Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life

Front Cover
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, May 6, 2008 - Science - 272 pages
6 Reviews
A Best Book of the YearSeed Magazine Granta Magazine The Plain-DealerIn this fascinating and utterly engaging book, Carl Zimmer traces E. coli's pivotal role in the history of biology, from the discovery of DNA to the latest advances in biotechnology. He reveals the many surprising and alarming parallels between E. coli's life and our own. And he describes how E. coli changes in real time, revealing billions of years of history encoded within its genome. E. coli is also the most engineered species on Earth, and as scientists retool this microbe to produce life-saving drugs and clean fuel, they are discovering just how far the definition of life can be stretched.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ogroft - LibraryThing

If I had to teach biology, this book would offer an important insight into the history of the field. I could assign portions for students to read about and report on. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - nosajeel - LibraryThing

An outstanding book, highly recommended. I loved his Parasite Rex years ago and this is much better than that book -- or at least than my memory of that book. It is an intensive look at E. coli ... Read full review


One Signature
Three The Systeln
Four The E coliWatcl1cs Field Guide
Five Everflux
Seven I 1rwi1nttl1cDrugstore
Selected Bibliography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Carl Zimmer writes about science for The New York Times, and his work also appears in National Geographic, Scientific American, and Discover, where he is a contributing editor. He won a 2007 National Academies Communication Award, the highest honor for science writing. He is the author of five prevcious books, including Evolution: The Triumph of an Idea and Parasite Rex, for which he has earned fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Zimmer also writes an award-winning blog, The Loom. He lives in Connecticut with his wife and children.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bibliographic information