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Table of Contents

Astrobiology: An Overview; Aaron David Goldman

Origin of Elements and Formation of Solar System, Planets, and Exoplanets; Ken Rice

Astrobiology Education and Public Outreach; Timothy F. Slater

Analysis of Extraterrestrial Organic Matter in Murchison Meteorite: A Progress Report; Philippe Schmitt-Kopplin, Mourad Harir, Basem Kanawati, Regis Gougeon, Franco Moritz, Norbert Hertkorn, Sonny Clary, Istvan Gebefugi,and Zelimir Gabelica

Prebiotic Synthesis of Biochemical Compounds: An Overview; Henderson James (Jim) Cleaves

Biochemical Pathways as Evidence for Prebiotic Syntheses; Gene D. McDonald

Roles of Silicon in Life on Earth and Elsewhere; Joseph B. Lambert and Senthil Andavan Gurusamy-Thangavelu

Fossil Records for Early Life on Earth; David Wacey

Prebiotic Chemistry: In Water and in the Solid State; Vera M. Kolb

Encapsulation of Organic Materials in Protocells; Erica A. Frankel, Daniel C. Dewey, and Christine D. Keating

Role of Phosphorus in Prebiotic Chemistry; Matthew Pasek

Cold and Dry Limits of Life; Christopher P. McKay, Alfonso F. Davila, and Henry J. Sun

Microorganisms in Space; Gerda Horneck and Ralf Moeller

Search for Life on Mars: An Astrogeological Approach; Jesus Martinez-Frias

Elusive Definition of Life: A Survey of Main Ideas; Radu Popa

Language and Communication as Universal Requirements for Life; Guenther Witzany

Transition from Abiotic to Biotic: Is There an Algorithm for It?; Sara Imari Walker

Extraterrestrial Life: What Are We Looking For?; Dirk Schulze-Makuch, Louis N. Irwin, and Alberto G. Fairen

Evolutionary Approach to Viruses in Astrobiology; Matti Jalasvuori and Jaana K.H. Bamford

Virolution Can Help Us Understand the Origin of Life; Luis P. Villarreal

Can Virolution Help Us Understand Recent Human Evolution?; Luis P. Villarreal


About the Author

Vera M. Kolb is a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. She earned an MS in organic chemistry from Belgrade University and a PhD in organic chemistry from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Dr. Kolb received her training in exobiology (now known as astrobiology) at the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training in San Diego. She has received the Phi Delta Kappa Outstanding Educator Award and has also been inducted into the Southeastern Wisconsin Educators' Hall of Fame. Dr. Kolb is a recipient of numerous grants from the Wisconsin Space Consortium/NASA and has published more than 150 articles in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and astrobiology.


"Professor Kolb brings us a refreshing set of chapters that provide an update on some of the most fascinating areas of astrobiology, including the origin of life, the search for habitable exoplanets, extremophiles, and the place of viruses in astrobiology. The diversity of chapters and information makes this an excellent read for those new to the field or those seeking new ideas."
-Charles Cockell, The University of Edinburgh

"A broad-ranging volume covering many different aspects of astrobiology, with engaging chapters containing up-to-date reviews by leading authors. Very accessibly written, suitable for senior undergraduate and graduate students. Each chapter finishes with a helpful glossary of terms, reflecting the strongly interdisciplinary subject matter, and useful review questions that could be used in seminar-based teaching. Overall a great astrobiology education resource."
-Nicola McLoughlin, University of Bergen, Norway

"A really comprehensive and unifying book, which will prove useful and enlightening not only to astrobiologists and evolutionary biologists, but also to anyone interested in life emergence and evolution in the Universe."
-Professor Rolando Cardenas, Head of Planetary Science Laboratory, Universidad Central "Marta Abreu" de Las Villas

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