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The Chemistry of Evolution - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444521552, 9780080462110

The Chemistry of Evolution

1st Edition

The Development of our Ecosystem

Authors: R.J.P Williams J.J.R Fraústo da Silva
Paperback ISBN: 9780444521552
eBook ISBN: 9780080462110
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 6th December 2005
Page Count: 494
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Conventionally, evolution has always been described in terms of species. The Chemistry of Evolution takes a novel, not to say revolutionary, approach and examines the evolution of chemicals and the use and degradation of energy, coupled to the environment, as the drive behind it. The authors address the major changes of life from bacteria to man in a systematic and unavoidable sequence, reclassifying organisms as chemotypes. Written by the authors of the bestseller The Biological Chemistry of the Elements - The Inorganic Chemistry of Life, the clarity and precision of The Chemistry of Evolution plainly demonstrate that life is totally interactive with the environment. This exciting theory makes this work an essential addition to the academic and public library.

Key Features

  • Provides a novel analysis of evolution in chemical terms
  • Stresses Systems Biology
  • Examines the connection between life and the environment, starting with the ‘big bang’ theory
  • Reorientates the chemistry of life by emphasising the need to analyse the functions of 20 chemical elements in all organisms


Students, academics and researchers in inorganic and organic chemistry, as well as those interested in uncovering the position of living organisms in a changing environment

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Evolution of Earth-The Geochemical Partner of the Global Ecosystem (5 Billion Years of History).
Chapter 2. Basic Chemistry of the Ecosystem.
Chapter 3. Energy, Order and Disorder, and Organised Systems.
Chapter 4. Outline of Biological Chemical Principles: Components, Pathways and Controls.
Chapter 5. First Steps in Evolution of Prokaryotes: Anaerobic Chemotypes Four to Three Billion Years Ago.
Chapter 6. The Evolution of Protoaerobic and Aerobic Prokaryote Chemotypes (Three to Two Billion Years Ago).
Chapter 7. Unicellular Eukaryotes Chemotypes (About One and a Half Billion Years Ago?).
Chapter 8. Multi-Cellular Eukaryote Chemotypes (From One Billion Years Ago).
Chapter 9. The Evolution of Chemotypes with Nerves and a Brain (0.5 Billion Years Ago to Today).
Chapter 10. Evolution due to Mankind: A Completely Novel Chemotype (Less than One Hundred Thousand Years Ago).
Chapter 11. Conclusion: The Inevitable Factors in Evolution.


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© Elsevier Science 2006
6th December 2005
Elsevier Science
Paperback ISBN:
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About the Authors

R.J.P Williams

Affiliations and Expertise

Oxford University, Oxford, UK

J.J.R Fraústo da Silva

Affiliations and Expertise

Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal

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