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Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life

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Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life Cover

ISBN13: 9780375424304
ISBN10: 037542430x
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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, it contains over four thousand genes that operate a staggeringly sophisticated network of millions of molecules.
  • Scientists are rebuilding E. coli from the ground up, redefining what it means to be alive.
In the tradition of classics like Lewis Thomas' Lives of a Cell, Carl Zimmer has written a fascinating and utterly accessible investigation into what it means to be alive. Zimmer traces E. coli's remarkable history, as 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 science knows best of all. It's also a story of life itself, of its rules, its mysteries, and its future.

Review:

"Microcosm could well be entitled 'Fantastic Voyage.' Carl Zimmer, one of our most talented and respected science writers, guides is on a memorable journey into the invisible but amazing world within and around a tiny bacterium. He reveals a life-or-death battle every bit as dramatic as that on the Serengeti and one that offers profound insights into how life is made and evolves. Microcosm expands our sense of wonder by illuminating a microscopic universe few could imagine and instills a sense of pride in the great achievements of the scientists who have discovered and mastered its workings." Sean B. Carroll, author of Endless Forms Most Beautiful and The Making of the Fittest

Review:

"Zimmer employs imagery to great effect, leaving the reader with the sense of having attended a well-executed museum exhibit intended for intelligent adults." Library Journal

Review:

"Strong on the logic behind controlled experiments, Zimmer renders an absorbing picture of what E. coli says about the history and future of life." Booklist

Review:

"Provides plenty of gee-whiz moments." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Carl Zimmer writes about science for The New York Times, and his work also appears in National Geographic, Scientific American, and Discover, where he is a contributing editor. He won a 2007 National Academies Communication Award, the highest honor for science writing. He is the author of five previous books, including Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea and Parasite Rex, for which he has earned fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Zimmer also writes an award-winning blog, The Loom. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and children.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Katsuya, December 27, 2012 (view all comments by Katsuya)
This is the second book I've read by Carl Zimmer, and so far he's consistently captivating, mind provoking and thorough. I'm a fan of popular science, and I'm surprised how unfamiliar Zimmer seems to be in the field. I haven't seen book stores carring his books, or his name mentioned in lists, among the likes of Simon Singh. That's a shame, because his work deserves much more recognition than it gets.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780375424304
Subtitle:
E. coli and the New Science of Life
Publisher:
Pantheon
Author:
Zimmer, Carl
Subject:
History
Subject:
Genetics
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - General
Subject:
Life Sciences - Biology - Microbiology
Subject:
History, 20th Century
Subject:
Genetics -- History.
Subject:
Microbiology
Copyright:
Publication Date:
May 2008
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
13 BandW ILLS. THROUGHOUT
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.78x6.36x1.08 in. 1.20 lbs.

Related Subjects

Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Microbiology

Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 256 pages Pantheon Books - English 9780375424304 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Microcosm could well be entitled 'Fantastic Voyage.' Carl Zimmer, one of our most talented and respected science writers, guides is on a memorable journey into the invisible but amazing world within and around a tiny bacterium. He reveals a life-or-death battle every bit as dramatic as that on the Serengeti and one that offers profound insights into how life is made and evolves. Microcosm expands our sense of wonder by illuminating a microscopic universe few could imagine and instills a sense of pride in the great achievements of the scientists who have discovered and mastered its workings."
"Review" by , "Zimmer employs imagery to great effect, leaving the reader with the sense of having attended a well-executed museum exhibit intended for intelligent adults."
"Review" by , "Strong on the logic behind controlled experiments, Zimmer renders an absorbing picture of what E. coli says about the history and future of life."
"Review" by , "Provides plenty of gee-whiz moments."
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