Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies (Vol. 24 in "Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology")
Summary of Life on Earth and other Planetary Bodies (Introduction of J. Seckbach, § 5) This volume has gathered 68 expert authors from around the world to discuss questions of life on Earth and elsewhere. Their chapters deal with primeval seas, the origin of the genetic code, panspermia, and terrestrial habitability. The Extremophiles section includes the halophiles, the polar cyanobacteria, and life without water, as well as microorganisms tolerating, surviving, and flourishing in severe environments. The extremophiles are important for practical uses (enzyme production) and extraction of special proteins. In the Extraterrestrial Life section of this volume there are discussions about the search for extraterrestrial intelligent life, terrestrial analogues for planetary oceans, life in terrestrial lava-caves, as implications for life detection on other planets, habitability of Earth-like exoplanets, Mars water and polar dunes, Antarctica as a model for life on Europa, Saturn and its moons, astrobiology of Titan, habitability of extrasolar planets and cosmic catastrophes. This volume is number 24 of the Cellular Origin, Life in Extreme Habitats and Astrobiology [COLE] series [J. Seckbach (editor) 1999-2013, www.springer.com/series/5775]. The present book complements previous books of this series discussing also topics associated with this volume, namely, the Science of Astrobiology (2011), Stromatolites (2011), Symbioses and Stress (2010), Algae and Cyanobacteria in Extreme Environments (2007), Enigmatic Microorganisms and Life in Extreme Environments (1999). The target audience for this new book comprises scientists, microbiologists working with extremophiles, biology, geology students, teachers and general readers.