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

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

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
ISBN:9780062368591
Format Type:

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

  • Will Byrnes

    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 ...

  • Always Pouting

    I feel like this book really exemplifies what I want from a science book written for a mass audience. It made everything really accessible and easy to understand without sacrificing on providing detai...

  • carol.

    For my entire hospital career I have worked in oncology, where I have been part of teams taking care of people with cancer. Frequently patients have “neutropenic fevers,” a condition considered to...

  • Mario the lone bookwolf

    Inner values get, in this context, wholly new, trillion of dimensions.Like so many prejudices, those against microorganisms are stupid and shortsighted. The first associations are not symbiosis and be...

  • Jeffrey Keeten

    ”The latest estimates suggest that we have around 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion microbial ones – a roughly even split. Even these numbers are inexact, but that does not really matter: by...

  • Jamie

    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...

  • David

    This is a fascinating book about the microbes inside all of us, and inside other animals as well. Now, it is often said that there are ten times as many bacteria in our bodies as there are cells. This...

  • .?**???SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)?**???

    I am Legion. So, apparently human beings (and all beings in general) are just bags of bacteria and other microorganisms, and these fascinating fellas have always dominated the Earth, from the birth of...

  • Barbara

    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

    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...