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Week 8, Life in the universe

Additional Reading

Lecure 4.01: Introduction to life

  • There are many interesting musings (some useful, some less so) about "What is life?". Try here for what I think of as a very balanced approach.
  • An interesting in depth discussion from Carl Sagan is here
  • A smorgasbord of opinions is here

Lecture 4.02: Photosynthesis

  • There is much much much to learn about photosynthesis. A good start is Wikipedia, though, as often happens, the article jumps into detail before the basics. Skip down some and read about the basics.
  • From there go to cellular respiration and from there, go crazy

Lecture water 4.03: Water

Lecture 4.04: Alternative energy sources

  • Archaea are a fascinating group of microbes. You can start here and read about methanogens (which are only one of many types of archaea!)
  • Chemosynthesis, in general, is covered here

Lecture 4.05: The history of life

  • This Wikipedia article on the history of the Earth is actually quite nice (though, like many Wikipedia articles, it occasionally takes a single paper which says something controversial and cites it as the gospel truth).

Lecture 4.06: Viking

Lecture 4.08: Methane on Mars

Lecture 4.09: Habitable on Mars