Vital Dust: Life as a Cosmic Imperative

By Christian De Duve | Go to book overview

Contents
LIST OF TABLES AND FIGURESxii
PREFACExiii
INTRODUCTION1
The Unity of Life; The Tree of Life; The Antiquity of Life; The Cradle of Life; The Probability of Life; Foresight Excluded; The Ages of Life
PART I
Chapter 1 The Search for Origins15
The Setting; Chemists on the Trail; Searching the Skies; The First Steps; The Way to RNA; The Lesson of Metabolism
Chapter 2 The First Catalysts of Life26
Catalysis Without Proteins; The Case for Prebiotic Peptides; Introducing Thioesters; Catalytic Multimers to the Rescue
Chapter 3 The Fuel of Emerging Life34
The Problem of Primeval Membranes; The Case of the Missing Hydrogen; The Case of the Excess Water; How the Wheels Are Kept Turning; The Thioester World
Chapter 4 The Advent of RNA46
The ATP Connection; Coenzymes: Children of the RNA World?; The Chemical Foundation of Life

-vii-

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