I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
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I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life


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. 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.

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. Those in cows and termites digest the plants they eat. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squids with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.

I Contain Multitudes is the story of these extraordinary partnerships, between the creatures we are familiar with and those we are not. It reveals how we humans are disrupting these partnerships and how we might manipulate them for our own good. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.

Title:I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:368 pages

    I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life Reviews

  • Will Byrnes
    May 20, 2016

    You’ve got company. Carol Anne Freeling was certainly right when she said, “They’re hee-ur,” well maybe not enraged spirits, but there are certainly plenty of entities present to which we have...

  • Jamie
    Jan 08, 2017

    Well, I will never think of bacteria and archaea the same. I certainly have a newfound understanding of just how vital it is to every part of life. That microbes and bacteria have helped shape our pla...

  • Barbara
    Feb 06, 2017

    Though we might lather our skin with antibacterial soap, clean our hands with alcohol sanitizers, gargle with mouthwash, scrub our kitchen surfaces, disinfect our bathrooms, spray Lysol all over the h...

  • Clif Hostetler
    Aug 19, 2016

    Recently I've been hearing reports of miracle cures of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by use of fecal matter transplants. Also I've heard that some autoimmune diseases may be caused by environments th...

  • Joshua Buhs
    Aug 15, 2016

    A fascinating topic poorly served by the conventions of popular science writing.Ed Yong's book is about microbes--bacteria, mostly, but also viruses and few other extremely small creatures--and how th...

  • Atila Iamarino
    Oct 25, 2016

    Uma revisão bem ponderada sobre as descobertas recentes do microbioma humano (e não só humano). O Ed Yong é um escritor de ciência de mão cheia, tranquilamente um dos melhores da atualidade, que...

  • Jessica Healy
    Sep 16, 2016

    Intriguing. Excellent writing, fascinating topic. All the science. So much science. I mean, it's really good. Really sciencey. Worldview, changed. All the knowledge. But... but really, and I say this ...

  • Andrea
    Oct 03, 2016

    I picked up I Contain Multitudes in the close proximity after finishing Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ by Giulia Enders, which too heavily relied on our harmonious existen...

  • John
    Aug 13, 2016

    A Most Engrossing Exploration of the Microbial Organisms Which Lurk Within UsEchoing Charles Darwin's concluding paragraph in the first edition of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" in its subtitle, ...

  • Isil Arican
    Sep 06, 2016

    I love Ed Yong's articles and I wanted to read this book since I heard it was coming out.Microbiom is a fascinating subject and he does a good job of giving background information, explaining the back...