Books et al.Microbiome

Living in a microbial world

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Science  29 Jul 2016:
Vol. 353, Issue 6298, pp. 450
DOI: 10.1126/science.aag1515

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In I Contain Multitudes, Ed Yong vividly describes the intricate alliances forged by microbes with every other organism on the planet. We learn, for example, how bacteria allow the Hawaiian bobtail squid to glow, how they permit pea aphids to subsist on nothing but plant sap, and how the wood rat has coopted them so it can digest otherwise toxic creosote. In the process, he also introduces readers to dozens of the scientists studying them. Their stories and conversations radiate the excitement of unlocking new secrets, putting a human face on the science.