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1. Introductory Mycology
$26.37 $26.32 list($39.95)
2. Mushrooms Demystified: A Comprehensive
$396.00
3. Bergey's Manual of Systematic
$13.57 $13.52 list($19.95)
4. Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime
$109.00 $83.37
5. Bergey's Manual of Systematic
$17.16 $16.00 list($26.00)
6. A Field Guide to Bacteria
$17.50 $15.95 list($25.00)
7. The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat
$89.95 $85.45
8. Fungal Physiology (Wiley Science
$20.40 $13.90 list($24.00)
9. The Probiotic Solution: Nature's
$25.00 $2.24
10. Plague: A Story of Rivalry, Science,
$95.00 $93.80
11. The Ecology of Cyanobacteria -
$139.95 $129.06
12. Color Atlas of Medical Bacteriology
$109.50 $105.00
13. Mycobacteria Protocols
$149.95
14. Bacillus Subtilis and Its Closest
$119.95
15. Molecular Genetics of Mycobacteria
$10.50 $4.85 list($14.00)
16. The Secret Life of Germs : What
$101.36 $95.00 list($129.95)
17. Cell Wall Deficient Forms: Stealth
$99.95 $74.24
18. Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
$30.00 $28.40 list($50.00)
19. Human (Dk Smithsonian Institution)
list($70.76)
20. Heath Life Science: The Challenge

1. Introductory Mycology
by C. J.Alexopoulos, Charles W.Mims, M.Blackwell
list price: $110.95
our price: $110.95
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Asin: 0471522295
Catlog: Book (1996-01-15)
Publisher: Wiley
Sales Rank: 243388
Average Customer Review: 4.33 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Revised and updated in accordance with modern taxonomic proposals, this edition offers a well-documented, logical and clear explanation of the structure and classification of fungi along with an introduction to physiological, biochemical, genetic and ecological data. The taxonomic approach provides a framework with predictive value. Therefore, the discussions of the numerous activities of fungi that directly or indirectly impact other living things, including humans, are discussed in the context of their close relatives. Contains scores of illustrations, life cycle drawings, tables and new photographs. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent reference text for fungi
The text is a good introduction to fungi with several excellent black and white pictures and illustrations. The text also contains an extensive glossary of mycological terms. However, as other reviewers have indicated, the text appears to be written for people with at least a general biology background. As a microbiologist, I find this book to be a perfect reference for fungi.

5-0 out of 5 stars A classic introduction with a focus on plant pathology.
Last month I began browsing my 1962 edition of Introductory Mycology. Lo and behold I read through the whole book over a weekend. This book was our bible for the Mycology 100 course in grad school. I was noticing how good the narrative and drawings were in this classic. The book is not a glitzy tome so common in textbooks today. Each class of fungi is dealt with separately and there are extensive references at the end of each chapter. Of course because of the date of my edition some of the references are dated. However, the basic science here is solid and presented in a pedagogical manner. The chapter on class Basidiomycetes deserves special mention. The basidium development narrative is just superb. If you have an interest in fungi and want to delve deeper into this important living group then get this book. It will serve you well for years to come just as it has done for me.

4-0 out of 5 stars More intermediate than introductory Micology
This textbook is designed and geared towards individuals with already a basic understanding of fungi. Unlike the title, one should be acquinted with basic terminology so that the reading is more instructive and helpful. Once a basic understanding is established, this book can be a great aid when exploring the world of fungi either scientifically or for leisure purposes only. The figures are very useful and the book is well organized and easy to follow. ... Read more


2. Mushrooms Demystified: A Comprehensive Guide to the Fleshy Fungi
by David Arora
list price: $39.95
our price: $26.37
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Asin: 0898151694
Catlog: Book (1986-09-01)
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
Sales Rank: 5473
Average Customer Review: 4.72 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

This is the be-all and end-all of mushroom books! Truly an encyclopedia of mushroom facts and lore, lavishly illustrated with full-color photographs, literally everything you need to know about mushrooms, edible or not. Arora has taught mycology for close to twenty years and has hunted and photographed mushrooms across the North American continent. Threaded through the book are his wry and humorous observations and comments, making what could have been a rather dull, "just-the-facts, ma'am" reference book into a really enjoyable read. The stunning photographs of the incredible variety of fungi are fascinating and eye-opening, and while the author gives clear and factual information, the mysterious allure of mushrooms in their countless shapes, sizes and colors is only increased by this huge and delightful book. --Mark Hetts ... Read more

