Microcosm: The Book

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Category archives for Microcosm: The Book

Microcosm on MSNBC, Podcasts

I spoke Tuesday on Seattle, and there’s proof now! Alan Boyle, MSNBC’s science guru, wrote a great piece on both the talk and the subject, my book Microcosm. Meanwhile, folks from Real Science were taping, and now you can listen to the talk at their web site. If I had lots of free time, I’d…

Don’t forget to check in for the latest posts going up over at the Scienceblog Book Club. My book Microcosm has gotten us into a debate about the nature of life.

E. coli Evolution Follow-up

I’m back at last from the west coast leg of the Microcosm tour. Portland had a cloudy, melancholy charm, and at Powell’s I gave a reading in front of a collection of hand-made black velvet paintings from the nearby Velveteria. When the audience’s eyes drifted off of me, I couldn’t tell if they were lost…

The microbial march continues! I’ll be in Seattle today, giving two talks on Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life. The first is a 1:30 talk at Microsoft Research. Then I’ll be giving a public talk at Town Hall at 7:30 as part of their science series.

A New Step In Evolution

One of the most important experiments in evolution is going on right now in a laboratory in Michigan State University. A dozen flasks full of E. coli are sloshing around on a gently rocking table. The bacteria in those flasks has been evolving since 1988–for over 44,000 generations. And because they’ve been so carefully observed…

The French biologist Jacques Monod once famously said, “What is true for E. coli is true for the elephant.” At the time, he was referring to the universal rules of molecular biology–of DNA and proteins, for example, that are the same from one species to another. As scientists in the mid-1900s figured out the workings…

The E. coli epidemic spreads today to the Bay Area. Please come out to Kepler’s to hear me talk about Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life.

One of the best things to come out of blogging is the blog book club. (See, for example, the book club at Talking Points Memo.) In the bad old days, the only way writers could respond to books was with a one-shot book review. A blog book club, on the other hand, allows writers to…

I’m heading cross-country to talk about Microcosm. First stop–Powell’s bookstore in Portland tonight. Never been there before, so I’m looking forward to a bibliophile’s pilgrimage. Hope to see Portlanders there!

All Things E. coli

E. coli is, arguably, the one species that scientists know best. If you type the name “Escherichia coli” into PubMed, the database of the National Library of Medicine, you’ll get over a quarter of a million titles of scientific papers. Scientists have sequenced about 30 genomes of different strains of E. coli. It’s the microbe…