In 1936 a German chemist identified certain organic molecules in ancient rocks and oils as the fossil remains of chlorophyll, presumably from plants that had lived millions of years in the past. Many years later this insight was revisited and the term biomarker coined to describe fossil molecules whose molecular structures could reveal the presence of otherwise elusive organisms and processesand then, the hunt was on. Echoes of Life is the story of those molecules and how they illuminate the history of the earth and its life. It is also the story of how a few maverick organic chemists and geologists defied the dictates of their disciplines and, at a time when the natural sciences were fragmenting into ever-more-specialized sub-disciplines, reunited chemistry, biology and geology in a common endeavor.
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(244mm x 161mm x 25mm)
Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
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Author Biography - Susan M. Gaines
Susan Gaines was trained as a chemist and oceanographer. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary anthologies and been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and she is the author of the novel Carbon Dreams. Geoffrey Eglinton is Professor Emeritus at Bristol University, Adjunct Scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and at Dartmouth College. He is the recipient of the NASA Gold Medal, the Royal Society Queens Medal, and the 2008 Dan David Prize. Jurgen Rullkotter is a professor of organic geochemistry and Director of the Institute of Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, University of Oldenburg, Germany.