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Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide, Astrobiology Paperback – 8 Mar 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Oneworld Publications (8 Mar. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1851685057
  • ISBN-13: 978-8130917078
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 1.8 x 20.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 285,470 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"A much-needed overview of a discipline extending across life, the universe, and everything." (BBC Sky at Night)

"Dartnell’s guide is much-needed overview of a discipline extending across life, the Universe and everything. Demanding read, but definitely rewarding" (BBC Sky at Night)

"Explores the latest theories for how life came to evolve on Earth, and adds fascinating speculations on the prospects for finding it elsewhere." (The Times)

"Dartnell explores the latest theories for how life came to evolve on Earth, and adds fascinating speculations on the prospects for finding it elsewhere." (The Times)

"If one were to read a single book on astrobiology, this would be an excellent choice." (Choice)

"Few books are more wide-ranging and thought-provoking than Life in the Universe, an excellent introduction to the emerging science of astrobiology." (Oxford Today)

"If one were to read a single book on astrobiology, this would be an excellent choice… The book is a must for the newcomer to astrobiology and an excellent resource for anyone wishing to expand their understanding of the subject." (Choice)

"Dartnell's style is direct, easy to follow and the subject matter comprehensive." (The Biologist)

"Quite simply, this is a fantastic book… I recommend it for anyone with an interest in astrobiology in particular, biology in general, life, the universe and everything." (Microbiology Today)

Review

"An excellent introduction into the newly emerging and exciting field of astrobiology." (Gerda Horneck - author of /Looking for Life, Searching the Solar System/ and former Head of the Radi)

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By S P Mead TOP 500 REVIEWER on 5 Aug. 2016
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a very good introduction to astrobiology (and a good contribution to astronomy more generally). It's aimed at undergraduate level, and as such will be of particular interest to both 'A' level students and first year university students. It's written in an easy to follow way, outlining the aims and objectives of astrobiology - as well as the research findings, both speculative and concrete.

Unfortunately, this book was written about 10 years ago - and so much new data is not included. In the last decade, over 1,000 new extra-solar planets have been discovered ... and none of these are discussed in this book. Of course, there had been some extra-solar worlds found when this book was published, and these are examined. But techniques and findings have developed. Thus, this book is rather dated.

Nonetheless, the underlying theory remains sound. And I do recommend this book to anyone considering studying astrobiology.
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Format: Paperback
This is a book where the author, traveling across the different branches of the tree of science, from biology to astronomy, from geology to chemistry, doesn't forget the roots and foresees the fruits that the future will bring.
RNA and DNA, red dwarfs, extremophiles, the search for a new Earth, possible alien life forms and other caracthers have their role in eight acts of an exciting play.

On a vivid, comprehensive, addicting writing, Dartnell not only embarks on this immense adventure but allow us to join him, giving us space in his vehicule to accompany him in the quest.

The author, besides possessing the knowledge, is gifted to legate it to inquisitory minds and to those giving their first steps in the astrobiology domains, a science conquering its space as times passes.

A book that couldn't be more actual and essencial to understand life, as exoplanets pop out from the darkness of space, as our knowledge about Mars, Titan, Enceladus and other stellar bodies grow, "Life in the Universe: A Beginner's Guide" appears at the perfect time as the perfect guide to know more about the secrets of the alchemy that brought us here and that permit us making the question:
Where might life be waiting us?
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Format: Paperback
I made this purchase as I am embarking on a degree course in Planetry Science. I bought the product speculatively, there were so many results on Amazon when I searched the term 'Astrobiology' that it took quite a long time before finally making a decision. That is not to say the book did not catch my eye quite early in my search.

Having read the book I believe I made the right choice, the author has done a wonderful job in writing this and has clearly done his research. This is very apparent when he explores the possibilities for biological evolution in our own planetry neighborhood, there are some surprises along the way, but the possibilities and drawbacks are reinforced by solid explanations.

I am also pleased to say that this book really gauges your interest, I literally could not stop reading. Rather than just present fact and speculation as they are, the author has gone to some length to tap into your imagination and keep you reading. Some the chapters just drift by without you realizing how much you have taken in. For this reason I will be reading parts of it again.

A beginners guide? Yes and No, there is some serious academic reading here. One of the reasons I held off from buying the book at first was the subtitle, A Beginners Guide. Again I will be re-reading parts of this book because it does contain some quite complex scientific facts. Especially where DNA, RNA and cellular evolution are concerned, but this is a credit to both the book and it's author.

I heartily recommend this work.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An informative and well written introduction to Life in the Universe. The book has been written for the general reader with the minimum of jargon. Where complex topics need to be introduced the descriptions are in clear English and easy to understand even by non-chemists and non-biologists and that is a sign of the true art of a popular science book.

An easy and interesting read by someone who has clearly done the background research to pull together hundreds of different strands of research from cosmology to chemistry into a coherent and useful book on an exciting topic.
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This is a fantastically written book. The style is not too serious and also not too informal. It keeps you interested without exaggerating or being overly speculative. You get a well balanced tour of life on Earth, possible life in the solar system, and life elsewhere. There's biology, astronomy, physics and chemistry woven together in an apt description of the current state of knowledge of life in the universe. Thoroughly recommended to scientists and non-scientists alike.
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Format: Paperback
This book does what what it says on the tin, providing a compendious account of Life in the Universe for those of us in too much of a hurry to engage with the 200-odd items in the bibliography containing much the same information more diffusely.

When you've taken a look at the other possible places life might lurk you'll be dumbfounded at the implausible growth of life on this planet.
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