Cover image for Origins of life on the earth and in the cosmos
Origins of life on the earth and in the cosmos
Zubay, Geoffrey L.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
San Diego, Calif. ; London : Academic, 2000.
Physical Description:
xx, 564 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
General Note:
Previous ed.: 1996.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QH325 .Z83 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Origins of Life on the Earth and in the Cosmos, Second Edition , suggests answers to the age-old questions of how life arose in the universe and how it might arise elsewhere. This thorough revision of a very successful text describes key events in the evolution of living systems, starting with the creation of an environment suitable for the origins of life. Whereas one may never be able to reconstruct the precise pathway that led to the origin of life on earth, one can certainly make some plausible reconstructions of it. Such discussions have greatly expanded our understanding of the principles of chemical evolution and how they compare and contrast with the principles of biological evolution. The text is strong on biochemistry and its recent applications to origins' research.

Author Notes

Geoffrey Zubay is professor of biology at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1963. Dr. Zubay received an M.S. in physical chemistry from the University of Chicago in 1952 and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Harvard University in 1957. Dr. Zubay is currently an editorial board member of three scholarly journals, In 1984, he was awarded the Selman A. Waksman Award for Outstanding Contributions to Microbiology.

Table of Contents

Origin of the Universe
Formation of the Elements
Beginnings of Chemistry
Element Abundances of the Planets
Geologic, Hydrologic, and Atmospheric Evolution of the Earth
Cells, Organelles, and Biomolecules
Metabolic Strategies and Pathway Design
Biochemical Catalysis
Storage, Replication, and Utilization of Biochemical Information
General Considerations Concerning the Origin of Life on the Earth
Biochemical Pathways Involving Carbohydrates
Prebiotic Pathways Involving Carbohydrates
Similarities Between the Biosynthesis of Nucleotides and the Prebiotic Synthesis of Nucleotides
RNA Metabolism and the Prebiotic Synthesis of RNA. Amino Acid Synthesis Now and Then
Chemistry of Translation
Early Developments in Polypeptide Synthesis
Lipid Metabolism and the Prebiotic Synthesis of Lipids
Properties of Membranes and Their Evolution
Possible Roles of Clays and Minerals in the Origin of Life
Evolution of Organisms
Evolution of the Main Energy-Producing Pathway for Aerobic Metabolism: The Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle
Evolution of Photosynthesis
Origin and Elaboration of the Genetic Code