Reviews (18)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Must Buy for Every Mushroomer
From the beginner to the expert, this book contains enough information to keep both satisfied. It can even make the beginner feel like an expert after a while! It is entertaining, interesting and filled with information that is simply unavailable elsewhere. Often I find myself reading it for the sheer pleasure of learning about mushrooms. It is amazingly comprehensive for a book that is supposed to be from the west coast. I live in the east and I find it incredibly useful. Often other books are incomplete or vague in their descriptions and this one steps in to fill the gaps. If there is one flaw with this book it is the lack of pictures. Often I consult other books to match a mushroom to the picture and get an idea of what it might be. Then this book helps to narrow it down to an exact species and supplies more information than most other books combined. If you are interested in hunting mushrooms then I can see no reason why you should not own this book...END

5-0 out of 5 stars Don't pick without it!!
Not only is this book the most comprehensive and easiest to use guide on the market, it's necessary! *DO NOT* pick wild mushrooms to eat unless you own this book! As a mycologist of 25 years and gourmet cook, I relish wild mushroom dishes, but please: YOU CANNOT IDENTIFY MANY EDIBLE MUSHROOMS BY SIGHT ALONE! Spend the money to get this book and pick safely. I'm so glad it's finally fall, I'm going out to pick a basket of chantrelles for dinner! Yeay!!!!

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Fun and Fancy. Can't be beat, especially for the Pacific Northwest.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest
Mushrooms Demystified is the most useful single book I know of on the subject. The dicotomous keys are a powerful identification tool, and the descriptions are right on target. From beginning concepts such as "What is a fungus?" to technical microscopic details, Mushrooms Demystified is accurate and easy to understand. Humor and wit round out the text which is wonderfully well written. It is not a picture book, but it does have enough pictures to make a positive identification. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the intriguing kingdom of fungi. Im wearing out my second copy.

5-0 out of 5 stars A room with a view!
I must say that a year ago I didnt give a hoot about shrooms! But now the "friendly fungi" adorn my house! I simply can't get enough of the ugly, rubbery little things.
In the past several months, I have managed to make several handy items out of roomies including a hat and several very nice coat buttons. This Christmas, my wife and I plan to decorate our tree with mushrooms and another of our favorites, potatoes! ... Read more


3. Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology: The Archaea and the Deeply Branching and Phototrophic Bacteria (Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology 2nd Edition)
by David R. Boone, George Garrity
list price: $396.00
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Asin: 0387950400
Catlog: Book (2004-09-15)
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Sales Rank: 1073497
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4. Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime Molds
by Steven L. Stephenson, Henry Stempen
list price: $19.95
our price: $13.57
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Asin: 0881924393
Catlog: Book (2000-02-01)
Publisher: Timber Pr
Sales Rank: 167435
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The myxomycetes, or slime molds, are among the most fascinating organisms in the world. This book identifies all the species one is likely to encounter, with extensive information on their structural features, distribution, and ecological associations. Superbly illustrated and with keys, it is an introduction to their biology as well as a field guide ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars As Strange as Any Life from Mars Could be!
The slime molds are generally little noticed, but very strange life forms that could easily fit in a science fiction book. The swarm cells and myxamoebae unite to form first an amoeboid zygote, then the strange, crawling, plasmodium stage, and finally the fungus-like fruiting body. The plasmodia can be (in the case of Fuligo) large yellow pulsating crawling blobs that suddenly appear on people's lawns. Others are less noticeable, but often brightly colored. I have seen one of these plasmodia in my life- a bright pink blob that disappeared into the ground when I raised a rotting log in the Pinaleno Mountains of Arizona. I was certainly startled!

Stephenson and Stempen have written an excellent book on these strange critters in "Myxomycetes: A Handbook of Slime Molds." It fills a gap in the literature on natural history. It is my hope that more people will be able to appreciate these neat organisms through the descriptions, excellent line drawings and well-rendered color plates.

I will disagree with one reviewer's dislike of the describer's name after the scientific name, however. It is there for the convenience of other taxonomist as least as much as the vanity of the describer. If I know that Physarum nutans was described by Persoon it tells me something about where I should look for the original description and may also give me some idea of when the name probably originated. Also Physarum cinereum (Batsch) Persoon tells me that Batsch wrote the original description, but placed the species in a different genus, which was than changed to the present genus by Persoon. Thus such "vain" additions are often important to other workers in the field.

I do agree with the same reviewer that some further discussion of how slime molds are classified might have helped an otherwise excellent book. However, I am also fully aware that the classification is still in flux and no final answers may yet be possible until DNA studies are done (and maybe not even then!).

Read this book if you find the weirdness of the world fascinating! Better still, use it to find and identify slime molds. Good hunting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent - with 3 caveats
Overall I cannot find enough praise for the book. Clearly written, lavishly illustrated with exquisite line-drawings, and even the luxury of coloured plates! My three criticisms below can only be seen in the context of lavish praise which this volume richly deserves.

