This comprehensive history of cell evolution “deftly discusses the definition of life” as well as cellular organization, classification and more (San Francisco Book Review).
The origin of cells remains one of the most fundamental mysteries in biology, one that has spawned a large body of research and debate over the past two decades. With In Search of Cell History, Franklin M. Harold offers a comprehensive, impartial take on that research and the controversies that keep the field in turmoil.
Written in accessible language and complemented by a glossary for easy reference, this book examines the relationship between cells and genes; the central role of bioenergetics in the origin of life; the status of the universal tree of life with its three stems and viral outliers; and the controversies surrounding the last universal common ancestor. Harold also discusses the evolution of cellular organization, the origin of complex cells, and the incorporation of symbiotic organelles. In Search of Cell History shows us just how far we have come in understanding cell evolution—and the evolution of life in general—and how far we still have to go.
“Wonderful…A loving distillation of connections within the incredible diversity of life in the biosphere, framing one of biology’s most important remaining questions: how did life begin?”—Nature