E. Coli and the New Science of Life

Book - 2008
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Random House, Inc.
Within days of being born, we are infected with billions of E. coli. They will inhabit each and every one of us until we die. E. coli is notorious for making people gravely ill, but engineered strains of the bacteria save millions of lives each year.

Despite its microscopic size, E.coli contains more than four thousand genes that operate a staggeringly sophisticated network of millions of molecules.

Scientists are rebuilding E. coli from the ground up, redefining our understanding of life on Earth.

In the tradition of classics like Lewis Thomas's Lives of a Cell, Carl Zimmer has written a fascinating and utterly accessible investigation of what it means to be alive. Zimmer traces E. coli's remarkable history, showing how scientists used it to discover how genes work and then to launch the entire biotechnology industry. While some strains of E. coli grab headlines by causing deadly diseases, scientists are retooling the bacteria to produce everything from human insulin to jet fuel.

Microcosm is the story of the one species on Earth that science knows best of all. It's also a story of life itself--of its rules, its mysteries, and its future.

Baker & Taylor
Addresses the fundamental question of what it means to be alive from the perspective of a microbe, E. coli, that exists within all human beings, examining the germ's evolution and its important role in the history of biology.

Book News
The bacteria E. coli is perhaps most popularly recognized as an agent of human disease, but in fact most forms of E. coli are harmless and, even more significantly for the purposes of Zimmer (a science writer for The New York Times), the bacteria has been the subject of sustained study by scientists for over 100 years, making it an ideal window into the history of life. He gives the general reader a tour of the science of E. coli, describing its lessons for the nature of life, processes of evolution, and even modern genetic engineering. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

& Taylor

The author of Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea addresses the fundamental question of what it means to be alive from the perspective of a microbe, E. coli, that exists within all human beings, examining the germ's important role in the history of biology, from the discovery of DNA to the latest advances in biotechnology, as well as its evolution. 25,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Pantheon Books, c2008
ISBN: 9780375424304
Characteristics: 243 p. : ill. ; 25 cm


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Feb 27, 2016

Terrific!! Especially the first six chapters; the later chapters somewhat wane. The explanations are very clear and easy to follow. Virtually no diagrams, and no glossary, but it does have a long notes and bibliography section.


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