Kassinger's loose style shifts from the origins of life on Earth and the role of seaweed in the evolution of our species to modern seaweed farmers in South Korea, scientists using algae to clean dead zones in waterways, and entrepreneurs developing algae fuel and plastics.
Explaining the origins of the panspermia theory in the work of the late Sir Fred Hoyle, "Our Cosmic Ancestry in the Stars" reveal the vast body of evidence that has accumulated over the past 4 decades in favor of the cosmic origins of life, including viral inserts found in DNA that have shaped our human genome over millions of years.
A February 4 debate on the origins of life between Bill Nye "The Science Guy," defending the theory of evolution, and biblical creationist leader Ken Ham, who supports the literal Genesis account in the Bible, drew a massive online audience estimated between 800,000 to as high as three million.
Wonders of Life (BBC2, 9pm) Brian Cox steps into David Attenborough's shoes to investigate the origins of life. One of his first stops in this new series is the edge of Taal Volcano lake in the Philippines.
Sasselov (astronomy, Harvard U.) explores the implications of these discoveries for biological research in chapters which discuss both the study of extraterrestrial bodies and the search for the origins of life on earth.
THE LIFE OF SUPEREARTHS adopts a chatty tone as it considers the latest advances in this area, offering a history of the hunt for planets beyond our solar system and explaining planetary environments and their connections to the origins of life. An outstanding survey evolves.