Astrobiology: An Evolutionary Approach provides a full course in astrobiology with an emphasis on abiogenesis and evolution. The book presents astrobiology both as a developing science and as the science of the future.
The origins of life and the possibility of life elsewhere continues to be a subject of scientific and philosophical examination. These topics evolve with time as our understanding of life itself and the laws of chemical and biological evolution evolve. Astrobiology: An Evolutionary Approach aims both to provide a foundation in astrobiology and to describe the most challenging questions and problems in the field.
The book begins with an overview of astrobiology, the origin of elements, and the formation of the solar system, planets, and exoplanets. Other topics covered include prebiotic synthesis of biochemical compounds, transition from abiotic to biotic, microorganisms in space, the roles of silicon in life, encapsulation of organic materials in protocells, cold and dry limits of life, virolution, and more.
The contributors explore different aspects of astrobiology, reflecting the exciting journeys of their own research. This book will inspire students to explore the endless possibilities in astrobiology. The book includes end-of-chapter questions, a glossary of terms, and recommended references, making it ideal for use as a classroom text.
Vera M. Kolb is a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She earned an MS in organic chemistry from Belgrade University and a PhD in organic chemistry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Dr. Kolb received her training in exobiology (now known as astrobiology) at the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in San Diego. She has received the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Educator Award and has also been inducted into the Southeastern Wisconsin Educators' Hall of Fame. Dr. Kolb is a recipient of numerous grants from the Wisconsin Space Consortium/NASA and has published more than 150 articles in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and astrobiology.
Astrobiology: An Overview; Aaron David Goldman Origin of Elements and Formation of Solar System, Planets, and Exoplanets; Ken Rice Astrobiology Education and Public Outreach; Timothy F. Slater Analysis of Extraterrestrial Organic Matter in Murchison Meteorite: A Progress Report; Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, Mourad Harir, Basem Kanawati, Regis Gougeon, Franco Moritz, Norbert Hertkorn, Sonny Clary, Istvan Gebefugi,and Zelimir Gabelica Prebiotic Synthesis of Biochemical Compounds: An Overview; Henderson James (Jim) Cleaves Biochemical Pathways as Evidence for Prebiotic Syntheses; Gene D. McDonald Roles of Silicon in Life on Earth and Elsewhere; Joseph B. Lambert and Senthil Andavan Gurusamy-Thangavelu Fossil Records for Early Life on Earth; David Wacey Prebiotic Chemistry: In Water and in the Solid State; Vera M. Kolb Encapsulation of Organic Materials in Protocells; Erica A. Frankel, Daniel C. Dewey, and Christine D. Keating Role of Phosphorus in Prebiotic Chemistry; Matthew Pasek Cold and Dry Limits of Life; Christopher P. McKay, Alfonso F. Davila, and Henry J. Sun Microorganisms in Space; Gerda Horneck and Ralf Moeller Search for Life on Mars: An Astrogeological Approach; Jesus Martinez-Frias Elusive Definition of Life: A Survey of Main Ideas; Radu Popa Language and Communication as Universal Requirements for Life; Guenther Witzany Transition from Abiotic to Biotic: Is There an Algorithm for It?; Sara Imari Walker Extraterrestrial Life: What Are We Looking For?; Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Louis N. Irwin, and Alberto G. Fairen Evolutionary Approach to Viruses in Astrobiology; Matti Jalasvuori and Jaana K.H. Bamford Virolution Can Help Us Understand the Origin of Life; Luis P. Villarreal Can Virolution Help Us Understand Recent Human Evolution?; Luis P. Villarreal Index