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Maynard-Smith, J. & Szathmáry, E. (1995) "The major transitions in evolution", W.H. Freeman, Oxford

During evolution there have been several major changes in the way genetic information is organised and transmitted from one generation to the next. These transitions include the origin of life itself, the first eukaryotic cells, reproduction by sexual means, the appearance of multicellular plants and animals, the emergence of cooperation and of animal societies, and the unique language ability of humans.

Back blurb

1. Introduction

2. What is life?

3. Chemical evolution

4. The evolution of templates

5. The chicken and egg problem

6. The origin of translation and the genetic code

7. The origin of proto-cells

8. The origin of eukaryotes

9. The origin of sex and the nature of species

10. Intragenomic conflict

11. Symbiosis

12. Development in simple organisms

13. Gene regulation and cell heredity

14. The development of spatial patterns

15. Development and evolution

16. The origins of societies

17. The origin of language

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Created 27/9/98
Last modified 4/2/00