However...........

1. Chaper 6. Classification. Pages 70-71.

The classification diagram is fine. But it would have been very helpful to mention the class, division and kingdom in which myxomcetes belong. Thus enabling the reader to appreciate the place of Myxomycetes in the tree of all earthly life.

2. Chapter 6. Identification. Pages 72ff.

The novice's efforts to itentify a slime mould would be greatly assisted by taking one step back, before presenting the excellent dichotomous trees. We need an acid test to decide whether what is before our eyes is indeed a slime mould, and not e.g. a lichen, fungus, moss..... It is pointless to apply the dichotomous (how I love that word!) tests to something which is not in fact a slime mould at all!

2. Chapter 6. Descriptions (names). Pages 87ff.

As a matter of passionately held principle I object to the odious practice of adding discoveres' names to the scientific names of species. As the authors will be aware, there are strongs movement to put an end to this appalling habit which -

a. Detracts from the scientific objectivity of the naming scheme, by obtrusive name-dropping. Imagine the ridicule resulting from the spread of this practice to other sciences, where we might well stumble upon the ...

electron (Thompson) Milligan, neutron Chadwick neutrino (Yukawa) Dirac

b. Leads to such ugly and unfelicitous expressions as....

Trichia varia (Persoon) Persoon

.....surely a case of the tail wagging the dog!

c. Adds nothing to the intrinsic nature of the species. Presumably Physarella oblongata would still have existed, exactly as it now is, even if it had never been identified by (Berkley & Curtis) Morgan! Or indeed before any human beings evolved!

To avoid continual irritation I have typ-exed out all mention of discoverers' names in my copy of this otherwise splendid book! ... Read more


5. Bergey's Manual of Systematic Bacteriology Volume 1: The Archaea and the Deeply Branching and Phototrophic Bacteria
by George Garrity
list price: $109.00
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Asin: 0387987711
Catlog: Book (2001-06-15)
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Sales Rank: 223550
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6. A Field Guide to Bacteria
by Betsey Dexter Dyer, Betsey Dyer
list price: $26.00
our price: $17.16
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Asin: 0801488540
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Sales Rank: 46870
Average Customer Review: 4.67 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

"Although most people are aware that bacteria are all around us, few would guess that they produce such distinctive and accessible signs. Whether you’re walking on the beach, visiting a zoo or aquarium, buying groceries, looking for fossils, drinking beer, traipsing through a swamp, or cleaning scum from beneath a dripping outdoor faucet, you’re surrounded by bacterial field marks. You don’t need a laboratory or fancy equipment to find out what kind of bacteria are there—this guide will tell you how."—from the Introduction

Bacteria are an integral aspect of every habitat in which they occur and affect the lives of humans, other animals, and plants in many ways. Too often, we equate "bacterium" with "pathogen" and think of bacteria as things to avoid. In a fascinating guide perfect for naturalists, students, teachers, and tourists alike, Betsey Dexter Dyer lets the reader know that it is possible to observe bacteria with all the senses. Many groups of bacteria can be easily identified in the field (or in the refrigerator) without a microscope.

Written for curious souls of all ages, A Field Guide to Bacteria opens our eyes—and noses and ears—to this hidden (or neglected) world around us. Useful illustrations, including 120 color photographs, accompany Dyer’s lively text throughout. ... Read more

Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars At Last: A Guide to Charismatic Microflora!
Betsey Dexter Dyer has written a book in "A Field Guide to Bacteria" that, once it is opened, you wonder why no one has written before. The premise is so obvious that it seems to have been totally overlooked! Location, visual appearance, activity, smell and other characteristics that do not always require a high-powered microscope can be used to identify bacterial colonies! Fortunately the "wait" for such a book (which, until now, we probably did not even know we needed) has been worth it because Dyer has done an excellent job of writing it! In this book she introduces the reader to the teaming microflora of bacteria of earth in a way that cannot help but increase the number of people who appreciate these invisible true owners of the planet.

The huge bacterial flora is well covered and the author's grasp of the multitudinous habitats where bacteria live and thrive, sometimes under the most extreme conditions, is impressive. Everything from sulfur bacteria, halophytes and causes of desert varnish to internal symbionts and more are covered in fascinating detail. Dyer has opened up a whole new way of looking at the world that give us a more accurate view of the pervasiveness of the tiny. Not all bacteria are out to get us by any means and this book provides a much needed balance to the "killer bacteria" usually featured in popular literature.

A necessary book for amateur and even professional microbiologists, it will also, I think, provide a good read for anyone interested in the natural world as it really is.

