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by David Toomey
Download Weird Life: The Search for Life That Is Very, Very Different from Our Own fb2
Science & Mathematics
  • Author:
    David Toomey
  • ISBN:
    0393071588
  • ISBN13:
    978-0393071580
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    W. W. Norton & Company; First Edition edition (February 26, 2013)
  • Pages:
    288 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Science & Mathematics
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1519 kb
  • ePUB format
    1474 kb
  • DJVU format
    1712 kb
  • Rating:
    4.4
  • Votes:
    386
  • Formats:
    docx rtf lrf txt


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Toomey, David M. Publication date. Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Uploaded by station51. cebu on January 10, 2020.

As far as we know, all life on earth is based on DNA and has descended from a LUCA ( last universal common ancestor ), making us all, more or less, related

Finding life not like our own, however, might help us discover universal biological laws, similar to physical laws. Floaters, huh? Toomey’s just getting started.

Finding life not like our own, however, might help us discover universal biological laws, similar to physical laws. Knowing how common it is for life to evolve might also rejigger our envisioned place in the cosmos.

But might there be life stranger than the most extreme extremophile? Might there be, somewhere, another kind of life .

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.

Weird indeed, and not a little wonderful. 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?

David Toomey travels down the strange path of Weird Life starting at the . For those interested in life very, very different from our own, this is right up your alley

David Toomey travels down the strange path of Weird Life starting at the striking discoveries of extremophiles. Extremophile organisms push the boundaries of what conditions we thought life could exist in, thriving in environments too extreme for humans. Would life elsewhere look exactly like our cold or acid-loving extremophiles on Earth or would they be even weirder? Vast lakes of liquid methane exist on Saturn’s moon, Titan. For those interested in life very, very different from our own, this is right up your alley.

Nature itself, David Toomey says, will outperform the uniformed imagination every time, and Weird Life is his attempt at. .

How are they fundamentally different from our own cells? What is special in their cellular make-up that bestows upon them such incredible survival skills and what does that teach us about the workings of life?

Also by David Toomey. Additional Praise for Weird Life. What is clear is that the discovery of even one example of such life would profoundly change our understanding of biology.

Also by David Toomey. The familiar illustration of all life we know is a great tree, its trunk splitting and splitting again into branches representing phylogenetic categories, each less fundamental and more populous than that from which it sprouted, finally ending in millions of twigs representing individual species.

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Science that sounds like science fiction.In recent years, scientists have hypothesized life-forms that can only be called "weird": organisms that live off acid rather than water, microbes that thrive at temperatures and pressure levels so extreme that their cellular structures should break down, perhaps even organisms that reproduce without DNA. Some of these strange life-forms, unrelated to all life we know, might be nearby: on rock surfaces in the American southwest, hydrothermal vents on the ocean floor, or even in our own bodies. Some, stranger still, might live in Martian permafrost, swim in the dark oceans of Jupiter's moons, or survive in the exotic ices on comets.  Others--the strangest of all--might inhabit the crusts of neutron stars, interstellar nebulae, or even other spatial dimensions. In Weird Life, David Toomey takes us on a breathtaking tour of a universe of hypothetical life, a universe of life as we do not know it. 10 illustrations

