Joining the ranks of popular science classics like The Botany of Desire and The Selfish Gene, a groundbreaking, wondrously informative, and vastly entertaining examination of the most significant revolution in biology since Darwin—a “microbe’s-eye view” of the world that reveals a marvelous, radically reconceived picture of life on earth.
Every animal, whether human, squid, or wasp, is home to millions of bacteria and other microbes. Ed Yong, whose humor is as evident as his erudition, prompts us to look at ourselves and our animal companions in a new light—less as individuals and more as the interconnected, interdependent multitudes we assuredly are.
The microbes in our bodies are part of our immune systems and protect us from disease. In the deep oceans, mysterious creatures without mouths or guts depend on microbes for all their energy. Bacteria provide squid with invisibility cloaks, help beetles to bring down forests, and allow worms to cause diseases that afflict millions of people.
Many people think of microbes as germs to be eradicated, but those that live with us—the microbiome—build our bodies, protect our health, shape our identities, and grant us incredible abilities. In this astonishing book, Ed Yong takes us on a grand tour through our microbial partners, and introduces us to the scientists on the front lines of discovery. It will change both our view of nature and our sense of where we belong in it.
For centuries, the human heart seemed beyond our understanding: an inscrutable shuddering mass that was somehow the driver of emotion and the seat of the soul. As cardiologist and bestselling author Sandeep Jauhar shows in The Heart, it was only recently that we demolished age-old taboos and devised the transformative procedures that changed the way we live.
Deftly alternating between historical episodes and his own work, Jauhar tells the colorful and little known story of the doctors who risked their careers and the patients who risked their lives to know and heal our most vital organ, braiding those tales of discovery, hubris, and sorrow with moving accounts of the patients he's treated over the years. He also confronts the limits of medical technology, boldly arguing that future progress will depend more on how we choose to live than on the devices we invent.
Affecting and engaging, The Heart takes the full measure of the only organ that can move itself.