The Chemistry of Evolution

Author: R.J.P Williams
Publisher: Elsevier
ISBN: 9780080460529
Format: PDF, Docs
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Conventionally, evolution has always been described in terms of species. The Chemistry of Evolution takes a novel, not to say revolutionary, approach and examines the evolution of chemicals and the use and degradation of energy, coupled to the environment, as the drive behind it. The authors address the major changes of life from bacteria to man in a systematic and unavoidable sequence, reclassifying organisms as chemotypes. Written by the authors of the bestseller The Biological Chemistry of the Elements - The Inorganic Chemistry of Life (Oxford University Press, 1991), the clarity and precision of The Chemistry of Evolution plainly demonstrate that life is totally interactive with the environment. This exciting theory makes this work an essential addition to the academic and public library. * Provides a novel analysis of evolution in chemical terms * Stresses Systems Biology * Examines the connection between life and the environment, starting with the ‘big bang' theory * Reorientates the chemistry of life by emphasising the need to analyse the functions of 20 chemical elements in all organisms

Evolution in a Toxic World

Author: Emily Monosson
Publisher: Island Press
ISBN: 1610912217
Format: PDF
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With BPA in baby bottles, mercury in fish, and lead in computer monitors, the world has become a toxic place. But as Emily Monosson demonstrates in her groundbreaking new book, it has always been toxic. When oxygen first developed in Earth's atmosphere, it threatened the very existence of life: now we literally can't live without it. According to Monosson, examining how life adapted to such early threats can teach us a great deal about today's (and tomorrow's) most dangerous contaminants. While the study of evolution has advanced many other sciences, from conservation biology to medicine, the field of toxicology has yet to embrace this critical approach. In Evolution in a Toxic World, Monosson seeks to change that. She traces the development of life's defense systems—the mechanisms that transform, excrete, and stow away potentially harmful chemicals—frommore thanthree billion years ago to today. Beginning with our earliest ancestors' response to ultraviolet radiation, Monosson explores the evolution of chemical defenses such as antioxidants, metal binding proteins, detoxification, and cell death. As we alter the world's chemistry, these defenses often become overwhelmed faster than our bodies can adapt. But studying how our complex internal defense network currently operates, and how it came to be that way, may allow us to predict how it will react to novel and existing chemicals. This understanding could lead to not onlybetter management and preventative measures, but possibly treatment of current diseases. Development of that knowledge starts with this pioneering book.

Plant Communication from an Ecological Perspective

Author: František Baluška
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9783642121623
Format: PDF, Docs
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Since the concept of allelopathy was introduced almost 100 years ago, research has led to an understanding that plants are involved in complex communicative interactions. They use a battery of different signals that convey plant-relevant information within plant individuals as well as between plants of the same species or different species. The 13 chapters of this volume discuss all these topics from an ecological perspective. Communication between plants allows them to share physiological and ecological information relevant for their survival and ?tness. It is obvious that in these very early days of ecological plant communication research we are illuminating only the ‘tip of iceberg’ of the communicative nature of higher plants. Nevertheless, knowledge on the identity and informative value of volatiles used by plants for communication is increasing with breath-taking speed. Among the most spectacular examples are sit- tions where plant emitters warn neighbours about a danger, increasing their innate immunity, or when herbivore-attacked plants attract the enemies of the herbivores (‘cry for help’ and ‘plant bodyguards’ concepts). It is becoming obvious that plants use not only volatile signals but also diverse water soluble molecules, in the case of plant roots, to safeguard their evolutionary success and accomplish self/non-self kin rec- nition. Importantly, as with all the examples of biocommunication, irrespective of whether signals and signs are transmitted via physical or chemical pathways, plant communication is a rule-governed and sign-mediated process.

Evolution s Destiny

Author: Robert Joseph Paton Williams
Publisher: Royal Society of Chemistry
ISBN: 1849735581
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book demonstrates that biology and geochemistry have continually influenced each other in the co-evolution of the Earth and all life.

Metabolic Ecology

Author: Richard M. Sibly
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
ISBN: 1119968518
Format: PDF
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One of the first textbooks in this emerging important field of ecology. Most of ecology is about metabolism: the ways that organisms use energy and materials. The energy requirements of individuals – their metabolic rates – vary predictably with their body size and temperature. Ecological interactions are exchanges of energy and materials between organisms and their environments. So metabolic rate affects ecological processes at all levels: individuals, populations, communities and ecosystems. Each chapter focuses on a different process, level of organization, or kind of organism. It lays a conceptual foundation and presents empirical examples. Together, the chapters provide an integrated framework that holds the promise for a unified theory of ecology. The book is intended to be accessible to upper-level undergraduate, and graduate students, but also of interest to senior scientists. Its easy-to-read chapters and clear illustrations can be used in lecture and seminar courses. Together they make for an authoritative treatment that will inspire future generations to study metabolic ecology.

The Evolution of Complexity by Means of Natural Selection

Author: John Tyler Bonner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691084947
Format: PDF, Docs
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John Tyler Bonner makes a new attack on an old problem: the question of how progressive increase in the size and complexity of animals and plants has occurred. "How is it," he inquires, "that an egg turns into an elaborate adult? How is it that a bacterium, given many millions of years, could have evolved into an elephant?" The author argues that we can understand this progression in terms of natural selection, but that in order to do so we must consider the role of development--or more precisely the role of life cycles--in evolutionary change. In a lively writing style that will be familiar to readers of his work The Evolution of Culture in Animals (Princeton, 1980), Bonner addresses a general audience interested in biology, as well as specialists in all areas of evolutionary biology. What is novel in the approach used here is the comparison of complexity inside the organism (especially cell differentiation) with the complexity outside (that is, within an ecological community). Matters of size at both these levels are closely related to complexity. The book shows how an understanding of the grand course of evolution can come from combining our knowledge of genetics, development, ecology, and even behavior.

