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Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond

Stefan Helmreich

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
October 2017
ISBN:
9780691164809
eISBN:
9781400873869
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.001.0001
Subject:
Anthropology, Social and Cultural Anthropology

What is life? What is water? What is sound? This book investigates how contemporary scientists—biologists, oceanographers, and audio engineers—are redefining these crucial concepts. Life, water, and ... More


Antarctic subglacial water: origin, evolution, and ecology

John C. Priscu, Slawek Tulaczyk, Michael Studinger, Mahlon C. Kennicutt II, Brent C. Christner, and Christine M. Foreman

in Polar Lakes and Rivers: Limnology of Arctic and Antarctic Aquatic Ecosystems

Published in print:
2008
Published Online:
January 2009
ISBN:
9780199213887
eISBN:
9780191707506
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199213887.003.0007
Subject:
Biology, Ecology, Aquatic Biology

This chapter provides up-to-date coverage on the geophysical, chemical, and biological properties of the lakes that lie beneath the Antarctic ice cap (subglacial lakes). There are at least 150 lakes ... More


What Was Life?: Answers from Three Limit Biologies

Stefan Helmreich, Sophia Roosth, and Michele Friedner

in Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
October 2017
ISBN:
9780691164809
eISBN:
9781400873869
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.003.0001
Subject:
Anthropology, Social and Cultural Anthropology

This chapter examines three limit biologies that theorize what life was—that is, they declare the possible end of “life”: Artificial Life, marine microbiology, and astrobiology. Artificial Life is a ... More


The Signature Of Life: Designing the Astrobiological Imagination

Stefan Helmreich, Sophia Roosth, and Michele Friedner

in Sounding the Limits of Life: Essays in the Anthropology of Biology and Beyond

Published in print:
2015
Published Online:
October 2017
ISBN:
9780691164809
eISBN:
9781400873869
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:
10.23943/princeton/9780691164809.003.0007
Subject:
Anthropology, Social and Cultural Anthropology

This chapter examines the project of astrobiology and its object, the “signature of life,” by drawing on the work of Hillel Schwartz, particularly his writing on time in Century's End, on duplication ... More


Fundamental Processes in Ecology: An earth systems approach

David M Wilkinson

Published in print:
2006
Published Online:
September 2007
ISBN:
9780198568469
eISBN:
9780191717611
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198568469.001.0001
Subject:
Biology, Ecology

This book raises and attempts to answer the following thought experiment: ‘For any planet with carbon-based life, which persists over geological time-scales, what is the minimum set of ecological ... More


Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Kelly C. Smith and Carlos Mariscal (eds)

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.001.0001
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This book focuses on the emerging scientific discipline of astrobiology, exploring the humanistic issues of this multidisciplinary field. To be sure, there are myriad scientific questions that ... More


Living with Tiny Aliens: The Image of God for the Anthropocene

Adam Pryor

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
January 2021
ISBN:
9780823288311
eISBN:
9780823290369
Item type:
book
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:
10.5422/fordham/9780823288311.001.0001
Subject:
Religion, Theology

Astrobiology forces us to realize how deeply tethered we are to this pale blue dot in the universe while also opening us to the exciting possibilities of existing in a fecund cosmos. Addressing both ... More


Introduction

David L. Kirchman

in Processes in Microbial Ecology

Published in print:
2011
Published Online:
December 2013
ISBN:
9780199586936
eISBN:
9780191774645
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199586936.003.0001
Subject:
Biology, Ecology, Biochemistry / Molecular Biology

This chapter introduces the field of microbial ecology and some terms used in the rest of the book. Microbial ecology, which is the study of microbes in natural environments, is important for several ... More


Rationales for Space Exploration: A Review and Reconsideration

James S.J. Schwartz

in The Value of Science in Space Exploration

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
March 2020
ISBN:
9780190069063
eISBN:
9780190069094
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190069063.003.0002
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter considers and rejects traditional spaceflight rationales, accenting the insubstantial evidence that is usually offered in their support. It uses regression analyses and public opinion ... More


The Scope and Justification of Planetary Protection

James S.J. Schwartz

in The Value of Science in Space Exploration

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
March 2020
ISBN:
9780190069063
eISBN:
9780190069094
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190069063.003.0005
Subject:
Philosophy, Philosophy of Science

This chapter argues that the scope of planetary protection policies should be expanded to include all potential sites of interest to space science. It begins by providing an overview of planetary ... More


Introduction

David L. Kirchman

in Processes in Microbial Ecology

Published in print:
2018
Published Online:
August 2018
ISBN:
9780198789406
eISBN:
9780191831256
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780198789406.003.0001
Subject:
Biology, Ecology, Aquatic Biology

The goal of this chapter is to introduce the field of microbial ecology and some terms used in the rest of the book. Microbial ecology, which is the study of microbes in natural environments, is ... More


What Are Extremophiles?: A Philosophical Perspective

Carlos Mariscal and T.D.P. Brunet

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0010
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter studies the concept of an extremophile. In the 1970s, R. D. MacElroy coined the term “extremophile” to describe microorganisms that thrive under extreme conditions. This hybrid word ... More


Earth, Life, Space: The Social Construction of the Biosphere and the Expansion of the Concept into Outer Space

Linda Billings

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0014
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter discusses how the scientific search for evidence of extraterrestrial life has affected people's conception of the terrestrial biosphere. Austrian geologist Eduard Suess originated the ... More


Myth-Free Space Advocacy Part IV: The Myth of Public Support for Astrobiology

James S.J. Schwartz

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0015
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter addresses a sociological question that has largely been ignored: How much does the public care about life in space? It argues that there is no clear evidence of widespread support in the ... More


To the Humanities and Beyond: Exploring the Broader Questions in Astrobiology

Kelly Smith and Carlos Mariscal

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0001
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This introductory chapter provides an overview of the exploration of astrobiology. While new, astrobiology's recent success has been nothing short of amazing. In just the past 25 years, scientists ... More


Astrobiology and Society: An Overview

Steven J. Dick

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0002
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter traces the history of the search for life in the universe, from the ancient Greek atomists to the emergence of modern astrobiology. The idea of inhabited worlds dates back at least to ... More


Three Lives and Astrobiology

Lucas Mix

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0004
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter explores the concept of life across traditions, from science to philosophy to theology. The term “life” covers at least three constellations of meaning or life-concepts: biological life, ... More


Dimensions of Life Definitions

Emily C. Parke

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0005
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter argues that the concept of “life” is used in several rather distinct ways: sometimes as an all-or-nothing phenomenon and other times as a matter of degree; sometimes referring to ... More


Meaning of the Living State

Cole Mathis

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0006
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter draws inspiration from statistical physics to describe a statistical category that can be termed the “living state.” References to a living state can be found throughout origin of life ... More


Life as It Could Be

Luis Campos

in Social and Conceptual Issues in Astrobiology

Published in print:
2020
Published Online:
June 2020
ISBN:
9780190915650
eISBN:
9780197506066
Item type:
chapter
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:
10.1093/oso/9780190915650.003.0007
Subject:
Biology, Bioethics

This chapter explores the intersection between two related fields: synthetic biology and astrobiology. Pushing the engineering of life past traditional limits in molecular biology and expanding the ... More


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