microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life Amazon Barnes & Noble In this startlingly original biography of a germ, Carl Zimmer traces E. coli’s pivotal role. Microcosm has ratings and 89 reviews. Michael said: DiscoveryEscherichia coli bacteria was discovered by the German-Austrian pediatrician Theodor. Carl Zimmer effectively applies this principle in his engrossing new book, “ Microcosm,” relating the study of these microbes to larger.

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Loved it and learned a lot. So comparatively few of the actual facts were new to me.

Coli and their social dynamics occurring near the end, with final thoughts about exobiology speculating about E. I learned so much regarding how experiments are designed to learn about different aspect of the E. Oh boy, did I learn some things. Although the book is slightly dated as of this writingZimmer has quite a way with words.

W hen William Blake strove “to see a world in a grain of sand”, he was talking about the artist’s search for universal truths in the most mundane objects or events. Depends on your point of view: There’s no doubt the author loves every detail of this adventure.

Not only had Lederberg proved that bacteria have sex, he had also proved they have genes. He himself is refreshingly optimistic about our capacity to make wise choices, and argues that E coli’s example encourages a more relaxed view of the inviolability of species. The bacteria Escherichia coli is best known for occasionally causing food poisoning outbreaks, but most strains of it are harmless and indeed a normal part of our gut flora. In short, evolution, natural selection, and nature are amazing.


I also loved some of the personal details about scientists that get thrown into the story. More than a mere recounting of decades of elegant scientific research from the likes of Joshua Lederberg and Salvador Luria, among others, “Microcosm” is truly a book about contemporary biology With the trained eyes of a scientist and the soul of poet, eminent science writer Carl Zimmer takes us on an all too brief, yet fascinating, trek into contemporary biology, as seen from the perspective of the bacterium Escherichia coli, in his latest book, “Microcosm: Coli has been in everything from understanding how evolution works to how diverse life is to how to produce valuable drugs through genetic engineering.

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It can be passed down to the descendants of the bacterium, and sometimes can cause a viral infection in the descendent bacteria. I’m a big fan of Carl Zimmer. Summer reading is complete. The author discusses recent theories of evolution that assert that natural selection favors not zkmmer traits that help an individual organism survive, but also traits that help the survival of their close genetic relatives, from its immediate family to its species.

Review: Microcosm by Carl Zimmer | Books | The Guardian

Most of the incredible discovery about bacteria and prokaryotic organisms were E. Preview — Microcosm by Carl Zimmer. Much more successful than many “how the tricycle changed the world” types of books. Give it a read, why don’t you? T Carl Zimmer is one of my favorite science writers, precisely because I know how difficult it is to walk the microcosj line between explaining the intricacies of science and not overwhelming readers with abstruse detail. Surely criticism is the cardinal sin of our time.


Aug 08, Prithvi Shams rated it really liked it. This book works like a biography.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. In MicrocosmCarl Zimmer explores both the function of E. They talked about it at length and I found the discussion incredibly interesting.

The main plank in the defence was that there were examples in nature of “irreducible complexity” – structures or systems made of many components that could not work if one component were removed – microcoosm that these could not have arisen through chance mutations.

In his new book, Microcosm: I loved his Parasite Rex years ago and this is much better than that book — or at least than my memory of that book.

Fortunately, the rest of the book, while different from what I expected, was still able to mostly win me over. A virus that attacks eats bacteria is called a bacteriophage or just phage, for short. That part of it comes off vague cark fuzzy. Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times and the author of 13 books about science. He set up 12 identical lines in separate flasks 21 years ago and then watched them evolve.

Carl Zimmer is an American science writer at the zenith of his profession.