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Academic & Professional Books  Organismal to Molecular Biology  Microbiology

In the Company of Microbes Ten Years of Small Things Considered

Popular Science
By: Elio Schaechter(Author), Judith Schaechter(Illustrator)
In the Company of Microbes
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  • In the Company of Microbes ISBN: 9781555819590 Paperback May 2016 Usually dispatched within 6 days
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

With more than 1,000 posts and 2 million views, the esteemed blog Small Things Considered has been sparking the imagination of microbiologists for an entire decade. Throughout the years, Elio Schaechter and his team of dedicated bloggers have shared exciting, unexpected, and unusual stories from the microbial world.

In the Company of Microbes is a carefully selected treasure chest of wise, amusing, and even profound statements about the ubiquity and relevance of the microbial world. Schaechter, past ASM Presidents, and distinguished microbiologists from around the globe reflect on personal, sometimes historic interactions with microbes and unexpected discoveries, each essay conveying the excitement and sense of surprise that microbiology holds for them. This is the reason that Small Things Considered is a scientific and social media phenomenon that has impacted scientists at every stage of their careers and shared the magical of microbes with world.

Join Schaechter in discovering a never-ending pageant of astounding variations on the theme of microbial life.


Contributors   x
Introduction   xi
Preface   xiii
Acknowledgments   xv
What Do We Mean by a Talmudic Question?   xvi

Part 1: The View from Here
1 Of Ancient Curses, Microbes, and the ASM... 3 Bonnie L. Bassler
2 On the Evolution of the Genetic Code... 6 Charles Yanofsky
3 Microbes Touch Everything... 8 Tim Donohue
4 Getting a Handle on Cell Organization ... 11 Franklin M. Harold
5 The Age of Imaging... 16 Elio
6 Bacillus subtilis: Wild and Tame... 19 Richard Losick
7 The Tyranny of Phylogeny: An Exhortation... 22 Elio
8 Virus in the Room... 24 Welkin Johnson
9 Feynman Said "Just Look at the Thing!"... 27 Jan Spitzer
10 Self-Assembly For Me... 34 Elio
11 On the Definition of Prokaryotes... 37 Nanne Nanninga
12 The Microbial Nature of Humans... 42 Maureen O'Malley
13 Good Writing Beats Bad Writing, Most Any Day ... 47 Elio
14 Finally, Farewell to "Stamp Collecting"... 52 Christoph Weigel

Part 2: Accounts of the Past
15 Esther Lederberg: Pioneer of Bacterial Genetics ... 59 Merce Piqueras
16 How Proteomics Got Started ... 66 Fred Neidhardt
17 Did van Leeuwenhoek Observe Yeast Cells in 1680? ... 72 Nanne Nanninga
18 The Louse and the Vaccine ... 76 Elio
19 The Ten-Minute Leeuwenhoek Microscope ... 80 Patrick Keeling
20 Microbiology in the Andes: Ancient and Unexpected ... 84 Elio
21 Dr. Rous's Prize-Winning Chicken ... 87 Welkin Johnson
22 The Two Quantitative Steps in the Biology Growth Curve ... 90 Elio
23 A Tale of Centenarians ... 93 Claudio Schazzocchio
24 A Failed Experiment ... 99 Elio
25 "Microbe Hunters" by Paul DeKruif: A Major Force in Microbiological History ...104 Elio
26 Fecal Transplants in the "Good Old Days" ...106 Stanley Falkow
27 Requiem for a Machine ... 110 Elio
28 Mad Dogs and Microbiologists ... 113 William C. Summers
29 Joshua Lederberg and the "Cellularity" of Bacteria ... 118 Elio

Part 3: Small Wonders
30 Where Art Thou, O Nucleoid? ... 123 Conrad Woldringh
31 Teaching E. coli to Endocytose ... 126 Elio
32 The Awesomest Thing in Biology ... 130 Elio
33 Let's Not Forget Acetabularia ... 134 Elio
34 The Fastest Flights in Nature... 139 Elio
35 Fungal Alchemy: Using Radiation as a Source of Energy...141 Elio
36 Arms and the Fungus... 143 Elio
37 Bacterial Hopanoids: The Lipids That Last Forever... 146 Elio
38 A Bacterium Learns Long Division... 150 Nanne Nanninga
39 Commuting to Work... 153 Elio

Part 4: On Being a Microbiologist
40 Directed Science, Curiosity-Driven Science, and Striking the Balance... 159 Jeff F. Miller
41 The Gender Bias of Science Faculty... 163 Vincent Racaniello
42 The Excitement of Clinical Microbiology... 166 Elio
43 The Bacterial Chromosome: A Physical Biologist's Apology. A Perspective...171 Suckjoon Jun
44 Whose Planet Is It Anyway?... 177 Elio
45 If Microbes Could Tweet...181 Daniel P. Haeusser
46 State Microbes... 183 Elio
47 Recalling the Good in the Good Old Days ... 187 Elio
48 The Attendee's Guide to Scientific Meetings... 189 Julian Davies

Part 5: Personal Notes
49 The Encyclopedia and I... 195 Elio
50 The Guild... 198 Elio
51 The Magasanik Paradox... 200 Elio

Part 6: The Ways of Microbes
52 The Parvome... 205 Julian Davies
53 The World Is Pleiotropic... 208 Elio
54 Constructing a Synthetic Mycoplasma... 211 Shmuel Razin
55 By Chance and Necessity:The Role of the Cytoskeleton in the Genesis of Eukaryotes...214 Daniel P. Haeusser
56 The Gram Stain: Its Persistence and Its Quirks...221 Elio
57 On the Continuity of Biological Membranes... 226 Franklin M. Harold
58 Energetics of the Eukaryotic Edge... 223 Franklin M. Harold
59 The Road to Microbial Endocrinology ... 238 Mark Lyte
60 Begetting the Eukarya: An Unexpected Light... 244 Franklin M. Harold
61 The Higgs Boson and Biology... 253 Elio
62 The Power of Fungal Genetics: Cassava for Food Security and Sustainability in Colombia... 257 Chris Condaya Peter Geoghan
63 Why Is It So Hard to Make an HIV Vaccine?... 259 John Coffin
64 Measuring Up... 263 Jamie Henzy

Part 7: Teaching Things
65 On Teaching ... 267 Stanley Falkow
66 Hello Again, Metabolism!...271 Amy Cheng Vollmer
67 Why Medical Microbiology Is Not Like Stamp Collecting... 273 Elio
68 Where Mathematicians and Biologists Meet... 278 Joe Mahaffy
69 Short Courses for Long-Term Learning... 282 Phoebe Lostroh
70 Preaching to a Prokaryotic Choir... 284 Mark Martin
71 "The Great Plate Count Anomaly" That Is No More 288 Gemma Reguera

Talmudic Question #73   291
List of Contributors to Small Things Considered   292

Customer Reviews

Popular Science
By: Elio Schaechter(Author), Judith Schaechter(Illustrator)
Media reviews

"Since Elio Schaechter's blog, Small Things Considered, first appeared 10 years ago, I have looked forward to each edition. I have read, smiled, laughed, and always learned something new about the microbial world. Elio's style is uniquely engaging and makes microbiology come alive. This new book, In the Company of Microbes, captures all the best of Elio's magic. It is a must-read for students of microbiology of any age."
– Lynn W. Enquist, Henry L. Hillman Professor in Molecular Biology and Professor in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, Princeton University

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