Allies and Enemies: How the World Depen... | WHSmith Books
Allies and Enemies: How the World Depends on Bacteria

Allies and Enemies: How the World Depends on Bacteria

By: Anne E. Maczulak (author)Hardback

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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, outsmartedThey'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 UniverseThe stunning hidden relationships between bacteria and the rest of nature

About 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.


Acknowledgments viiiAbout the Author ixIntroduction 1 Chapter 1 Why the world needs bacteria 7Tricks in bacterial survival 9Bacterial communities 13Under the microscope 16The size of life 20The bacteria of the human body 25The origins of our bacteria 29One planet 32 Chapter 2 Bacteria in history 35The ancients 37The legacy of bacterial pathogens 39The plague 42Microbiologists save the day 46Unheralded heroes of bacteriology 50On the front 58 Chapter 3 "Humans defeat germs!"(but not for long) 63What is an antibiotic? 64Inventing drugs is like making sausage 68Mutant wars 73Bacteria share their DNA 77The opportunists 78 Chapter 4 Bacteria in popular culture 83Bacteria and art 83 Bacteria in the performing arts 84Friends and enemies 89Do bacteria devour art? 91 Chapter 5 An entire industry from a single cell 99E. coli 103The power of cloning 106A chain reaction 109Bacteria on the street 112Anthrax 116Why we will always need bacteria 117 Chapter 6 The invisible universe 121Versatility begets diversity 124Cyanobacteria 128Bacterial protein factories 131How to build an ecosystem 135Feedback and ecosystem maintenance 138Macrobiology 141 Chapter 7 Climate, bacteria, and a barrel of oil 145The story of oil 147Bacteria power 149How is a cow like a cockroach? 150Microscopic power plants 154The waste problem 155Bacteria on Mars 160Shaping the planet 162 Epilogue How microbiologists grow bacteria 165Serial dilution 165Counting bacteria 167Logarithms 168Anaerobic microbiology 169Aseptic technique 170 Appendix Resources for learning more about bacteria 173Internet resources on bacteria 173Book resources on bacteria 173Classic reading on bacteria 174 Bacteria rule references 175Index 197

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780137015467
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 224
  • ID: 9780137015467
  • weight: 432
  • ISBN10: 0137015461

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