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For decades, biology has been dominated by the study of genetic information. Information is important, but it is only part of what makes us alive. Our inheritance also includes our living metabolic network, a flame passed from generation to generation, right back to the origin of life. In Transformer, biochemist Nick Lane reveals a scientific renaissance that is hiding in plain sight--how the same simple chemistry gives rise to life and causes our demise. Lane is among the vanguard of researchers asking why the Krebs cycle, the "perfect circle" at the heart of metabolism, remains so elusive more than eighty years after its discovery. Transformer is Lane's voyage, as a biochemist, to find the inner meaning of the Krebs cycle--why it is still spinning at the heart of life and death today. Transformer unites the story of our planet with the story of our cells--what makes us the way we are, and how it connects us to the origin of life. Enlivened by Lane's talent for distilling and humanizing complex research, Transformer is a must-listen for anyone fascinated by biology's great mysteries. Life is at root a chemical phenomenon: this is its deep logic.