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Allies and Enemies: How the World Depends on Bacteria

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  143 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
Bacteria are invisible, mysterious, deadly, self-sufficient…and absolutely essential for all life, including yours. 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 successfull ...more
Kindle Edition, 210 pages
Published (first published June 30th 2010)
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Aug 31, 2010 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book PhD microbiologist Anne Maczulak presents an overview of the bacterial enemies and bacterial allies of humans. On the enemies side we read about well-known and a few lesser known bacterial pathogens, as well as about how they are spread among humans. We hear a little about historical cases, such as Typhoid Mary, and more recent topics, including the use of Anthrax spores as a terrorist weapon and why it is both effective and non-effective. On the allies side, Maczulak describes the ...more

Personally, I find science books fascinating, but I know that many don't. They often lead to deep musings on the nature of the universe.....  Oh, sorry, I was musing there for a second.

Well, if you are feeling scientific, it's a good discount from the usual price of twenty dollars, anyway. Get it here. Or there. Or anywhere. :-)
Jan 07, 2011 Kristen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2011
got halfway through it - started to read more like a textbook than non-fiction and i lost interest. subject matter is really intriguing but starts to get too boring. not saying i won't return to it though!
May 13, 2011 Patti rated it it was ok
The middle chapters were interesting. The end was dry and I ended up skimming it.
Somewhat informative, but didn't find the organization or writing very engaging. At times, it read like an introductory chapter to microbiology textbooks.
Kerem Cankocak
Apr 05, 2016 Kerem Cankocak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anne, anaerobik bakterileri (oksijenle temas ettiğinde yaşayamayan mikroplar) geliştiren yetiştiren Hungate yöntemiyle eğitilmiş az sayıda mikrobiyologtan biridir. Endüstride Fortune 500 şirketlerinin mikrobiyoloji laboratuvarlarında çalıştı, kepek önleyici şampuanlar, deodorantlar, su arıtıcılar, lavabo açıcılar, lağım çukuru temizleyiciler ve dezenfektanlar geliştirdi; tüm bu ürünler mikrop dünyasıyla ilişkilidir. California- Üniversitesi'nde/San Francisco yara iyileştiren tedaviler, mikrop öl ...more
Jul 11, 2014 J.S. rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-nature, vine
Television commercials constantly inform us that bacteria are everywhere, and if we buy whatever product is being advertised we (and our families - especially our children!) can be protected from 99% of them. The problem is that often we don't need protection from most of the bacteria being destroyed. In fact, our bodies are covered in bacteria - inside and out - and they're generally more helpful than harmful. And if you've paid attention to news stories you'll probably already know that scient ...more
Lis Carey
Most of us mainly know about the bacteria that are bad for us--with good reason. Harmful bacteria can be very harmful indeed, so it's natural that they capture most of our attention.

And that's too bad, because harmful bacteria are a tiny minority, and many of the remainder aren't just harmless. They're vital to such basic functions as digesting our food. They play essential roles in making Earth habitable. The earliest bacteria played a crucial role in creating the free oxygen that made life as
Taylor Ellwood
Aug 07, 2016 Taylor Ellwood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This was a fascinating book about bacteria, in the world, in the bodies of humans and animal,s and just in general. What I like about the book is that the author does a lot to explain how the world relies on bacteria. When you read the book you learn about how bacteria can be harmful, but also how it can be helpful and also how we set up some of the problems we experience with bacteria. If you want to learn more about bacteria, the author also includes some additional resources. I found this boo ...more
Jul 03, 2013 Rachel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, a, female-author
Im not a scientist but I found this book interesting, easy to read and understand. I particularily enjoyed the section about how bacteria has influenced the arts, especially in the style and content of paintings around the time of the black death, and the use of bacteria to clean up images - but also how bacteria is destroying some pieces of art. Bacteria is often percieved in a negative light so was interesting to see an arguement towards the opposite.