Alsardin
Are we alone in the universe? What are the "limits" of life on Earth? Questions like these have piqued the interest of scientist's for centuries and we are no closer now to finding all the answers then we were when Aristotle first speculated about biological life. In "Weird Life" author David Toomey, an English professor who's research interest are in science writing, has written a fascinating summary of our efforts to answer these questions and define the parameters of life. As far as we know, all life on earth is based on DNA and has descended from a LUCA ( last universal common ancestor ), making us all, more or less, related. But what exactly is "Life As We Know It" and how would we recognize it if it was "Life As We Do Not Know It"? For well over a hundred years now men of science have been speculating on what "non-LUCA life" would be like and how it would differ from our everyday "DNA-life". Practitioners from such varied fields of science as; Theoretical Physics, Astronomy, Biology and all the various combinations of those fields, devote their lives and careers in exploring these "shadow biospheres" for the alternate possibilities of life beyond the norm. Starting with an overview of our most familiar life forms and their ecological limits, Toomey moves beyond the fringe of known life to explore ever more hostile realms of extreme temperatures and caustic chemicals. With the discovery of "extremophiles"; hardy organisms living near deep sea vents, in thermal pools and hypersaline lakes, we learned that life is far more varied than we ever imagined. But even these alien biospheres, as different as they are, contain only our familiar DNA-life. Toomey starts his hunt for weird-life with a look at some Earth bound oddities that might fit the bill. From there he explores other, less likely, abodes of possible, or impossible life. The farther you get into the book, the stranger and more extreme these speculations become. For example; Could life exist if, instead of oxygen, it metabolized methane gas or used "liquid hydrocarbons" instead of water for a solvent? Some bizarre microorganism have been shown to survive in the vacuum of space, is it therefore possible that Earth was seeded by life from elsewhere in the cosmos? As humans leave Earth and travel through space to distant world's we'd better be ready for the unexpected. Life could be lurking in places that we least expect it; on gas-giant planets or worlds covered with oceans of "exotic-liquids". In his research, Toomey has compiled and read the thoughts and ideas of a wide variety of scientists and thinkers; people like Carl Sagan, Arthur C Clark, Brian Greene and Fred Hoyle are just a few of his sources. Toomey's writing style is engaging and thought provoking with just a hint of humor. Part biology and astronomy, part science-history, "Weird Life" explores a little known realm and provides plenty of food for thought. Just keep an open, but skeptical, mind and you may discover a different way of looking at nature, the world, and even the Cosmos. While I had no downloading or technical issues with this Kindle edition there were problems with the "link system" that connects you to the Notes: The links to the "end of chapter" notes (indicated by an *) work just fine but the links to the "end of book" notes (indicated with a number) do not function. This is too bad because there were some interesting things within the note section. This is not so much a Kindle issue as it is a Publisher oversight. Anyway, if you're up for things like "SETI" and life beyond the "Outer Limits" you may get a kick out of this book. I certainly did.

Last Ranger
Cerar
Science fiction - especially in the media - plays fast and loose with extraterrestrial life. The reality of how life evolved on Earth and how it may exist in other chemical formats presents a stricter view of the life we're likely to encounter in our galaxy. I was looking for a book that explored those "weird" possibilities scientific, albeit layman, terms. Toomey's book was a great match for that. It had great scope, looking at the possibilities for undiscovered life on Earth, and radiating outwards into the cosmos, concluding with a discussion on "life simulations".

While the book covers a broad spectrum on its topic, it felt a bit short in terms of text length. I think there was room for a bit more detail. A couple of stated facts made me raise a skeptical eyebrow as they didn't seem to mesh with my current understanding - and there was at least one factual error in relating the birth name of author Harry Clement Stubbs. So I'm left wondering how rigorously the volume was fact-checked, but I certainly felt that the vast bulk was accurate and helpful in my own ruminations on the subject.
Very Old Chap
This book starts out in a compelling way, delivering interesting evidence and anecdotes of alternative forms of life. We then follow the author into our solar system as scientists search for other alternative life forms - or at least their vestiges - on Mars and Saturn's most hospitable moon. This is all fascinating stuff delivered in strong prose. But I found myself increasingly less interested as the author describes the search for - and very essence of - life in an alternative universe. It all becomes abstract theory rather than anything evidentiary, and as such, quite different than perhaps the first 2/3's of the book. By the end, I felt very detached from the book. But after putting it down and reflecting on the totality of the book, I would recommend it simply because most of it is quite interesting and explores a very compelling subject: the very definition of life and its origin. If you have strong religious beliefs about the origin of life, or rather agnostic and curious like myself, you'll probably find it pretty provocative.
Ranenast
Science past and present explores the search for life quite unlike our own. Starting with a question about what defines life as we know it, the author presents methods to define and discover "weird" life. Mr. Tome leads the reader through a looking glass to other dimensions, planets, and universes in a highly enjoyable, at times even humorous, way. There is much to take in here in this thoughtful and thought-provoking book.
Shaktiktilar
This book discusses quite complex subject matter in an accessible manner. The question is if indeed we occupy a smaller part in the universe than we now believe. Many if not most of the weird life discussed are considered to be extremophiles, life that lives in extreme temperature or location. I struggled with some of the chemistry, but ultimately learned a lot, and enjoyed the effort.
Gagas
I'm half-way through, and this book hasn't disappointed. Makes different vestiges of astrobiology easy to consume. 4 stars only bc the pictures are too few and black and white.)
Moonworm
This book covers a wide range of possibilities for how "life" may exist elsewhere (including the elsewhere that is right nearby). From the way life may make use of different chemical elements to perform familiar functions to some forms of life that stretch the definition of life this book covers the subject extremely well. This book intrigues.
Good read life is wonderful on this planet.