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Life's edge : the search for what it means to be alive / Carl Zimmer.

Life's edge : the search for what it means to be alive / Carl Zimmer.
Catalogue Information
Field name Details
ISBN 9781529069426 (paperback)
Author Zimmer, Carl, 1966- author.
Title Life's edge : the search for what it means to be alive / Carl Zimmer.
Publisher/Date London : Picador, 2021.
Pagination etc. xx, 346 pages ; 24 cm.
Bibliography, etc. note Includes bibliographical references (pages 307-334) and index.
Contents note Introduction: The borderland -- The quickening. The way the spirit comes to the bones ; Death is resisted -- The hallmarks. Dinner ; Decisive matter ; Preserving constant the conditions of life ; Copy/Paste ; Darwin's lung -- A series of dark questions. This astonishing multiplication ; Irritations ; The sect ; This mud was actually alive ; A play of water ; Scripts -- Return to the borderland. Half life ; Data needed for a blueprint ; No obvious bushes ; Four blue droplets.
Summary Note Carl Zimmer investigates one of the biggest questions of all: What is life? The answer seems obvious until you try to seriously answer it. Is the apple sitting on your kitchen counter alive, or is only the apple tree it came from deserving of the word? If we can't answer that question here on earth, how will we know when and if we discover alien life on other worlds? The question hangs over some of society's most charged conflicts - whether a fertilized egg is a living person, for example, and when we ought to declare a person legally dead. Zimmer journeys through the strange experiments that have attempted to re-create life. Literally hundreds of definitions of what that should look like now exist, but none has yet emerged as an obvious winner. Lists of what living things have in common do not add up to a theory of life. It's never clear why some items on the list are essential and others not. Coronaviruses have altered the course of history, and yet many scientists maintain they are not alive. Chemists are creating droplets that can swarm, sense their environment, and multiply. Have they made life in the lab?
Subject Life sciences
Life (Biology)
Shelf Location 570 ZIMM
Catalogue Information 848226 Beginning of record . Catalogue Information 848226 Top of page .