I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life

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From the time microbes were first convicted of having an unhealthy association with disease in the times of Pasteur, there has been an all-out effort to eliminate them. Sanitizers, antiseptics, and disinfectants became part of the armory, but award-winning science writer Ed Yong chronicles the amazing roles that unicellular creatures play in the human body and in our environment. Bacteria are not all bad; most are neutral, and many are essential. Whether we like it or not, the body is covered both inside and outside with countless numbers of microbes, each having different roles in the metabolism and functioning of the host. Bacteria play deciding roles in determining animal behavior, types of immunity, generating enzymes necessary for digestion, and providing biomes resistant to harmful invaders. These microbial products generate the individual’s defining body odor, affect the body’s health, aid in processing food, generate mind influencing chemicals, and are indispensable to life. The book takes the reader through an amazing story of the history of microbiology as well as the current research taking place, while at the same time beguiling the reader with unbelievable and compelling accounts of how these microscopic symbiotic and parasitic creatures influence our physical being. This engrossing narrative serves as the modern sequel to the classic Microbe Hunters.


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Author Ed Yong
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 368 pages
Publisher Ecco
Publish Date 2016-08-09
ISBN 9780062368591
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2016
Category Science & Nature
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