From the Back Cover
“InAllies and Enemies, Anne Maczulak takes the mystery out of bacteria. Practical, useful, and very readable, Maczulak demystifies the world of bacteria and viruses. A fascinating book on an important subject. Highly recommended.”
--Sheldon Siegel, author of The New York Times best-sellingJudgment Day
“No nucleus? No problem! As a microbiologist, Anne Maczulak deeply appreciates the astonishing abilities of the ultra-simple organisms that rule our world and help operate our bodies. As a writer, she inspires her readers to want to know more about their secret realm. Allies and Enemies is both fun and practical as it interweaves science with history and popular culture.”
--Jessica Snyder Sachs, author ofGood Germs, Bad Germs: Health and Survival in a Bacterial World
“Anne Maczulak engagingly achieves the often difficult task to present the scope of modern microbiology in a nontechnical manner for general reading.Allies and Enemiescovers the scope of the microbial world, from the continuing battle against microbe enemies who never give up the fight to the frontiers of how microbes create a livable environment for us. For those whose interest is perked for more about microbes, an excellent list of references and websites is provided.”
--Charles P. Gerba(also known as “Dr. Germ”), University of Arizona, Tucson
“Anne Maczulak has done a masterful job of explaining the complex nuances of microbes in simple, easy-to-understand language. She explains the ‘yin and yang' of the diverse microbial world with text that is rich with numerous historical vignettes. She takes the reader on a whirlwind tour of the benefits of microbes to human existence, describing their finely articulated chemical mechanisms, their intricate dances of cooperation, their lightning speed adaptations, and their genetic plasticity, offering a glimpse of the underlying principles of the miracle of life.”
--Philip M. Tierno Jr., Ph.D., Director, Clinical Microbiology and Immunology, New York University Langone Medical Center and New York University School of Medicine
Bacteria: How they keep you alive. How they can kill you. How we can all live together happily.
Bacteria are invisible, mysterious, deadly, self-sufficient…and absolutely essential for all life, includingyours. No other living things combine their elegant simplicity with their incredibly complex role: Bacteria keep us alive, supply our food, and regulate our biosphere. We can't live a day without them, and no chemical, antibiotic, or irradiation has ever successfully eradicated them. They're our partners, like it or not--even though some of them will happily kill us.
Allies and Enemiestells the story of this amazing, intimate partnership. Authored by Anne Maczulak, a microbiologist who's hunted and worked with an extraordinary array of bacteria, this book offers a powerful new perspective on Earth's oldest creatures. You'll discover how bacteria work, how they evolve, their surprising contributions and uses, the roles they've played in human history, and why you can't survive without them. No form of life is more important, and in Maczulak's hands, none is more fascinating.
Outlasted, outnumbered, outsmarted
They've been here four billion years--and they even outnumber youin your own body
How bacteria keep you alive…
…and how to keep them from killing you
“Humans Defeat Germs!”
But not for long…
The Invisible Universe
The stunning hidden relationships between bacteria and the rest of nature