Water And Life The Unique Ppoperties Of H2O

  • Price GBP: 72.99
  • Author: John D. Barrow , Ruth M. Lynden-bell , Simon Conway Morris
  • Publisher: CRC PRESS
  • ISBN-13: 9781439803561
  • Pages: 396
  • Binding: Hard Binding
  • Year of Pub / Reprint Year: 2010
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Stimulates new investigations among scientists and scholars concerned with the fundamental question of life in our universe
Provides an overview of the role of water in biochemistry, physical chemistry, earth sciences, and astronomy
Compares the properties of water with other liquids
Explores other media that might offer life-generating and life-supporting environments

Reflecting a rich technical and interdisciplinary exchange of ideas, Water and Life: The Unique Properties of H20 focuses on the properties of water and its interaction with life. The book develops a variety of approaches that help to illuminate ways in which to address deeper questions with respect to the nature of the universe and our place within it.

Grouped in five broad parts, this collection examines the arguments of Lawrence J. Henderson and other scholars on the “fitness” of water for life as part of the physical and chemical properties of nature considered as a foundational environment within which life has emerged and evolved. Leading authorities delve into a range of themes and questions that span key areas of ongoing debate and uncertainty. They draw from the fields of chemistry, biology, biochemistry, planetary and earth sciences, physics, astronomy, and their subspecialties. Several chapters also deal with humanistic disciplines, such as the history of science and theology, to provide additional perspectives.

Bringing together highly esteemed researchers from multidisciplinary fields, this volume addresses fundamental questions relating to the possible role of water in the origin of life in the cosmos. It supports readers in their own explorations of the origin and meaning of life and the role of water in maintaining life.

Table of Contents:

This Strange Substance Called “Water”
Is Water an Amniotic Eden or a Corrosive Hell? Emerging Perspectives on the Strangest Fluid in the Universe, Simon Conway Morris and Ard A. Louis
Water and Life: Friend or Foe?, Felix Franks
An Introduction to the Properties of Water: Which Might Be Critical to Biological Processes?, John L. Finney
Water as a Biomolecule, Philip Ball
Water’s Hydrogen Bond Strength, Martin F. Chaplin

The Specific Properties of Water—How and Why Water Is Eccentric
Properties of Liquids Made from Modified Water Models, Ruth M. Lynden-Bell and Pablo G. Debenedetti
Understanding the Unusual Properties of Water, Giancarlo Franzese and H. Eugene Stanley
Counterfactual Quantum Chemistry of Water, Wesley D. Allen and Henry F. Schaefer, III
Properties of Nanoconfined Water, Branka M. Ladanyi

Water in Biochemistry
Water: Constraining Biological Chemistry and the Origin of Life, Steven A. Benner
Fine-Tuning and Small Differences between Large Numbers, John L. Finney
Fine-Tuning Protein Stability, Carlos Warnick Pace, Abbas Razvi, and J. Martin Scholtz
Water and Information, Thomas C.B. McLeish
Counterfactual Biomolecular Physics: Protein Folding and Molecular Recognition in Water and Other Fluid Environments, Peter G. Wolynes

Water, the Solar System, and the Origin of Life
Sources of Terrestrial and Martian Water, Humberto Campins and Michael J. Drake
Water: The Tough-Love Parent of Life, Veronica Vaida and Adrian F. Tuck
What Is the Diversity of Life in the Cosmos?, Peter D. Ward
The Primordial Bubble: Water, Symmetry-Breaking, and the Origin of Life, Louis Lerman
Liquids, Biopolymers, and Evolvability: Case Studies in Counterfactual Water- Life, Wilson C.K. Poon

Water—The Human Dimension
Some Early Responses to the Special Properties of Water, Colin A. Russell
Lawrence Henderson’s Natural Teleology, Bruce H. Weber
Water: A Navigable Channel from Science to God?, Alister E. McGrath


About The Authors

Ruth M. Lynden-Bell is emeritus professor of chemistry at Queen’s University, Belfast and an emerita fellow of Murray Edwards College at the University of Cambridge.

Simon Conway Morris is a professor of earth sciences at the University of Cambridge.

John D. Barrow is a professor of mathematical sciences and director of the Millennium Mathematics Project at the University of Cambridge, and Gresham Professor of Geometry at Gresham College.

John L. Finney is emeritus professor of physics in the London Centre for Nanotechnology at University College London.

Charles L. Harper, Jr. is chancellor for international distance learning and senior vice president of the American University System as well as president of Vision-Five.com Consulting.