Evolution of Primary Producers in the Sea

Author: Paul Falkowski
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 9780080550510
Format: PDF
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Evolution of Primary Producers in the Sea reference examines how photosynthesis evolved on Earth and how phytoplankton evolved through time – ultimately to permit the evolution of complex life, including human beings. The first of its kind, this book provides thorough coverage of key topics, with contributions by leading experts in biophysics, evolutionary biology, micropaleontology, marine ecology, and biogeochemistry. This exciting new book is of interest not only to students and researchers in marine science, but also to evolutionary biologists and ecologists interested in understanding the origins and diversification of life. Evolution of Primary Producers in the Sea offers these students and researchers an understanding of the molecular evolution, phylogeny, fossil record, and environmental processes that collectively permits us to comprehend the rise of phytoplankton and their impact on Earth's ecology and biogeochemistry. It is certain to become the first and best word on this exhilarating topic. Discusses the evolution of phytoplankton in the world's oceans as the first living organisms and the first and basic producers in the earths food chain Includes the latest developments in the evolution and ecology of marine phytoplankton specifically with additional information on marine ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles The only book to consider of the evolution of phytoplankton and its role in molecular evolution, biogeochemistry, paleontology, and oceanographic aspects Written at a level suitable for related reading use in courses on the Evolution of the Biosphere, Ecological and Biological oceanography and marine biology, and Biodiversity

The natural selection of the chemical elements

Author: Robert Joseph Paton Williams
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN: 9780198558439
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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This beautifully written book is a study of the physical relationship between the inanimate environment and living organisms. It describes how the evolution of both has been interactive and interdependent; the authors show that this can be explained in terms of the properties of the chemical elements and their compounds. The book discusses the physical and chemical balances between the animate and inanimate worlds, with kinetic and thermodynamic principles given to support this analysis. These principles are applied to both organic and inorganic chemical systems to provide a basis for understanding the evolution of life in terms of the interaction of both types of chemistry within ever more complex organizations. The book concludes with an examination of an intriguing problem: the long-term consequences of our manufacture and exploitation of chemicals. This intervention may be altering the symbiotic relationship between life and the environment, an issue of great concern to ecologists and biologists as well as those who study chemistry.

Ecology and Evolution of Cancer

Author: Beata Ujvari
Publisher: Academic Press
ISBN: 0128043806
Format: PDF
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Ecology and Evolution of Cancer is a timely work outlining ideas that not only represent a substantial and original contribution to the fields of evolution, ecology, and cancer, but also goes beyond by connecting the interfaces of these disciplines. This work engages the expertise of a multidisciplinary research team to collate and review the latest knowledge and developments in this exciting research field. The evolutionary perspective of cancer has gained significant international recognition and interest, which is fully understandable given that somatic cellular selection and evolution are elegant explanations for carcinogenesis. Cancer is now generally accepted to be an evolutionary and ecological process with complex interactions between tumor cells and their environment sharing many similarities with organismal evolution. As a critical contribution to this field of research the book is important and relevant for the applications of evolutionary biology to understand the origin of cancers, to control neoplastic progression, and to prevent therapeutic failures. Covers all aspects of the evolution of cancer, appealing to researchers seeking to understand its origins and effects of treatments on its progression, as well as to lecturers in evolutionary medicine Functions as both an introduction to cancer and evolution and a review of the current research on this burgeoning, exciting field, presented by an international group of leading editors and contributors Improves understanding of the origin and the evolution of cancer, aiding efforts to determine how this disease interferes with biotic interactions that govern ecosystems Highlights research that intends to apply evolutionary principles to help predict emergence and metastatic progression with the aim of improving therapies

Ecological Stoichiometry

Author: Robert W. Sterner
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400885698
Format: PDF, ePub
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All life is chemical. That fact underpins the developing field of ecological stoichiometry, the study of the balance of chemical elements in ecological interactions. This long-awaited book brings this field into its own as a unifying force in ecology and evolution. Synthesizing a wide range of knowledge, Robert Sterner and Jim Elser show how an understanding of the biochemical deployment of elements in organisms from microbes to metazoa provides the key to making sense of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. After summarizing the chemistry of elements and their relative abundance in Earth's environment, the authors proceed along a line of increasing complexity and scale from molecules to cells, individuals, populations, communities, and ecosystems. The book examines fundamental chemical constraints on ecological phenomena such as competition, herbivory, symbiosis, energy flow in food webs, and organic matter sequestration. In accessible prose and with clear mathematical models, the authors show how ecological stoichiometry can illuminate diverse fields of study, from metabolism to global change. Set to be a classic in the field, Ecological Stoichiometry is an indispensable resource for researchers, instructors, and students of ecology, evolution, physiology, and biogeochemistry. From the foreword by Peter Vitousek: "[T]his book represents a significant milestone in the history of ecology. . . . Love it or argue with it--and I do both--most ecologists will be influenced by the framework developed in this book. . . . There are points to question here, and many more to test . . . And if we are both lucky and good, this questioning and testing will advance our field beyond the level achieved in this book. I can't wait to get on with it."