Download A World From Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life by Ben McFarland PDF

By Ben McFarland

ISBN-10: 0190275014

ISBN-13: 9780190275013

A international From Dust describes how a collection of chemical principles mixed with the foundations of evolution with a view to create an atmosphere within which lifestyles as we all know it may well spread. starting with uncomplicated arithmetic, those predictable principles resulted in the arrival of the planet itself, in addition to cells, organs and organelles, ecosystems, and more and more complicated lifestyles varieties. McFarland offers an available dialogue of a geological historical past in addition, describing how the inorganic subject in the world underwent chemical reactions with air and water, taking into account existence to emerge from the world's first rocks. He strains the historical past of lifestyles all of the approach to sleek neuroscience, and indicates how the bioelectric indications that make up the human mind have been shaped. most well liked technology books at the subject current both the physics of ways the universe shaped, or the biology of ways advanced existence took place; this book's process will be novel in that it condenses in a fascinating manner the chemistry that hyperlinks the 2 fields. This publication is an obtainable and multidisciplinary examine how existence on our planet got here to be, and the way it maintains to boost and alter even today.

This publication comprises forty illustrations by way of Gala Bent, print artist and studio college member at Cornish collage of the humanities, and Mary Anderson, clinical illustrator.

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Additional info for A World From Dust: How the Periodic Table Shaped Life

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One of my colleagues was testing how snail cells respond to zinc. He set up a series of experiments adding more and more zinc. At a certain point, the 29 Predicting the Chemistry inside a Cell snail cells froze up and turned to thick jelly. Zinc had jammed the flow of life. Zinc’s chemical stickiness to oxygen, nitrogen, and sulfur is useful at lower concentrations, but at higher concentrations zinc adheres to everything, crosslinking the cell as if filling it with glue. Life must flow, and solidified life is no life at all.

2 Predicting the Chemistry Inside a Cell scraps of paper in a tiny sculpture //​sulfur’s special role //​how to reject gold //​cadmium’s deadly mimicry //​electrons and oxygen are opposites //​the chemical power of the metals at the heart of life //​the chemical left hand matches the biological right hand //​in medicine, bismuth trumps zinc //​zinc knits proteins together //​the birth of the Accidental Enzyme THE WORDS INSIDE THE WALL The process of scientific discovery is something like a walk near Freswick Castle.

The structure is not a closed circle, but it is a spiral wall open to the sea, and to you. Inside, a small stone bench invites you to sit. A window slit next to the bench is an eye to the outside. Surrounded by a jigsaw of rocks, you can hear the echo of waves all around and watch the blue-​gray sky above. If the spiral’s opening is a mouth, then you are Jonah in the whale. You are both inside and outside at once. The architect of this singular structure wants you to discover it this way. 1 A view of the entrance to the sculpture ekko by Roger Feldman, Freswick Castle, Scotland.

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