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Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  54 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Mmm-mmm, microbes!

Although we are accustomed to equating the presence of microbes with disease, in fact most microbes play a vital "friendly" role in shaping our lives. It is not just that one hundred million microbes can populate a thimbleful of fertile soil, or that many millions live happily in as much of our saliva. Microbes are everywhere, and we could not survive wit
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published April 12th 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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McKenna B
Nov 23, 2015 McKenna B rated it liked it

Farrell, J, Invisible Allies
Published in April 12th 2005 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Invisible Allies is split into five main chapters. "Bacteria at the Table" is talked about a summary of the history of cheese and cheese production. I didn’t know this that there are scientists who are "cheese microbiologists" who study just how cheese is made by the bacteria. "As an expert on cheese microbiology once said, looking for the activity of a particular bacteria in a cheese is a bit like looking for
Jack Dewald
Nov 21, 2013 Jack Dewald rated it liked it
Invisible Allies by Jeanette Farrell is an informative book about how microbes are required for humans and other organisms to survive. This book also tells about how microbes help make everyday foods.
Jeanette wrote about the near-ancient way of using Penicillium roqueforti, a microbe that aids in the making of blue cheese and the (not so ancient) life saving antibiotic penicillin. Jeanette also discussed the possible ways Egyptians discovered how to use the same microbe that fermented their a
Rashad Peddrew
Oct 02, 2013 Rashad Peddrew is currently reading it
Invisible Allies: Microbes That Shape Our Lives was an interesting read, but at times it got boring. The author was a Doctor and you could tell by the word choice she used. The content of this book gives the reader a historical look at the microbes and how the microbes has been discovered by accident by the ancients and discovered and studied by modern scientists. Dr. Farrell talks about Aztecs, the Egyptians, and she even gives details about Europe as she goes through her lessons on microbes. S ...more
Aug 01, 2014 Tracy rated it really liked it
Shelves: school-related
Basic information about the microbial role and discovery of microbes in cheese, bread, chocolate, human life, and decay. Makes me want to go on that tour of the water treatment plant even more!
Aug 01, 2016 Nsc rated it it was amazing
Love it
Martha Grover
Oct 08, 2008 Martha Grover rated it it was amazing
This book was a really quick, fascinating read. The author is a doctor and not a writer- the book is a little clumsy in its use of language, but the author knows how to explain science in a clear, concise way. The book talks about microbes, their discovery and their use in our foods and medicines.
Did you know that there are ten times as many microbes in our bodies as we have cells? Pretty amazing!
Christine Canaria
Jan 28, 2013 Christine Canaria rated it really liked it
Naturally after reading Invisible Enemies and not wanting the book to end, I just had to pick up this book. I'll admit there's a macabre appeal to the microbes that kill, but when it comes to the ones that make the awesome stuff we eat, learning how we harnessed useful bacteria is just as interesting.
Sandra Strange
A good companion to her other book--Though the book about the role of bacteria and fungi in our food, our gut and in rotting everything dead is classified young adult, it provides fun, interesting reading for all. Clear, entertaining, informative, the book is a great addition to a nonfiction library.
Madison Pacheco
Mar 28, 2011 Madison Pacheco rated it did not like it
Ugh, I had to read this book in a day, because in 5th grade, I didn't know that "autobiography" wasn't nonfiction. Positively boring in my opinion. Of course, when I read it, I didn't really know what was going on, but I'm not planning on reading it in the near future.
Jun 08, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it
An enjoyable short read. Pretty basic material here, it was in the childrens section in my library after all, but entertaining and informative enough for a good read.
Dec 18, 2007 Kristen rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, nonfiction
I read this for nonfiction book talks. There were parts that were mildly interesting, but I really don't like science very much.
Jul 13, 2009 Paige rated it it was amazing
Shelves: informational
A wonderful book about many of the helpful bacteria that we depend on.
Mar 03, 2016 Linnae rated it really liked it
Microbes are pretty cool! Just don't think about it too much...
Jun 12, 2008 Rose added it
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