Vital Forces: The Discovery of the Molecular Basis of Life

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Vital Forces tells the history of the 'biochemical revolution', a period of unprecedentedly rapid advance in human knowledge that profoundly affected our view of life and laid the foundation for modern medicine and biotechnology. The story is told in a clear, engaging, and absorbing manner. This delightful work relates the fascinating and staggering advances in concepts and theories over the last 200 years and introduces the major figures of the times.

Vital Forces also describes the discovery of the molecular basis of life through the stories of the scientists involved, including such towering figures as Louis Pasteur, Gregor Mendel, Linus Pauling, and Francis Crick. Combining science and biography into a seamless chronological narrative, the author brings to life the successes and failures, collaborations and feuds, and errors and insights that produced the revolution in biology.



  • Vividly describes dramatic scientific discoveries, personalities, feuds and rivalries
  • Answers a general readers quest to understand the nature of life, and the relevance of biochemistry/molecular biology to modern medicine, industry and agriculture

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About the author (2000)

Graeme Hunter studied biochemistry at the University of Glasgow, graduating with the degree of Ph.D. in 1980. He carried out post-doctoral research at Stanford University and the University of Toronto. In 1988, Dr. Hunter became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Oral Biology at the University of Alberta. Since 1991, he has held the position of Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Western Ontario.Dr. Hunter's current research interests are in the areas of biomineralizatin and the history and philosophy of biology.

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