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Life at High Pressure

In the Deep Sea and Other Environments

Authors: Macdonald, Alister

  • Presents the idea of three high pressure biological environments - the deep sea ;  Earth’s Crust (Deep Biosphere) and the high pressure micro-environment in load bearing joints in humans and other terrestrial animals
  • Explains the fundamental nature of pressure by way of familiar examples, like water freezing and less familiar examples, like the properties of cells and of proteins
  • Explains the nature of the molecular and physiological adaptations to high pressure which have been worked out in deep sea bacteria, including those living in hot hydrothermal vents, deep sea fish and crustacea and deep diving marine mammals
  • Shows that the adaptation of all grades of life to high pressure is comparable to their adaptation to the more familiar extremes of temperature, involving evolutionary changes in molecular structures and in physiological organization
  • Engineering aspects of high pressure biology are presented, for example deep sea equipment, deep boreholes, and microscopes which make it possible to see living cells at pressures similar to those at the bottom of the ocean
  • The basic phenomena explained in the book help the reader understand other concepts, like the use of high pressure in pharmaceutical and other biological technologies, sterilization and processing of foods
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eBook $39.99
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  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: May 24, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-67587-5
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  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover $49.99
price for USA in USD
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Pre-ordered printed titles are excluded from promotions.
  • Due: April 26, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-67586-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
About this book

The book discusses the ways in which high hydrostatic pressure (i.e. water pressure) affects all grades of life which thrive at pressures much greater those in our normal environment. The deep sea is the best known high pressure environment, where pressures reach a thousand times greater than those at the surface, yet it is populated by a variety of animals and microorganisms. The earth’s crust supports microorganisms which live in water filled pores at high pressure. In addition, the load bearing joints of animals like ourselves experience pulses of hydrostatic pressure of a magnitude similar to the pressure at mid ocean depths.

These pressures affect molecular structures and biochemical reactions. Basic cellular processes are drastically affected – the growth and division of cells, the way nerves conduct impulses and the chemical reactions which provide energy.  Adaptation to high pressure also occurs in complex physiological systems such as those which provide buoyancy.  Probably the greatest challenge to our understanding of adaptation to high pressure is the stabilisation of the nervous system of deep sea animals to avoid convulsions which pressure causes in shallow water animals.

Additionally the book provides insight into the engineering required to study life at high pressure: equipment which can trap small deep sea animals and retrieve them at their high pressure, equivalent equipment for microorganisms, laboratory microscopes which can focus on living cells under high pressure, incubators for bacteria which require high pressure to grow, high pressure aquaria for marine animals and lastly and briefly, manned and unmanned submersible vessels, Landers and deep drill hole sampling. Rather like the organisms studied many laboratory instruments have been adapted to function at high pressure.

About the authors

Dr. Alister Macdonald graduated in Zoology at Bristol University. After post doctoral research at the University of East Anglia he moved to Aberdeen University, becoming Reader In Physiology in 1984. His work on deep sea animals with Dr. I Gilchrist tackled the recovery of small animals without decompression, their tolerance to pressure and recovery from decompression paralysis. Additionally, he demonstrated homeoviscous adaptation of deep sea fish membranes to high pressure. Work at sea alternated with laboratory studies of cellular processes at high pressure; membrane bilayers, membrane bound enzymes, ionic regulation, electrophysiology - latterly patch clamp studies of various ion channels and of anaesthetic  -  ion channel interactions. Collaboration with much valued students and senior colleagues was a key part of this wide range of activity, involving The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (USA) and the Bermuda Marine Biological Station for Research, The Rowett Research Institute and the Marine Laboratory, (both in Aberdeen), Queen’s University, Belfast, Brunel University, and the Universities of Liverpool, Nottingham, North Carolina and Western Australia, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, and the Max-Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, Germany.


Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA in USD
  • The eBook version of this title will be available soon
  • Due: May 24, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-67587-5
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format:
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
Hardcover $49.99
price for USA in USD
  • Customers within the U.S. and Canada please contact Customer Service at +1-800-777-4643, Latin America please contact us at +1-212-460-1500 (24 hours a day, 7 days a week). Pre-ordered printed titles are excluded from promotions.
  • Due: April 26, 2021
  • ISBN 978-3-030-67586-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Institutional customers should get in touch with their account manager
  • Covid-19 shipping restrictions & severe weather in the US may cause delays
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Life at High Pressure
Book Subtitle
In the Deep Sea and Other Environments
Authors
Copyright
2021
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer Nature Switzerland AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-030-67587-5
DOI
10.1007/978-3-030-67587-5
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-030-67586-8
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVI, 470
Number of Illustrations
43 b/w illustrations, 19 illustrations in colour
Topics