From Kirkus Reviews, on science writer Ed Yong’s new book, I contain multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life:
Prepare to meet some weird animals and weirder microbes, as Yong guides us through the animal kingdom to explain how microbes facilitate digestion, reproduction, and other functions integral to the survival of a species. In humans, microbes have been shown to regulate inflammation, an immune response linked to dozens of chronic conditions. In fact, in the absence of symbiotic microbes, life as we know it would quickly collapse—and yet it was only recently that microbes were understood to be more than disease-carrying bugs and more recently still that scientists have begun to understand their potential medicinal power. The author excels at objectively navigating the large body of research related to the microbiome without overselling its curative potential or sacrificing any of the deliciously icky details, and he delivers some of the finest science writing out there in language that will appeal to a wide audience.
An exceptionally informative, beautifully written book that will profoundly shift one’s sense of self to that of symbiotic multitudes. More.
Not really. Every multicellular being is in one sense a symbiotic multitude. But the microbes are, at best, employees. Doubtless a good book though.
See also: Symbiosis: Cells hiring functions they can’t do
Symbiosis of life forms almost hilariously complicated
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