Late-1990s developments in the study of thermophiles have had considerable significance on theories of evolution. These micro-organisms are able to thrive at temperatures near or even above 100 degrees Celsius, and scientists have begun to study their biology in an attempt to provide clues about the beginnings of life on our planet.Researchers from diverse background such as biology, genetics, biogeochemistry, oceanography, systematics and evolution come together in this comprehensive volume to address questions such as: Why did life originate? Was the Earth at high temperatures when life began, and if so, how high? What can we conclude about the origins of life from studying thermophilic organisms?

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