Microcosm

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307377563
Size: 46.56 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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A Best Book of the YearSeed Magazine • Granta Magazine • The Plain-DealerIn this fascinating and utterly engaging book, Carl Zimmer traces E. coli's pivotal role in the history of biology, from the discovery of DNA to the latest advances in biotechnology. He reveals the many surprising and alarming parallels between E. coli's life and our own. And he describes how E. coli changes in real time, revealing billions of years of history encoded within its genome. E. coli is also the most engineered species on Earth, and as scientists retool this microbe to produce life-saving drugs and clean fuel, they are discovering just how far the definition of life can be stretched. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Microcosm

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446455033
Size: 32.99 MB
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In 1946, a twenty-year-old medical school student called Joshua Lederberg decided to find out whether microbes make love. Lederberg was motivated not by a displaced libido, but by scientific ambition. At the age of seven, he had declared that he hoped to become 'like Einstein' and to 'discover a few things in science.' The 'few things' Lederberg discovered would revolutionise modern science and earn him a Nobel Prize. He chose to observe the breeding habits of a certain bacterium called Escherichia coli, better known as E coli. His experiments used defective E coli strains lacking the essential molecules to reproduce by cloning which should, by rights, perish in the petri dish. But slowly, a few colonies of survivors began to spread accross the dishes. The only possible explanation for their survival was that they were a product of sex. Not only had Lederberg proved that bacteria have sex, he had also proved they have genes. Since then, a bacterium that was once nothing more than a humble resident of the human gut has become our best guide to what it means to be alive. Most of us might only know E coli for its lethal strain that causes food poisoning, but Zimmer uses E coli as a prism to understand what life is, what it was, and what it will become. We learn how E coli microbes talk to each other, how studies of their evolution represent the most powerful evidence in support of natural selection, and how they might just explain life on other planets...

Microcosm

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 037542430X
Size: 31.70 MB
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Addresses the fundamental question of what it means to be alive from the perspective of a microbe, E. coli, that exists within all human beings, examining the germ's evolution and its important role in the history of biology.

At The Water S Edge

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0684856239
Size: 26.45 MB
Format: PDF, Docs
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AT THE WATER'S EDGE is a beautifully-written, accessible account of the greatest evolutionary mystery of all. We all know about evolution but it still seems absurd that our ancestors were fish. How did we ever get ashore? How did we make legs, arms and our extremely complex intelligence? Darwin's natural selection was the key to solving generation-to-generation evolution - microevolution - but it could only point us to an explanation still to come of the engines of macroevolution, the transformation of body shapes across millions of years. Carl Zimmer takes the reader on a fascinating quest to understand their beginnings, from pre-Darwinian scientists struggling to interpret early fossil discoveries to latter day geneticists, from whale graveyards in the deserts of Egypt to an amazing find in a forgotten specimen drawer at Oxford University. Including all the latest scientific research, AT THE WATER'S EDGE reveals how macroevolution works and, in doing so, provides a comprehensive, lucid and authoritative answer to the mystery of how nature actually made itself.

A Planet Of Viruses

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022632026X
Size: 79.77 MB
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The past year has been one of viral panic—panic about viruses, that is. Through headlines, public health warnings, and at least one homemade hazmat suit, we were reminded of the powerful force of viruses. They are the smallest living things known to science, yet they can hold the entire planet in their sway. A Planet of Viruses is Carl Zimmer’s eye-opening look at the hidden world of viruses. Zimmer, the popular science writer and author of National Geographic’s award-winning blog The Loom, has updated this edition to include the stories of new outbreaks, such as Ebola, MERS, and chikungunya virus; new scientific discoveries, such as a hundred-million-year-old virus that infected the common ancestor of armadillos, elephants, and humans; and new findings that show why climate change may lead to even deadlier outbreaks. Zimmer’s lucid explanations and fascinating stories demonstrate how deeply humans and viruses are intertwined. Viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, are responsible for many of our most devastating diseases, and will continue to control our fate for centuries. Thoroughly readable, and as reassuring as it is frightening, A Planet of Viruses is a fascinating tour of a formidable hidden world.

March Of The Microbes

Author: John L. Ingraham
Publisher: Harvard University Press
ISBN: 9780674035829
Size: 46.44 MB
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A Choice Outstanding Academic Title Renowned microbiologist John Ingraham rescues the supremely important and ubiquitous microorganisms from their unwonted obscurity by showing us how we can, in fact, see and appreciate them.

Dark Banquet

Author: Bill Schutt
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0307381137
Size: 62.53 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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A look inside the world of animals that feed on blood, examining the ecological roles and life cycles of the vampire bat, leeches, ticks, mites, bedbugs, and a feared vampire fish known as the candiru.

Planet Of Microbes

Author: Ted Anton
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022635413X
Size: 12.90 MB
Format: PDF, ePub
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We live in a time of unprecedented scientific knowledge about the origins of life on Earth. But if we want to grasp the big picture, we have to start small—very small. That’s because the real heroes of the story of life on Earth are microbes, the tiny living organisms we cannot see with the naked eye. Microbes were Earth’s first lifeforms, early anaerobic inhabitants that created the air we breathe. Today they live, invisible and seemingly invincible, in every corner of the planet, from Yellowstone’s scalding hot springs to Antarctic mountaintops to inside our very bodies—more than a hundred trillion of them. Don’t be alarmed though: many microbes are allies in achieving our—to say nothing of our planet’s—health. In Planet of Microbes, Ted Anton takes readers through the most recent discoveries about microbes, revealing their unexpected potential to reshape the future of the planet. For years, we knew little about these invisible invaders, considering them as little more than our enemies in our fight against infectious disease. But the more we learn about microbes, the more it’s become clear that our very lives depend on them. They may also hold the answers to some of science’s most pressing problems, including how to combat a warming planet, clean up the environment, and help the body fight off a wide variety of diseases. Anton has spent years interviewing and working with the determined scientists who hope to harness the work of microbes, and he breaks down the science while also sharing incredible behind-the-scenes stories of the research taking place everywhere from microbreweries to Mars. The world’s tiniest organisms were here more than three billion years before us. We live in their world, and Planet of Microbes at last gives these unsung heroes the recognition they deserve.

Parasite Rex

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 074320011X
Size: 38.85 MB
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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A look inside the often hidden world of parasites turns the clock back to the beginning of life on Earth to answer key questions about these highly evolved and resilient life forms.

The Tangled Bank

Author: Carl Zimmer
Publisher: Roberts & Company
ISBN: 9781936221448
Size: 66.49 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Used widely in non-majors biology classes, "The Tangled Bank" is the first textbook about evolution intended for the general reader. Zimmer, an award-winning science writer, takes readers on a fascinating journey into the latest discoveries about evolution. In the Canadian Arctic, paleontologists unearth fossils documenting the move of our ancestors from sea to land. In the outback of Australia, a zoologist tracks some of the world's deadliest snakes to decipher the 100-million-year evolution of venom molecules. In Africa, geneticists are gathering DNA to probe the origin of our species. In clear, non-technical language, Zimmer explains the central concepts essential for understanding new advances in evolution, including natural selection, genetic drift, and sexual selection. He demonstrates how vital evolution is to all branches of modern biology--from the fight against deadly antibiotic-resistant bacteria to the analysis of the human genome. The second edition of The Tangled Bank has been dramatically revised. It includes an entirely new chapter focused on human evolution, for example, as well as discussions of additional concepts in evolution, new illustrations, and descriptions of new research. Richly illustrated with 285 drawings and photographs, "The Tangled Bank" is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the history of life on Earth.