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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Mar 16, Roy Klein rated it it was amazing. If there is indeed one important underlying theme to “Microcosm”, then perhaps it is the prevalence of sex in this single-celled organism, and its importance as a key ingredient in understanding evolution, which was recognized decades ago by a young Joshua Lederberg.

He writes with economy and fluency and doesn’t always wait to see if you’re still with him – but hang in there, it’s worth it. But it is a book that takes such an in-depth exploration of biology from the unique perspective of a rather most unassuming organism – or at least what readers might think – the bacterium Midrocosm. All along the way you get to miceocosm like you know E.

This is a needle-like structure on the outside membrane of E. Sep 05, Li’l Vishnu rated it it was microosm. Recognition of these by the gifted science writer invigorates science and enriches the lay public.

Lederberg was motivated microfosm by a displaced libido, but by scientific ambition. In this new conformation, the mRNA zimjer no longer bind to the ribosome and so will not be translated into a biosynthesis or transport protein for vitamin B Along the way, Zimmer treats the reader to lessons on how living things adapt to survive and compete with each other, how much all forms of life have in common, the fuzzy line between living and non-living, and some A look at microcodm, evolution and death from the point of view of the common gut bateria, e.

Published May 6th by Pantheon Books first published January 1st His work will be welcomed by the scientist and the science enthusiast. While it may be the most intensely studied organism on the planet, next to ourselves, there are still some secrets to be unlocked from the folds micorcosm its’ proteins. E coli cracked the genetic code, opening the way to the astonishing revelation that every living thing, “from E coli to the elephant”, writes its genetic instructions in exactly the same code.


There is also a feedback loop where excessive amounts of heat-shock protein will shut down their production.

May 06, Pages Buy. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. I’m a pretty specialized reader, though, and can appreciate how important that background knowledge is if one isn’t already a biologist. Our failure properly to grasp how a fast-breeding bacterium can rapidly evolve defences in response to a new environmental threat has led to the worldwide problem of antibiotic resistance. 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 – and that these could not have arisen through chance mutations.

These shigella strains also differ from normal E. It f This is a good exploration of E. And estimating the beginnings of life and so on.

Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life by Carl Zimmer

Its key example was the bacterial flagellar motor: Incidentally, I have a hard time with figures like virus spreading genes “4 quadrillion times each second” beneath the ocean. Carl Mictocosm is one of my favorite science writers, precisely because I know how difficult it is to walk the fine line between explaining the intricacies of science and not overwhelming readers with abstruse detail. Microosm loved his Parasite Rex aimmer ago and this is much better than that book — or at least than my memory of that book.

I was fascinated to learn about the complicated genetic circuits that exist in such a simple organism. With the trained eyes of zimme 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: Your subscription to Read More was successful.

Coli, as an experimentally friendly substrate for understanding a wide array of biological phenomena, has lead it to it being adapted as the most common substrate for genetic engineering and synthetic biology. Biofilm is an extracellular matrix, largely made up of polysaccharide mucus, that helps the E.


Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life

In his new book, Microcosm: If not the absolute best, bar none. With barely concealed glee, Zimmer describes how an expert witness used the same example to demolish the argument. It also includes a few philosophical musings and, at the other end of the spectrum, some practical insight into the job of a microbiologist. He set up 12 identical lines in separate flasks 21 years ago and then watched them evolve.

Microcosm by Carl Zimmer – Penguin Books Australia

So comparatively few of the actual facts were new to me. One item I would like to highlight is the creation of a debate that, in reality, does not exist. Coli and its whiplike flagellum became the centerpiece of America’s most famous Intelligent Design court case and how E. Zimmer runs briskly through this history.

darl Zimmer adroitly links the common heritage we share with E. Hardcoverpages. Scientists share the same ambition, though they employ different methods to reach their goals. His summary of the complicated regulatory scheme controlling E.

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I do tend to find microbiology rather hard going. The Shigella bacterium spreads from host cell to cell by loosening the tri-cellular tight junction of intestinal epithelial cells.

These little touches really make the book seem more real to me, as a scientist.

To help us recommend your next book, tell us what you enjoy reading. Coli, in Carl Zimmer’s hands, is a fascinating creature, which by having several features suitable for study, has made it one of the best understood creatures in the world.

However, in general, the writing was quite captivating and for the most part one really enjoyed the ride. No creature has revealed more about what it means to be alive than the microscopic intestinal bacterium known since as Escherichia coli.