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I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us…

I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life (original 2016; edition 2018)

by Ed Yong (Author)

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6531522,263 (4.13)74
Title:I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Authors:Ed Yong (Author)
Info:Ecco (2018), Edition: Reprint, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:BILL GATES FAVORITE, technology

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I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life by Ed Yong (2016)



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A marvelously enthralling account of how microbes interact with us and the environment to create life as we know it. Most of the microbes we know of subsist by symbiosis, some of them even require the creature that they live with in order to become fully mature.

Ed Yong revels in his storytelling, from talking about a Pangolin to talking about how microbes were found mostly by accident in so many cases. Take life on the ocean floor for instance. Back in the 1970s, they didn't expect life to be able to survive down there so in the submersible they had, they did not bring a biologist with them on their trip.

So in any case, this book was really fascinating and enjoyable. ( )
  Floyd3345 | Jun 15, 2019 |
All of us have an abundant microscopic menagerie, collectively known as the microbiota or microbiome. They live on our surface, inside our bodies, and sometimes inside our very cells. the vast majority of them are bacteria, but there are also other tiny organisms including fungi (such as yeasts) and archaea... There are viruses too, in unfathomable numbers...

I've read some books recently about the microbiome. [b:The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health|28789732|The Hidden Half of Nature The Microbial Roots of Life and Health|David R. Montgomery|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1455299561s/28789732.jpg|44958431] touched on it, but not satisfyingly enough. [b:Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues|17910121|Missing Microbes How the Overuse of Antibiotics Is Fueling Our Modern Plagues|Martin J. Blaser|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1382152807s/17910121.jpg|25095576] was really great, although almost a bit too evangelistic in his fervor for our resident bacteria and his ideas of how our mistreatment of it might be driving modern diseases. Ed Yong does a great job of toning that down a little and explaining how scientists believe our bodies became so dependent upon them for our health.

Unfortunately, much of the book doesn't really talk about the human microbiome at all. He talks about pangolins and squid and aphids and termites and mealy bugs and... you get the (sometimes tedious) point. For me the strongest parts were where he discussed how our microbiome helps us us to digest foods or how it protects us from sickness. Some points I got from the book were that human health is best with 1) natural childbirth, 2) breast-feeding, and 3) having pets in the home, especially dogs. And I absolutely loved his sense of humor - a little on the dry side, but right up my alley. So, while I was hoping for more emphasis on human health, it was still a very interesting book. ( )
  J.Green | Mar 15, 2019 |
We are a world in ourselves. This is an amazing look at the world of life that keeps our bodies living. ( )
  addunn3 | Mar 5, 2019 |
This is a very readable and easy to follow book about the complicated relationship between microbes and multi-cellular life. I thought the author did a good job of being even handed about the benefits and risks of these relationships, in a time where it's easy to oversell the benefits of bacteria. I have a science background and a health background, though not specifically biology based, and I found the science presented to be clear but a little simplistic. I would have appreciated a deeper dive into the molecular biology that underpins many of these relationships. Other than that, I wholeheartedly recommend this one. ( )
  duchessjlh | Jan 20, 2019 |
This is a fascinating look at what we currently know about how animals and plants interact with the microbes all around us. This is still a very young field, and there is a lot to learn. Yong writes with clarity and humor, so this is a very enjoyable and enlightening read. ( )
  Gwendydd | May 10, 2018 |
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Ed Yong is a talented British science writer, a staff writer for The Atlantic and the author of a wonderful blog, Not Exactly Rocket Science, hosted by National Geographic. “I Contain Multitudes,” his first book, covers a huge amount of microscopic territory in clear, strong, often epigrammatic prose. Yong has advanced degrees in biology, and he is remarkably well informed; he includes descriptions of many studies that are still unpublished, and even a few original ideas for new experiments. He is infectiously enthusiastic about microbes, and he describes them with verve.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062368591, Hardcover)

Joining the ranks of popular science classics like The Botany of Desire and The Selfish Gene, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.

Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.

The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.

Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 05 Jun 2016 14:21:18 -0400)

This book lets us peer into the world of microbes -- not as germs to be eradicated, but as invaluable parts of our lives -- allowing us to see how ubiquitous and vital microbes are: they sculpt our organs, defend us from disease, break down our food, educate our immune systems, guide our behavior, bombard our genomes with their genes, and grant us incredible abilities. While much of the prevailing discussion around the microbiome has focused on its implications for human health, Yong broadens this focus to the entire animal kingdom, prompting us to look at ourselves and our fellow animals in a new light: less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we are. I Contain Multitudes is the story of extraordinary partnerships between the familiar creatures of our world and those we never knew existed. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it. --… (more)

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