Devoted to exploring questions about the origin and evolution of life in our Universe, this highly interdisciplinary book brings together a broad array of scientists. Thirty chapters assembled in eight major sections convey the knowledge accumulated and the richness of the debates generated by this challenging theme. The text explores the latest research on the conditions and processes that led to the emergence of life on Earth and, by extension, perhaps on other planetary bodies. Diverse sources of knowledge are integrated, from astronomical and geophysical data, to the role of water, the origin of minimal life properties and the oldest traces of biological activity on our planet. This text will not only appeal to graduate students but to the large body of scientists interested in the challenges presented by the origin of life, its evolution, and its possible existence beyond Earth.

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