Profile Books is to publish a new take on the origins of life by Royal Society prizewinner Nick Lane.
UK and Commonwealth rights in Chasm: The Outlandish Origins of Complex Life were acquired by Profile m.d. Andrew Franklin from Caroline Dawnay at United Agents.
Chasm explores the idea that the evolution of complex life and some of its oddest properties, from sex to aging to the origin of species, stemmed from one event "so improbable that it happened just once in four billion years", according to the publisher.
Biochemist Lane previously won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books for his title Life Ascending, also published by Profile.
Franklin said: "After the amazing success we had with the Royal Society prizewinner Life Ascending I couldn’t be more excited about publishing another book by Nick Lane. He is a real pleasure to work with and his stuff is mind-blowing.
"Chasm will reframe the debate on evolution and we at Profile are proud to be the publishers of such a groundbreaking and daring scientist."