The case studies further helped visual bact
Jan 29, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book for introducing people to the science of bacteria. Maczulak did a great job of catering to those interested in the topic but who may not have a background in microbiology. I would recommend germaphobes read this book to understand why bacteria are so important. She doesn't gloss over the fact that bacteria can also be dangerous but she does make some excellent points about how necessary bacteria are to humans and the world as a whole.
Edy Gies
May 11, 2011 Edy Gies rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
There we several things I found interesting, but over all the interest level for this book was very low. The author is very detailed in her analysis of bacteria and presents an excellent case for the importance for bacteria. Unfortunately, due to my lack of scientific terms and general knowledge much of the details of this book was lost on me. Overall, I thought it was interesting, but not something I could strongly recommend.
Dee Renee  Chesnut
Jun 15, 2012 Dee Renee Chesnut rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks, 2015
This book was free when I downloaded it to my Nook library on June 15, 2012.
Maczulak writes so this subject holds the attention for a general interest reader. I learned a lot of information that has occurred since I studied microbiology 42 years ago such as DNA can be used to identify the source of a bacterial contaminant and rule out others.
I recommend it to readers of non-fiction with an interest in this area. Others may struggle with the names assigned to the bacteria.
Apr 21, 2011 Erika rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book, Maczulak delves into topics relating to both the history and future of microbiology, including the role of bacteria in the environment, bacteria in human history, the development of antibiotics, bacteria in popular culture, genetic engineering of microbes, bacteria in the ecosystem, and bacteria, fuel and climate change.
Dec 23, 2010 Donna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, read-in-2010
A really interesting book about the world of bacteria. I always remember a quote (from Stephen Jay Gould, I believe) that though we may talk about the Age of Fishes or the Age of Reptiles or the Age of Mammals, it has always been and continues to be, the Age of Bacteria. This book is a very easy read. It was disappointingly short though,as almost half the book is appendices.
Mar 27, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it
Shelves: science
Great introduction to the idea that microbes are everywhere, and that is generally a good thing.
I liked the historical parts best, probably because I'm pretty familiar with the other. Shorter than I thought. 40% of the kindle book is recommended bibliography, endnotes, and an index. This made the end of the book come rather abruptly.
Jul 14, 2012 Paola rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop-science
Enjoyable book on bacteria dn the world around us. Precise but not textbook-like, it is informative and enjoyable, though again it is a pop-science book, so if you are looking for an academic take on the subject, this is not the book for you.

Very suitable for young adults.
Feb 07, 2011 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, kindle
The writing is very flat - it reads like a high-school textbook -- but the information here is so interesting that I didn't care.
Emily Wood
really a 3.5, good overview of the applications for bacteria
Feb 25, 2016 Lotte rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I normally find reading about bacteria interesting, but in my opinion this book was to technical about the subject, to me it was a bit boring.
Oct 12, 2012 Cerian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had a hard time following Anne's train of thought.
Dec 27, 2010 Lindsay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, z2010, kindle
Very interesting book on bacteria, their variety and the roles they play in our lives.
May 17, 2014 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very cool book about the different ways bacteria can and are being used in various industries
Jan 24, 2012 Jack rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book explaining the ubiquity of bacteria and their essential role in the world.
Destination Solution
Destination Solution rated it it was amazing
Mar 28, 2014
Eric rated it really liked it
May 12, 2012
Henry de Malmanche
Henry de Malmanche rated it it was ok
Feb 01, 2015
Daniel P. Dissett
Daniel P. Dissett rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2015
Maria rated it really liked it
Nov 16, 2016
Yasmeen rated it it was amazing
May 12, 2016
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“The enzyme lysozyme in tears and saliva kills bacteria, and skin oils contain fatty acids that inhibit gram-positive bacteria. If those defenses fail, the immune system sets in motion a hierarchy of defenses meant to find and destroy any foreign matter in the bloodstream. Dental” 0 likes
“Skin bacteria in these places degrade the sweat’s sebaceous oils to a mixture of small fatty acids and nitrogen- and sulfur-containing compounds, all of which vaporize into the air to cause body odor. Some” 0 likes
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