Dr Michael Gross studied chemistry at Marburg and Regensburg (Germany) and obtained his PhD from the University of Regensburg in 1993. During seven years of postdoctoral research at the Oxford Centre for Molecular Sciences (Oxford, UK), he kept writing science journalism as a night-time hobby. In May 2000, he switched to writing full time. He is now a regular contributor to magazines including Chemistry World, Current Biology, Spektrum der Wissenschaft, and Nachrichten aus der Chemie. He has written several popular science books, including Life on the Edge, Travels to the Nanoworld, and Light and Life (OUP), and co-authored the recent title Astrobiology -- a brief introduction (Johns Hopkins UP 2006).