Includes bibliographical references (pages 237-247) and index.
Introduction: For whom this book is meant -- What is life? DNA, autopoiesis, and the reproductive imperative -- What is evolution? Cell DNA continuity and the necessity of error -- What is sex? Molecular, cellular, and organismal recombinations and fusions -- Threats to DNA and the emergence of sexuality: ultraviolet light, chemical death, and DNA repair -- Recombination and bacterial mating: worldwide evolutionary changes through microbial sex -- The emergence of protists: symbiotic bacteria and organellar sex -- The origin of chromosomes: packing of chromatin -- Chromosome deployment in mitosis: microtubules and their organizing centers -- Cannibalism and other mergers: protistan dilemma of doubleness -- Pairing and halving: fertilization and meiosis -- Meiosis and cell differentiation: from microbial community ecology to endocytobiology -- Big eggs and small sperm: origin of anisogamy and gender -- Three billion years of sex: common evolutionary legacy and strange variations -- Glossary.