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The Vital Question
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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.”

Reviews

"[Nick Lane] proves an able guide through treacherous scientific terrain. He writes in lucid, accessible prose, and while the science may get dense, the reader will be rewarded with a strikingly unconventional view of biology." -- Tim Requarth - New York Times "If I were a rich man, I would buy up the print run of this book and give a copy to every science undergraduate ahead of his or her first course in cell biology." -- Franklin Harold - Microbe "He is an original researcher and thinker and a passionate and stylish populariser. His theories are ingenious, breathtaking in scope, and challenging in every sense...intellectually what Lane is proposing, if correct, will be as important as the Copernican revolution." -- Peter Forbes - Guardian (UK) "A book of vast scope and ambition, brimming with bold and important ideas... The arguments are powerful and persuasive...an incredible, epic story." -- Michael Le Page - New Scientist (UK) "In this, his third book about energy and life, [Lane] comes triumphantly close to cracking the secret of why life is the way it is, to a depth that would boggle any ancient philosopher's mind." -- Matt Ridley - The Sunday Times (UK) "A scintillating synthesis of a new theory of life." -- Clive Cookson - Financial Times (UK) "Magnificent... [The Vital Question] contains as convincing an account of the origins of life as any on offer. ...Lane belongs to a small and persuasive cabal that is using studies of the way cells access energy to gain insight into all sorts of questions, from why there are different sexes to why creatures grow old." -- Oliver Morton - The Economist Intelligent Life

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