Life's Ratchet

How Molecular Machines Extract Order from Chaos

Author: Peter M. Hoffmann

Publisher: Hachette UK


Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 457

The cells in our bodies consist of molecules, made up of the same carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen atoms found in air and rocks. But molecules, such as water and sugar, are not alive. So how do our cells—assemblies of otherwise “dead” molecules—come to life, and together constitute a living being? In Life’s Ratchet, physicist Peter M. Hoffmann locates the answer to this age-old question at the nanoscale. The complex molecules of our cells can rightfully be called “molecular machines,” or “nanobots”; these machines, unlike any other, work autonomously to create order out of chaos. Tiny electrical motors turn electrical voltage into motion, tiny factories custom-build other molecular machines, and mechanical machines twist, untwist, separate and package strands of DNA. The cell is like a city—an unfathomable, complex collection of molecular worker bees working together to create something greater than themselves. Life, Hoffman argues, emerges from the random motions of atoms filtered through the sophisticated structures of our evolved machinery. We are essentially giant assemblies of interacting nanoscale machines; machines more amazing than can be found in any science fiction novel. Incredibly, the molecular machines in our cells function without a mysterious “life force,” nor do they violate any natural laws. Scientists can now prove that life is not supernatural, and that it can be fully understood in the context of science. Part history, part cutting-edge science, part philosophy, Life’s Ratchet takes us from ancient Greece to the laboratories of modern nanotechnology to tell the story of our quest for the machinery of life.

First Steps in the Origin of Life in the Universe

Proceedings of the Sixth Trieste Conference on Chemical Evolution, Trieste, Italy, 18-22 September, 2000

Author: Julian Chela-Flores

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media


Category: Science

Page: 428

View: 307

The general topic of this volume concerns the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the Universe. Firstly, it discusses the transition from inert matter to cellular life and its evolution to fully developed intelligent beings, and also the possibility of life occurring elsewhere, particularly in other environments in our own and other solar systems. Secondly, the book explores the role that space missions may play in obtaining further insight into the question of the origin of life. Reviews are included of the research for microorganisms in the solar system and the well-established project for the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The present work is much broader in its scope than in previous conferences: over one hundred leading scientists have reviewed the entire range of subjects dealt with in these sixty-nine papers. Audience: This book is aimed at advanced students, as well as researchers, in the many areas of basic, earth, and life sciences that contribute to the study of the first steps in the origin of life.


A Story of Abuse and Redemption

Author: John Penn

Publisher: iUniverse


Category: Fiction

Page: 248

View: 289

Ratchet will take you to a world that you may never have been exposed to. It is a compelling story of the growth of a young boy victimized and grows to tell his tale of survival and triumph. Often Ratchet is humurous and deadly serious showing a dark and deadly side of life. It will place you in the mind and make you examine your life and how you think. It is a page turner filled with a view of a life that will place your mind in your chest and shock you at what people are capable of. It is a "don't miss book."


Author: Neville Moray

Publisher: Author House


Category: Philosophy

Page: 322

View: 981

To think about the mind, the self, the will and consciousness used to be left to philosophy. Today neuroscience, genetics and computer science seem poised to take over these topics. Can we find a way to combine modern science with traditional ideas and ways of thinking? What is life? Can we make it? Can we make a person? Can machines think? Do we need the notion of a soul? How does consciousness arise? This book shows how to think about the relation between science and philosophy in order better to understand human nature in the light of modern and traditional knowledge. The aim is not to prove that one approach is better than the other, but to help the reader to form and discuss their own questions. It is a vessel to let you set sail on your own voyage of intellectual discovery.

My Life's Flow

Author: Taryn A. Robinson

Publisher: Xlibris Corporation


Category: Poetry

Page: 84

View: 858

Scientific American




Category: Science


View: 935

Monthly magazine devoted to topics of general scientific interest.

Life's Journey


Author: Eugene Bak



Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 204

View: 950

The author chronicles the experiences of his family in pre-war Poland, wartime Poland, the Soviet Union, Iran, Pakistan, India, Britain, and the United States. The Bak family was deported by the Soviets to Siberia in 1940. After Germany declared war on Russia in 1942, the family escaped from a labor camp and went to Uzbekistan, where Piotr Bak, the author's father, joined the Polish Army in Exile. The Army and civilian family members were evacuated to Iran in 1942. As a child, Eugene Bak spent five years in refugee camps in Iran, Pakistan and India. The family went to England in 1947 and immigrated to the United States in 1952, where Eugene Bak became president of a chemical plant in Franklin, PA.

Life's Grandeur

The Spread of Excellence from Plato to Darwin

Author: Stephen Jay Gould

Publisher: Vintage


Category: Evolution

Page: 244

View: 793

What do a drunkard's walk, the prognosis for Stephen Jay Gould's own cancer, Goethe's observation that 'trees cannot grow to heaven', the evolution of the modern horse, and the continuing dominance of bacterial life on the planet have in common? In Gould's hands, such seemingly disparate topics are tools that shape a unified and rational picture of nature that is often at odds with what we intuitively 'know' to be true.

The Ten Commandments

Author: George Dana Boardman



Category: Ten commandments

Page: 378

View: 689

Adirondack Life




Category: Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.)


View: 635

Country Life, 1897-1997

The English Arcadia

Author: Roy C. Strong

Publisher: Boxtree


Category: British periodicals

Page: 224

View: 140

The Big Ratchet

How Humanity Thrives in the Face of Natural Crisis

Author: Ruth DeFries

Publisher: Basic Books


Category: Science

Page: 288

View: 148

Our species long lived on the edge of starvation. Now we produce enough food for all 7 billion of us to eat nearly 3,000 calories every day. This is such an astonishing thing in the history of life as to verge on the miraculous. The Big Ratchet is the story of how it happened, of the ratchets--the technologies and innovations, big and small--that propelled our species from hunters and gatherers on the savannahs of Africa to shoppers in the aisles of the supermarket. The Big Ratchet itself came in the twentieth century, when a range of technologies--from fossil fuels to scientific plant breeding to nitrogen fertilizers--combined to nearly quadruple our population in a century, and to grow our food supply even faster. To some, these technologies are a sign of our greatness; to others, of our hubris. MacArthur fellow and Columbia University professor Ruth DeFries argues that the debate is the wrong one to have. Limits do exist, but every limit that has confronted us, we have surpassed. That cycle of crisis and growth is the story of our history; indeed, it is the essence of The Big Ratchet. Understanding it will reveal not just how we reached this point in our history, but how we might survive it.

Car Life




Category: Automobiles


View: 518

Life's Been a Blast

The True Story of Birmingham Blast Survivor Emily Lyons

Author: Emily Lyons



Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 305

View: 203

Serial killer Eric Robert Rudolph carried out a series of bombings including the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta and a healthcare clinic in Birmimgham, AL. Emily Lyons was directly in front of his Birmingham bomb when Rudolph set it off by remote control. This is the story of Emily's amazing survival.