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Understanding microbes; an introduction to a small world.


Understanding microbes; an introduction to a small world.

Dale, Jeremy W.



230 pages




On Earth microbes outweigh all other organisms combined. In the human gut there are 100 times as many as there are human cells in the entire body. In this book, Dale (University of Surrey, UK) presents a work that is directed at the layman with an interest in the world of microbial life. There are a few fairly technical sections but the book does not require special training. The first chapter introduces the enormous diversity of microbes. The next few chapters concern microbial influences on human health in the past and present as well as new diseases, prevention and treatments, and microbes in food. There is a chapter on the evolution of microbes and the important topic of horizontal gene transfer as well as methods of gene sequencing and cloning. Following that are chapters on intercellular communication and the practical uses of microbes in biotechnology. There is also a speculative chapter that discusses abiogenesis (the origin of life from non-living materials), life elsewhere in the universe, and the possibility and safety of creating new life in the lab. The appendices cover more technical details of the biochemistry discussed, common terms and abbreviations, and a list of further reading. There are many excellent color graphs and photographs throughout the text.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Oct 1, 2013
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