978-0-7167-4504-4 / 0716745046

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About the book:

Microbes - tiny, unseen bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa - pervade every aspect of human society and of the natural world. They provide all of our daily food; they were the original source of the world's abundant oil supplies; their presence in soil is essential to the existence of life itself. They also cause horrendous epidemics, from the plague and smallpox of past centuries to the continuing pandemics of cholera and today's growing AIDS crisis. Microbes have vanquished armies swinging great military campaigns even more effectively than the strategies of generals or the machinations of politicians; they now provide life-saving antibiotics and other benefits of modern biotechnology. Power Unseen portrays the many, diverse and often unexpected activities of microbes through a series of 75 vignettes, each focusing on one particular organism and its characteristic behaviour. Here, then, is a portrait gallery illustrating microbial life in its astonishing diversity. Microbes have influenced history and they are helping to shape our future. They are still springing surprises, and they continue to threaten us; yet we could not exist without them. In this fascinating and entertaining book, Bernard Dixon leaves the reader in no doubt that microbes, not macrobes, rule the world.

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