*** I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

Written by a science journalist, I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life is an enthusiastic and nicely detailed exploration of research into bacteria, especially how bacteria interact with other organisms, human or not. There are stories of dung trafficking in zoos, mosquitoes infected by bacteria that defeat Dengue fever, breast milk that is designed to feed not babies, but bacteria inside their guts, weird deep-sea organisms that feed on sulphur, and utterly useless “active culture” yoghurt.

 

The author is careful to present bacteria as both helpful and dangerous, and to highlight the great complexity of the symbiosis processes (hence the useless yoghurt). An inspiring and quite accessible science book.

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