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Work Meets LifeExploring the Integrative Study of Work in Living Systems$
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Robert Levin, Simon Laughlin, Christina De La Rocha, and Alan Blackwell

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014120

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014120.001.0001

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The Ancient Patterns of Work in Living Systems

The Ancient Patterns of Work in Living Systems

(p.11) 1 The Ancient Patterns of Work in Living Systems
Work Meets Life

Robert Levin

The MIT Press

This chapter investigates the most fundamental work process in living systems by which cells perform work, whether in microbes or in humans, and illustrates how the characteristics of these processes offer a foundation from which work at all other levels of organization proceeds. It discusses the natural history of these work processes at a molecular level. This chapter shows that the understanding of how work gets done in living systems depended on the discovery that this is also how an organism does the most fundamental work that occurs inside the cell. It also demonstrates the clear complexity of human work as one more flowering of the diversity of working processes among living systems.

Keywords:   living systems, working processes, work, humans, microbes, cell, organism

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