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The invisible kingdom - Idan Ben-Barak

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The invisible kingdom - from the tips of our fingers to the tops of our trash, inside the curious world of microbes
Idan Ben-Barak
Basic Books
UK Publication Date

With the wit of Bill Bryson and the spirit of Natalie Angier, Idan Ben- Barak takes us on a fantastic voyage into the infinitesimal world of microbiology. In The Invisible Kingdom, he introduces us to the amazing lives and workings of genes, proteins, bacteria, and viruses, and the ways in which they interact to shape life on Earth. Exploring everything from radioactive waste and insect sex-change operations to the inner workings of antibiotics, Ben-Barak reveals how important these tiny critters are to all of us. He brings this largely unseen world to life with refreshing analogies and metaphors: cells "pop like bubbles" and bacteria "dream of rain." On the journey, we learn about the teamwork required to rot human teeth, the origins of diseases, what really goes on inside cow stomachs, and the ways in which microbes benefit human life. An infectious and informative scientific exploration, The Invisible Kingdom will change the way we see the world around us.

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Idan Ben-Barak holds degrees in medical science and microbiology from the Hadassah School of Medicine at the University of Jerusalem. His writing has been featured in New Scientist. He lives in Melbourne, Australia. The Invisible Kingdom is his first book.

"Fun facts are one attraction of Ben-Barak's work, another is the importance the author accords to what microbes do to us. Perhaps readers will become furious hand washers after learning about the culpability of viruses and bacteria in diseases; perhaps they'll be inspired by the possibilities of enlisting them to kill cancer or clean up pollution; certainly, they'll be better informed by Ben-Barak's entertaining approach."

"…dotted with pub-worthy facts (two to four pounds of human body weight is made up of microbes) and playful footnotes that make for an accessible and amusing look at the hidden world of ubiquitous microscopic creatures like bacteria, archaea, protists, and viruses. Woven into the humor is a bona fide crash course in parasitology, microbiology, and gene transfer…"

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Wonderfully informative and entertaining, Ben-Barak's latest is a brilliant read for both general readers and science buffs."
"I enjoyed this lighthearted insider's guide to germs… I'd love to shrink down to microscopic size to see some of the odd lifeforms described in this book."

Keyword Index
Microbiology - Popular works.
Country of Publication
New York (State)
Number of Pages

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