"In the past year, we have witnessed unprecedented breakthroughs in the seemingly unrelated fields of synthetic biology and exoplanetary astronomy. Just recently, arsenic-based bacteria was discovered in a California lake-both puzzling and electrifying the scientific world. In The Life of Super-Earths, expert astronomer Dimitar Sasselov aims to highlight these groundbreaking findings and explain how what we learn in the laboratory informs our investigation of the universe, and vice versa. The discovery of a New Earth, or other world, may be in our future. But a truly 'alien' life form is more likely to emerge from our planet's natural environment or in a petri dish at a research lab. We may cross a milestone into the era of synthetic biology under the microscope. These breakthroughs will shed new light on our place in the universe and answer the age-old question: Are we alone in the universe? The Life of Super-Earths offers nothing short of a revolution in our understanding of life and its place in the cosmos"--
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January 24, 2012
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