Transformer: The Deep Chemistry of Life and Death


Product Details

$30.00  $27.90
W. W. Norton & Company
Publish Date
6.36 X 9.62 X 1.21 inches | 1.54 pounds

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About the Author

Nick Lane is professor of evolutionary biochemistry at University College London and an award-winning author of five books. He codirects UCL's Centre for Life's Origins and Evolution (CLOE) and lives in London. Bill Gates calls him "one of my favorite science writers."


A thrilling tour of the remarkable stories behind the discoveries of some of life's key metabolic pathways and mechanisms. [Lane] lays bare the human side of science... The book brings to life the chemistry that brings us to life.--Joseph Moran "Science"
One of the most creative of today's biologists ... this is a book filled with big ideas, many of which are bold instances of lateral thinking.--Michael Marshall "New Scientist"
The writing in the book is so articulate and the unfolding narrative so ambitious that one is carried along helter-skelter... The late Sir Hans would indeed be amazed.--Wieland Gievers "South African Journal of Science"
The story in Transformer is not just lively and engaging but filled with stimulating ideas about life's origins and evolution.--Philip Ball "Nautilus"
This is probably the best book on biology (and more specifically biochemistry) that I've ever read.--Brian Clegg, author of Game Theory
Transformer is a complex yet accessible, illuminating, and thrilling exploration of the vitality and elemental mysteries of our existence.--George Kendall "Booklist"
[A] thrilling journey . . . the book is a tour de force.--Laura Eme and Courtney W. Stairs "Nature Ecology & Evolution"
I loved every page of Nick Lane's new book.--Lee Smolin, author of Einstein's Unfinished Revolution
In this fascinating book, Nick Lane brings together biology, chemistry, and physics to illuminate the role of energy in bringing matter alive.--Sean Carroll, author of Something Deeply Hidden
In this compulsively readable book, Lane takes us on a riveting journey, ranging from the flow of energy to new ways of understanding cancer.--Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of The Emperor of All Maladies
Hugely ambitious and tremendously exciting.--Olivia Judson, author of Dr. Tatiana's Sex Advice to All Creation
Nick Lane's marvelously engaging Transformer refocused my astronomer's gaze on the vital chemistry of life on our own planet.--John Grunsfeld, former NASA chief scientist and astronaut
[An] indefatigable exploration of the genesis of biology . . . [Lane] beautifully lays out the sheer improbability of our biosphere, explains why life may be exceedingly rare in our universe, and considers death as a process, not simply as an instantaneous end.--Hamilton Cain "The Atlantic"