The origin of life from inanimate matter has been the focus of much research for decades, both experimentally and philosophically. Luisi takes the reader through the consecutive stages from prebiotic chemistry to synthetic biology, uniquely combining both approaches. This book presents a systematic course discussing the successive stages of self-organisation, emergence, self-replication, autopoiesis, synthetic compartments and construction of cellular models, in order to demonstrate the spontaneous increase in complexity from inanimate matter to the first cellular life forms. A chapter is dedicated to each of these steps, using a number of synthetic and biological examples. With end-of-chapter review questions to aid reader comprehension, this book will appeal to graduate students and academics researching the origin of life and related areas such as evolutionary biology, biochemistry, molecular biology, biophysics and natural sciences.

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