Echoes of Life
What Fossil Molecules Reveal About Earth HistoryeBook - 2009
In 1936 a German chemist identified certain organic molecules in ancient rocks and oils as the fossil remains of chlorophyll, presumably from plants that had lived millions of years in the past. Many years later this insight was revisited and the term "biomarker" coined to describe fossilmolecules whose molecular structures could reveal the presence of otherwise elusive organisms and processes - and then, the hunt was on. Echoes of Life is the story of those molecules and how they illuminate the history of the earth and its life. It is also the story of how a few maverick organic chemists and geologists defied the dictates of their disciplines and, at a time when the natural sciences were fragmenting intoever-more-specialized sub-disciplines, reunited chemistry, biology and geology in a common endeavor.
Publisher: Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 2009.
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xviii, 355 pages) : illustrations, maps.