A "Whoa…" Review of Microcosm

MicrocosmMy latest book, Microcosm, is about what it means to be alive, as seen from the point of view of E. coli. So it was a jolt to the system to discover that the guy who basically wrote the book on E. coli has just reviewed it for the American Society for Microbiology’s journal, Microbe. Frederick Neidhardt of the University of Michigan is the editor-in-chief of Escherichia coli and Salmonella: Cellular and Molecular Biology. I relied on this 2898-page tome a lot while I worked on Microcosm, lugging the two volumes off the shelf at the Yale med school library and dropping them with a crash on my table. In recent years the book has transcended its papery bonds and metamorphosed into a collossal, ever-updated web site with essays from experts on the latest developments in the field. I felt a bit like I had come to a county fair with an apple pie and discovered that Julia Child would be the judge.

The verdict? “Tour-de-force.”


6 thoughts on “A "Whoa…" Review of Microcosm

  1. Who hears the archaebacteria when they cry? Prokaryote Rights! We demand forced hiring of C20 and C40 isopranyl glycerol ether cell membranes that shall not constitute a basis for discrimination. Phytane is beautiful! Caldarchaeol Rights!

    Pyrococcus furiosus for President.

  2. Oi, my eye! Ann Coulter is on the bannar ad! Oh whew, she’s gone. Sorry about that.

    Congrats on the good review. I thought Microcosm was great, but I’m in no position to judge accuracy. Nice to hear Frederick Neidhardt passed it with flying colors. As one with very little formal bio training, I found the book facinating and very informative. I felt the depth of information was perfect for me, and inspired continued interest in biology.

  3. The information was incredibly accurate. Everything I teach at the university (cell biology, histology, stem cells and tissue engineering) requires that I know this background information thoroughly. What I liked best was that the pace of the book was relatively quick in the beginning as he was going through practically the entire history of using E.coli as a model to make strides in the field we now call molecular biology. I then felt it slow down as we come to the more modern studies and crescendos as he discusses the future of synthetic biology.
    There is no greater praise than to know that you portrayed the information accurately and stylishly as well. Carl should be riding high on this praise, well earned, indeed

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