as organisms based on other elements instead of carbon. Writing for general readers in a conversational style, he describes the search for weird life on Earth, other planets, outer space, and even inside the human body, with emphasis on future scenarios. The book is illustrated with b&w photos and images of real and fantastical life forms. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Publisher: New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Co., c2013
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780393071580
0393071588
Characteristics: xviii, 268 p. : ill. ; 22 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

p
pm221
Jan 29, 2018

The author really means it when he says “weird”. I was expecting a potted biology of archeans and other extremophiles, turned out they were not nearly weird enough. To be classed as weird in this book means anything from using different amino acids to the regular 20, up to and including life possibilities in 10^500 versions of the multiverse, via life on neutron stars.
WEIRD.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at Northern Indiana Database Cluster

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top