Allies and Enemies: How the World Depends on Bacteria (FT Press Science)

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9780137015467: Allies and Enemies: How the World Depends on Bacteria (FT Press Science)

Bacteria are invisible, mysterious, deadly, self-sufficient...and absolutely essential for all life, including yours. No other living things combine their elegant simplicity with their incredibly complex role: Bacteria keep us alive, supply our food, and regulate our biosphere. We can’t live a day without them, and no chemical, antibiotic, or irradiation has ever successfully eradicated them. They’re our partners, like it or not--even though some of them will happily kill us.

Allies and Enemies tells the story of this amazing, intimate partnership. Authored by Anne Maczulak, a microbiologist who’s hunted and worked with an extraordinary array of bacteria, this book offers a powerful new perspective on Earth’s oldest creatures. You’ll discover how bacteria work, how they evolve, their surprising contributions and uses, the roles they’ve played in human history, and why you can't survive without them. No form of life is more important, and in Maczulak’s hands, none is more fascinating.

 

Outlasted, outnumbered, outsmarted

They’ve been here four billion years--and they even outnumber you in your own body

 

How bacteria keep you alive...

...and how to keep them from killing you

 

“Humans Defeat Germs!”

But not for long...

 

The Invisible Universe

The stunning hidden relationships between bacteria and the rest of nature

 

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From the Back Cover:

""In "Allies and Enemies," Anne Maczulak takes the mystery out of bacteria. Practical, useful, and very readable, Maczulak demystifies the world of bacteria and viruses. A fascinating book on an important subject. Highly recommended."" --Sheldon Siegel, author of The New York Times best-selling "Judgment Day" ""No nucleus? No problem! As a microbiologist, Anne Maczulak deeply appreciates the astonishing abilities of the ultra-simple organisms that rule our world and help operate our bodies. As a writer, she inspires her readers to want to know more about their secret realm. Allies and Enemies is both fun and practical as it interweaves science with history and popular culture."" --Jessica Snyder Sachs, author of "Good Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World" ""Anne Maczulak engagingly achieves the often difficult task to present the scope of modern microbiology in a nontechnical manner for general reading. "Allies and Enemies" covers the scope of the microbial world, from the continuing battle against microbe enemies who never give up the fight to the frontiers of how microbes create a livable environment for us. For those whose interest is perked for more about microbes, an excellent list of references and websites is provided."" --Charles P. Gerba (also known as "Dr. Germ"), University of Arizona, Tucson ""Anne Maczulak has done a masterful job of explaining the complex nuances of microbes in simple, easy-to-understand language. She explains the 'yin and yang' of the diverse microbial world with text that is rich with numerous historical vignettes. She takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the benefits of microbes to human existence, describing their finely articulated chemical mechanisms, their intricate dances of cooperation, their lightning speed adaptations, and their genetic plasticity, offering a glimpse of the underlying principles of the miracle of life."" --Philip M. Tierno Jr., Ph.D., Director, Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, New York University Langone Medical Center and New York University School of Medicine Bacteria: How they keep you alive. How they can kill you. How we can all live together happily. Bacteria are invisible, mysterious, deadly, self-sufficient...and absolutely essential for all life, including "yours." No other living things combine their elegant simplicity with their incredibly complex role: Bacteria keep us alive, supply our food, and regulate our biosphere. We can't live a day without them, and no chemical, antibiotic, or irradiation has ever successfully eradicated them. They're our partners, like it or not--even though some of them will happily kill us. "Allies and Enemies" tells the story of this amazing, intimate partnership. Authored by Anne Maczulak, a microbiologist who's hunted and worked with an extraordinary array of bacteria, this book offers a powerful new perspective on Earth's oldest creatures. You'll discover how bacteria work, how they evolve, their surprising contributions and uses, the roles they've played in human history, and why you can't survive without them. No form of life is more important, and in Maczulak's hands, none is more fascinating. " " Outlasted, outnumbered, outsmarted "They've been here four billion years"--"and they even outnumber you "in your own body " " How bacteria keep you alive... ."..and how to keep them from killing you" "Humans Defeat Germs!" "But not for long..." " " The Invisible Universe "The stunning hidden relationships between bacteria and the rest of nature" " "

About the Author:

Anne Maczulak grew up in Watchung, New Jersey, with a plan to become either a writer or a biologist. She completed undergraduate and master’s studies in animal nutrition at The Ohio State University, her doctorate nutrition and microbiology from the University of Kentucky, and conducted postdoctoral studies at the New York State Department of Health. She also holds an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

 

Anne began her training as a microbiologist studying the bacteria and protozoa of human and animal digestive tracts. She is one of a relatively small group of microbiologists who were trained in the Hungate method of culturing anaerobic microbes, meaning microbes that cannot live if exposed to oxygen. In industry, Anne worked in microbiology laboratories at Fortune 500 companies, developing anti-dandruff shampoos, deodorants, water purifiers, drain openers, septic tank cleaners, and disinfectants--all products that relate to the world of microbes. She conducted research in the University of California-San Francisco’s dermatology group, testing wound-healing medications, antimicrobial soaps, and foot fungus treatments.

 

In graduate school, other students and a few professors had seemed nonplussed when Anne filled her elective schedule with literature courses. Anne was equally surprised to learn that so many of her peers in science found pursuit of the arts to be folly. In 1992, with more than a decade of “growing bugs” on her resume, she packed up and drove from the east coast to California to begin a new career as a writer while keeping microbiology her day job. And yes, it was possible to be both a writer and a scientist.

 

While toiling evenings on a mystery novel set in a microbiology lab, Anne continued working on various laboratory projects intended either to utilize good microbes or eliminate deadly ones. A decade later, Anne began her career as an independent consultant and has successfully blended writing with biology. Although the mystery novel never made it off the ground, Anne has since published ten books on microbes and environmental science. She focuses on making highly technical subjects easy to understand. From her unique perspective, Anne inspires her audiences into wanting to know more about microbes, and perhaps even like them.

 

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