Titel: Dark Life : Martian Nanobacteria, ...
Verlag: Scribner, New York
Zustand: Very Good
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Very Good
Auflage: First Edition.
Art des Buches: Used
Über diesen Titel
In a narrative that combines cutting-edge science with intense physical adventure, Dark Life tells the fascinating story of the quest to find life far underground and deep in space.
Able to thrive without sunlight or oxygen, dark life is a mass of subterranean bacteria that would likely tip the scale if weighed against all other living matter combined. Journalist Michael Ray Taylor takes us from Antarctic lakes to Hawaiian volcanoes to the satellites of Jupiter in search of these mysterious underground creatures that are redefining our understanding of evolution.
Taylor serves as a field assistant on several key scientific expeditions. He descends deep into New Mexico's tortuous Lechuguilla Cave and focuses powerful NASA microscopes on never-before-seen life-forms. He accompanies a young NASA intern who unknowingly kicks off a raging international scientific debate when she uncovers traces of dark life in a rock extracted from nearly two miles below Washington State -- traces that appear identical to the "micro-fossils" found in a Martian meteorite. He meets another scientist who has staked his reputation on using dark life to generate a cure for breast cancer. Throughout his adventures, Taylor gains unique insight into a growing controversy about the very definition of life itself -- an issue that scientists had long ago considered settled. Whether he is exploring the structures of a mysterious cell or reconnoitering tropical caves, Michael Ray Taylor is an adventurer for the new millennium.Review:
The microbes that caver Michael Ray Taylor calls "dark life" are found deep in the earth, in boiling oceanic vents, Antarctic ice, and lots of other places far from the reach of the sun's energy. These "extremophiles" are energy opportunists, subsisting on chemicals, radioactivity, or the faint light of molten rock. The study of these organisms is quite new, and scientists are learning that examining them may provide hints about the possibility of extraterrestrial life. Dark Life is a first-person tour of the places Taylor has looked for archaebacteria and other strange microorganisms--Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico, the hot springs of Viterbo in central Italy, NASA laboratories, and the halls of academia. Taylor met with passionate scientists searching for answers about how things can live deep in the earth and if they can survive in the unimaginable cold of outer space while hitchhiking on meteors. Dark Life chronicles the triumphs and disappointments of this new field of science with engaging and personal stories.
The steady but frustrating progress of science is never more apparent than in the passages relating to the rise and fall of ALH84001. The potato-sized meteorite from Mars (and the scientists who analyzed it) enjoyed brief but frenzied attention when it was announced that microscopic forms in the rock may have indicated the presence of nanobacteria. But if you're expecting resolution to this question in Dark Life, be warned: to Taylor, it's the journey that's most exciting. --Therese Littleton
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