The Loom

E. coli Infects the New York Times

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With two weeks to go till Microcosm‘s publication date, I’m happy to direct your attention to an adapted excerpt that’s running in tomorrow’s New York Times. In this passage, I discuss what I like to call E. coli’s fingerprints.

We like to think that genes equal identity. If that were true, then a colony of genetically identical E. coli should be nothing but a robot army of clones. But diversity rules E. coli’s world, because there’s more to life than DNA, even when you’re just a microbe. Check it out.

I’ve also set up some pages over at with news, reviews, and other information about the book. And, of course, you’re encouraged to make your way over to Amazon

Finally, if you’re interested in hitting some of the scientific literature, here are a few papers…

Stochastic Gene Expression In A Single Cell

Persister cells, dormancy and infectious disease

Predicting stochastic gene expression dynamics in single cells

[Update: NYT link fixed]


  1. #1 PaulH
    April 21, 2008

    the NYT link’s busted.

  2. #2 Jim Hu
    April 22, 2008

    Good stuff, Carl. Now if you can only get the press to get MS-Word to stop capitalizing the c in coli.

  3. #3 Mark
    April 22, 2008


    Do you expect “Microcosm” to go paperback like your other books?


  4. #4 Carl Zimmer
    April 22, 2008


    I certainly hope Microcosm goes into paperback. If everyone buys a hardback, then the publisher will be sure to make it happen. (Hint!)

  5. #5 Anne
    April 23, 2008

    I loved the NYT article. I’m buying your book. 🙂

  6. #6 luca
    April 23, 2008

    Thanks for the freebies.

    Will make sure to grab a copy as soon as it hits the other side of the pond… Hell, even a hardback, may be I’ll gift it to a sexy microbiologirl I know…

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