Microcosm Infects The Journal Science

It's nice to get book reviews in both the popular press and academic journals. I hope everyone will read my books, but I also hope that scientists will consider them good science. And, speaking of Science, the journal of said name just published a lovely review of Microcosm by the evolutionary biologist Daniel Rankin:

A popular science book on E. coli may not sound like the most interesting read. However, Microcosm is just that. The next time you hear of an outbreak of nasty E. coli on the news, spare a thought for this minute creature, which has arguably helped advance humanity far further than any other organism. Not only has it inhabited human guts for as long as we have existed, it has benefited almost all areas of the biosciences, from genetic engineering to evolutionary theory. To really understand life, it seems we must pay close attention to this bug's life.

Source: "Learning Much from a Bug's Life."

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I'm in a celebratory mood. Microcosm is published today. In my mind, I can see the books moving out of warehouses onto trucks, off to book stores and front door steps. This morning I read a great review from Mykola Bilokonsky at Newsvine. ("What are you waiting for?" he asks.) And tonight I'll be…
The strange thing about E. coli, as I explain in my book Microcosm, is that it has played a central part not just in the modern science of life, but in the political conflicts over life. It may come as a surprise that a humble gut germ could get involved in culture wars. But you need only consider…
Well, we're down now to seven weeks till Microcosm hits the book stores. Here and elsewhere I'm going to discuss some of the fascinating things I discovered about E. coli--and life in general--while working on the book. For instance, I came to have a grudging respect for the vicious strain of E.…
Three weeks away from the publication of Microcosm, and another kind review has come out, this time from Library Journal: To display a broad swath of the people, scientific processes, and discoveries involved in biology, science writer Zimmer (Soul Made Flesh: The Discovery of the Brain-and How It…

From the review:

The late Joshua Lederberg and colleagues discovered bacterial conjugation, showing that E. coli could exchange genes through direct contact with other cells. Not only can E. coli have sex but, like higher organisms, it has a rather complex social life.

Pray tell, how does one measure organism height? Will a simple ruler suffice?