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Living in a microbial world is a textbook written for students taking a general microbiology or microbiology-themed course. It teaches the essential concepts of microbiology through practical examples and a conversational writing style intended to make the material accessible to a wide audience. In order to make the science relevant to students, every chapter of the book contains a series of cases intended to motivate learning the microbiology concepts. The cases present microbiology in the news, in history, in literature, and in scenarios of everyday life. Each case ends with several questions intended to pique student interest, and those questions are answered in the next section of the chapter. By clearly and succinctly explaining the fundamentals of microbiology through practical examples, the book provides a scientific framework through which students can understand critical issues about microorganisms and disease that they will encounter throughout their lives. They will learn the role that microorganisms play not only in our health but also in ecosystem processes, our diet, industrial production, and human history. Topics that we hear about every day, from global warming to energy independence to bioterrorism, all have a microbial angle. This text is designed to provide the reader with the background needed to understand and discuss such topics with a genuine understanding rooted in science.

THE AUTHOR Bruce V. Hofkin received his Ph.D. from the University of New Mexico where he is currently a faculty member in the Department of Biology. His primary research interest is the epidemiology of vector-borne diseases. Garland June 2010 496 pages l 413 illustrations Paperback l 978-0-8153-4175-8 £40.00




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Student and Instructor Resou

The following supplements are available for students an

The Art of Living in a Microbial World The imag formats: PowerPoint® and JPEG. The PowerPoint slides ca

Microbiology Movies Short movies have been deve of chapters, with a special emphasis on molecular genet voiceover narration, and the text of the narration is avail

Student Quizzes Short online quizzes for each chapte Flashcards Online flashcards test mastery of the key

Glossary The glossary at the end of the book can be se

“ The key strengths of this text are the overall ‘readability’ and interesting stories/facts sprinkled throughout. I think it’s also a strength that the text doesn’t cater to a particular concentration of students but truly presents a broad overview of microbiology as a whole.” Linda Bruslind, Oregon State University, USA

Key Features

Table of Contents

The conversational writing style of Living in a Microbial World makes the text accessible and enjoyable.

Visit to view sample chapters.



The art work is conceptual and appealing.

Cases are integrated throughout the text to connect the science to the social world. l

Concept Questions are provided at the end of each chapter to help students think carefully about what they have learned and apply that knowledge to new situations. l

The text is streamlined to 16 chapters, and is ideal for a one-semester course.

1. Living in a Microbial World 2. The Chemistry of Life 3. The Cell: Where Life Begins 4. A Field Guide to the Microorganisms 5. The Microbiology of History and the History of Microbiology 6. Microbial Genetics


7. Metabolism and Growth


8. Microbial Evolution: The Origin and Diversity of Life

Fundamental topics, such as the Central Dogma and metabolism, have special introductory sections and figures to provide context to the molecular details of these processes.

An entire chapter is devoted to microbial evolution, and evolutionary concepts are reinforced throughout the text. l


The immunology chapter is unique to this book, and offers a conceptual overview of the immune response, explained through a series of cases that explore what happens to different passengers exposed to the same pathogen on an airplane.

9. An Ecologist’s Guide to Microbiology 10. The Nature of Disease: A Pathogen’s Perspective 11. Host Defense 12. Control of Microbial Growth 13. Epidemiology: Who, What, When, Where, and Why? 14. The Future Is Here: Microorganisms and Biotechnology 15. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Microorganisms and Food 16. Better Living With Microorganisms: Industrial and Applied Microbiology


Textbooks of Related Interest

nd instructors. They can be accessed at

ges and tables from the book come in two convenient an be customized for lectures.

eloped to complement material in a select number tics, virology, and immunology. Each movie has a lable for download.

er test basic reading comprehension. terms listed at the end of each chapter.

earched and browsed online.



Living in a Microbial World