The Invisible Kingdom: From the Tips of Our Fingers to the Tops of Our Trash, Inside the Curious World of Microbes

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9781458758149: The Invisible Kingdom: From the Tips of Our Fingers to the Tops of Our Trash, Inside the Curious World of Microbes
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With the wit of Bill Bryson and the spirit of Natalie Angier, Idan Ben- Barak takes us on a fantastic voyage into the infinitesimal world of microbiology. In The Invisible Kingdom, he introduces us to the amazing lives and workings of genes, proteins, bacteria, and viruses, and the ways in which they interact to shape life on Earth. Exploring everything from radioactive waste and insect sex-change operations to the inner workings of antibiotics, Ben-Barak reveals how important these tiny critters are to all of us. He brings this largely unseen world to life with refreshing analogies and metaphors: cells ''pop like bubbles'' and bacteria ''dream of rain.'' On the journey, we learn about the teamwork required to rot human teeth, the origins of diseases, what really goes on inside cow stomachs, and the ways in which microbes benefit human life. An infectious and informative scientific exploration, The Invisible Kingdom will change the way we see the world around us.

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About the Author:

Idan Ben-Barak holds degrees in medical science and microbiology from the Hadassah School of Medicine at the University of Jerusalem. His writing has been featured in New Scientist. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. This is his first book.

From Publishers Weekly:

Starred Review. Ben-Barak (Small Wonders) writes with verve, enthusiasm and humor about critters that most people find frightening, repugnant, and worthy of mass slaughter via antibiotic hand sanitizer; in this illuminating book, Ben-Barak assures us that without them, "we'll all be dead within days, if not hours." Sure, they cause horrible diseases and turn food rotten, but microbes also clean up waste (including radioactive contamination, chemicals and plastics) and play an important role in digestion (humans have ten times more microbials than human cells). Flexing degrees in both microbiology and medical science, Australian-based scientist Ben-Barak covers a lot of territory, beginning with the origins of single-celled life, 3.8 billion years ago. Connecting the mechanisms of asexual reproduction used by single-celled bacteria to human sexual reproduction, he explains lucidly the mechanics of DNA and RNA, as well as the rapid mutation rate of new strains of germs, diseases and genuinely useful microbes used for thousands of years to make bread, beer, wine and yogurt, and more recently in the manufacturing of hormones. Wonderfully informative and entertaining, Ben-Barak's latest is a brilliant read for both general readers and science buffs.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780465018871: The Invisible Kingdom: From the Tips of Our Fingers to the Tops of Our Trash, Inside the Curious World of Microbes

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ISBN 10:  0465018874 ISBN 13:  9780465018871
Publisher: Basic Books, 2009
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9780465063857: The Invisible Kingdom: From the Tips of Our Fingers to the Tops of Our Trash, Inside the Curious World of Microbes

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