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Invisible allies : microbes that shape our lives

Author: Jeanette Farrell
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, ©2005.
Edition/Format:   Book : Elementary and junior high school : English : 1st edView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Usually, microbes are equated with disease, but in fact most microbes are actually our allies. Learn how the microbes that are everywhere around us help us to survive every day. 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  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Juvenile works
Juvenile literature
Material Type: Elementary and junior high school
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Jeanette Farrell
ISBN: 0374336083 9780374336080
OCLC Number: 55729860
Awards: American Library Association Young Adult Library Services Association--YALSA--Best Books for Young Adults (2006); American Library Association-YA (2006); Horn Book Fanfare List (2006); Booklist Starred Review (2005); School Library Journal Starred Review (2005); The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Nonfiction Book Award (2005); Junior Library Guild Selection.
Description: 165 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Microbes at the table --
Our daily bread --
Food of the gods --
Microbes are us --
Rot away --
Glossary --
Notes and bibliography --
Illustration credits --
Index.
Responsibility: Jeanette Farrell.
More information:

Abstract:

Usually, microbes are equated with disease, but in fact most microbes are actually our allies. Learn how the microbes that are everywhere around us help us to survive every day. 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 without them. To emphasize their amazing ubiquity, Jeanette Farrell considers the invisible bugs essential to an everyday event: the eating of a light lunch consisting of a cheese sandwich and a chocolate bar. Microbes create such a lunch, digest it, and, through the alchemy of decomposition, transform it so that the cycle can start all over again. In the course of her eye-opening narrative, Dr. Farrell relates the historical significance of using microbes to preserve foods, our long-standing ambivalence about the microbes that live on and in us, and our growing understanding of their importance.

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