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Origins from the Big-Bang to Civilisation Proceedings of the Iberoamerican School of Astrobiology Caracas, Venezuela, 28 November– 8 December, 1999

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The general topic of this book concerns the origin, evolution, distribution, and destiny of life in the Universe. It discusses the transition from inert matter to cellular life and its evolution to fully developed intelligent beings, and also the possibility of life occurring elsewhere, particularly in other environments in our own and other solar systems. br/ The theoretical framework of emAstrobiology/em may be probed with a forthcoming series of space missions, which at the time of writing are being planned for the next 10 to 15 years. Advanced extraterrestrial life can also be probed by means of radioastronomy in the well-established project of search for extraterrestrial intelligence. br/ emAstrobiology/em pays special attention to the robust growth in our capacity to search for microorganisms, as well as signals of extraterrestrial life, with recent significant technological progress in planetary science and radioastronomy. The progress of the main space agencies is highlighted. br/ emAudience:/em This volume is aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers in the many areas of basic, earth, and life sciences that contribute to the study of chemical evolution and the origin of life.


Einband gebundene Ausgabe
Herausgeber Julian Chela-Flores, Guillermo A. Lemarchand, John Oró
Seitenzahl 336
Erscheinungsdatum 30.09.2000
Sprache Englisch
ISBN 978-0-7923-6587-7
Verlag Springer Netherland
Maße (L/B/H) 24,1/16/2,4 cm
Gewicht 712 g
Auflage 2000


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  • Preface. Group Photograph. A Few Words of Welcome. General overview. Contemporary Radio Searches for Extraterrestrial Intelligence; F. Drake. Section 1: Introduction to Astrobiology. Origins: From the Big-Bang to Civilisation; J. Chela-Flores. Detectability of intelligent life in the universe: A search based in our knowledge of the laws of nature; G.A. Lemarchand. Cosmos and cosmology; H. Rago. New developments in astronomy relevant to astrobiology; S. Sofia. Section 2: Chemical Evolution. Cosmochemical evolution and the origin of life on Earth; J. Oró. Chemical evolution in the early Earth; A. Negrón-Mendoza, S. Ramos-Bernal. Nitrogen fixation in planetary environments: A comparison between mildly reducing and neutral atmospheres; R. Navarro-González. Section 3: Biological bases for the Study of the Evolution of Life in the Universe. Darwinian dynamics and biogenesis; J.A. Leon. Evolution of adaptive systems; H.J. Dopazo. Contemporary controversies within the framework of the revolutionary theory; A. Massarini. Molecular Biology and the reconstruction of microbial phylogenies: des liaisons dangereuses? A. Becerra, et al. Section 4: Study of Life in the Solar System. Astrobiology and the ESA Science Programme; W. Wamsteker, A. Chicarro. The chemical composition of comets; H. Campins. Section 5: Origins of cognitive systems. Information, life and brains; J.G. Roederer. The origin of the neuron: The first neuron in the phylogenetic tree of life; R. Villegas, et al. Origin of Synapses: A Scientific account or the story of a hypothesis; E. Palacios-Prü. Origins of languages: The evolution of human speech; M.E. Medina-Callarotti.Section 6: Philosophical implications of the search for extraterrestrial life. Astrophysics and Meta-Technics; E.M. Vallenilla. Deeper Questions: The search for darwinian evolution in our solar system; J. Chela-Flores. Section 7: Round-table. Report on the round-table `Music of the spheres'; J.G. Roederer. Section 8: Contributions from participants. Ultimate paradoxes of time travel; G. Romero, D.F. Torres. Do wormholes exist? D. Torres, G. Romero. Heterogeneous radiolysis of succinic acid in the presence of sodium-montmorillonite. Implications to prebiotic chemistry; M.Colín-Garcia, et al. Condensed matter surfaces in prebiotic chemistry; S. Ramos-Bernal, A. Negrón-Mendoza. Irradiation of adenine adsorbed in Na-Montmorillonite. Implications to chemical evolution studies; A. Guzman-Marmolejo, et al. Accumulation of alkanes ≥ n-C18 on the early Earth; V. Marcano, et al. Advantages of the alkanes ≥ n-C18 as protectors for the synthesis and survival of critical biomolecules in the early Earth; V. Marcano, et al. Evidence of a nitrogen deficiency as a selective pressure towards the origin of biological nitrogen fixation in the early Earth; L. Calva-Alejo, et al. RNA-binding peptides as early molecular fossils; L.J. Delaye, A. Lazcano. On the role of genome duplications in the evolution of prokaryotic chromosomes; S. Islas, et al. Experimental simulation of volcanic lightning on early Mars; A. Segura, R. Navarro-González. Tropical Alpine environments: A plausible analog for ancient and future life on Mars; I. Pérez-Chávez, et al. Planetary habitable zones on Earth and Mars: Biophysical limits of life in planetry environments;