- Life's Engines
How Microbes Made Earth Habitable
Paul G. Falkowski
- Hardcover201524.9520.00ISBN9780691155371224 pp.6 1/8 x 9 1/416 halftones. 22 line illus.
- Paperback2016© 201518.9514.99ISBN9780691173351224 pp.6 1/8 x 9 1/422 line illus. 16 tables.
For almost four billion years, microbes had the primordial oceans all to themselves. The stewards of Earth, these organisms transformed the chemistry of our planet to make it habitable for plants, animals, and us. Life's Engines takes readers deep into the microscopic world to explore how these marvelous creatures made life on Earth possible—and how human life today would cease to exist without them.
Paul Falkowski looks "under the hood" of microbes to find the engines of life, the actual working parts that do the biochemical heavy lifting for every living organism on Earth. With insight and humor, he explains how these miniature engines are built—and how they have been appropriated by and assembled like Lego sets within every creature that walks, swims, or flies. Falkowski shows how evolution works to maintain this core machinery of life, and how we and other animals are veritable conglomerations of microbes.
A vibrantly entertaining book about the microbes that support our very existence, Life's Engines will inspire wonder about these elegantly complex nanomachines that have driven life since its origin. It also issues a timely warning about the dangers of tinkering with that machinery to make it more "efficient" at meeting the ever-growing demands of humans in the coming century.
Paul G. Falkowski holds the Bennett L. Smith Chair in Business and Natural Resources at Rutgers University, where he studies how microbes have shaped the history of Earth.
More about this book
- One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2015
Other Books Written by this Author(s)
- Paul G. Falkowski
Shopping Cart Options
For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia
For hardcover/paperback orders in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan
Need textbooks? View our textbook site.
Teaching Professors: To request a print examination copy for course consideration, please visit: Ingram Academic. Inspection copies are only available to verified university faculty. Some restrictions apply.
To request an electronic inspection copy for course use consideration, please visit one of the following services to submit your digital examination request online:
Princeton University Press
41 William Street
Princeton, New Jersey 08540 USA
- PUP Blog