Microcosm Infects The Journal Science

By Carl Zimmer | June 23, 2008 12:02 pm

It’s nice to get book reviews in both the popular press and academic journals. I hope everyone will read my books, but I also hope that scientists will consider them good science. And, speaking of Science, the journal of said name just published a lovely review of Microcosm by the evolutionary biologist Daniel Rankin:

A popular science book on E. coli may not sound like the most interesting read. However, Microcosm is just that. The next time you hear of an outbreak of nasty E. coli on the news, spare a thought for this minute creature, which has arguably helped advance humanity far further than any other organism. Not only has it inhabited human guts for as long as we have existed, it has benefited almost all areas of the biosciences, from genetic engineering to evolutionary theory. To really understand life, it seems we must pay close attention to this bug’s life.

Source: “Learning Much from a Bug’s Life.”


Comments (1)

  1. RPM

    From the review:

    The late Joshua Lederberg and colleagues discovered bacterial conjugation, showing that E. coli could exchange genes through direct contact with other cells. Not only can E. coli have sex but, like higher organisms, it has a rather complex social life.

    Pray tell, how does one measure organism height? Will a simple ruler suffice?


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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