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent even for professional microbiologists
While this book is intended for the general public, and is certainly accessible to those without microbiological training, don't pass it up even if you have microbiological training -- in many ways it is a condensed version of Balows' _The Prokaryotes_, and likewise quite useful for reminding oneself what obscure groups of bacteria do "for a living".

Of course, Dyer's book is a lighter, more amusing read than Balows', and chock full of the sort of anecdote that is fun to slip into a lecture -- such as the explanation of Charles Dickens' cryptic reference to a "bad lobster in a dark cellar" in _The Christmas Carol_, and the fact that the oddly named cyanobacterium _Nostoc_ was named by the alchemist Paracelsus!

In addition, I was pleasantly surprised that despite identifying herself on the very first page as a former student of Lynn Margulis, Dyer doesn't try to defend her mentor's continued rejection of the discoveries of molecular phylogeny, but even goes so far as to praise Woese and Sogin by name! It is refreshing to finally see a work of popular science that acknowledges how the pioneers of molecular phylogeny have changed microbiology over the last couple decades.

5-0 out of 5 stars Brilliant concept, great execution, fun book
This fun and informative book starts with the brilliant idea of identifying bacteria by their MACROscopic field marks (colors, smells, effects) rather than by microscope. You would never believe how many bacteria one can identify by "field marks" alone, and readers will be surprised at how much fun the identification and discussion of bacteria can be. The author's execution of the guide -- her excellent and enthusiastic writing style and her choices of which bacteria to discuss -- makes this the rare field guide that one can read from cover to cover. The book discusses everything from bacteria in hot springs to those that make cheese or pickles, to those in animal intestines. There are beautiful (yes, beautiful) color plates, great suggested experiments, and guides to finding different kinds of bacteria. The author makes the subject interesting, funny and captivating -- and she uses exclamation points without irony! All in all an excellent book -- don't be scared off by the title; any nature- or science-lover you know will thoroughly enjoy it. ... Read more


7. The Mold in Dr. Florey's Coat : The Story of the Penicillin Miracle (John MacRae Books)
by Eric Lax
list price: $25.00
our price: $17.50
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Asin: 0805067906
Catlog: Book (2004-04-12)
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Sales Rank: 6355
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

The untold story of the discovery of the first wonder drug, the men who led the way, and how it changed the modern world

The discovery of penicillin in 1928 ushered in a new age in medicine. But it took a team of Oxford scientists headed by Howard Florey and Ernst Chain four more years to develop it as the first antibiotic, and the most important family of drugs in the twentieth century. At once the world was transformed—major bacterial scourges such as blood poisoning and pneumonia, scarlet fever and diphtheria, gonorrhea and syphilis were defeated as penicillin helped to foster not only a medical revolution but a sexual one as well. In his wonderfully engaging book, acclaimed author Eric Lax tells the real story behind the discovery and why it took so long to develop the drug. He reveals the reasons why credit for penicillin was misplaced, and why this astonishing achievement garnered a Nobel Prize but no financial rewards for Alexander Fleming, Florey, and his team.

The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat is the compelling story of the passage of medicine from one era to the next and of the eccentric individuals whose participation in this extraordinary accomplishment has, until now, remained largely unknown.
... Read more

Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Fountain of Information in a Pot-Boiler of a Story
This book covers more than twenty-five years of the quest for a viable bacteria fighter recounting the lives of the major players and further depicting the slow progress of medical invention combating infection through all history. The most critical era of this story, however, is coincidently the most important and harrowing years of the 20th century. The all too real threat of a Nazis invasion of Great Britain served as the backdrop for this story's most vital moments.
Few would argue against the notion that the discovery and creation of Penicillin as a viable life saving medication is the most important medical event of the 20th century. Mr. Lax in a detailed, can't put it down, page-turner manages to incorporate the nuances of all of the disparate personalities of the main characters whose devotion to their science and unrelenting commitment to the saving of untold millions of lives refuse to be deterred by the often overwhelming obstacles that faced them each day. In this new century when bringing a drug to market is reputed to take upwards of 10 to 15 million dollars, we watch as Dr. Florey goes before his money sources for research at Oxford and other entities of the time in hopes of raising $100.00 for supplies and comes away with $25.00. (That's right, the decimal points were not misplaced) What we see to our amazement is that they made due.
Dr. Norman Heatley was a genius at coming up with a substitute for just about every necessary hospital research tool imaginable. We share his glee when he shows the rest of the team his latest Rube Goldberg contraption for making some vital process work.
There are countless anecdotes in the day-to-day stories of the mission's successes and failures, all notes and attributions are scrupulously noted by Mr. Lax.
Surreptitious night flights to America via Lisbon with blacked out plane windows, reminiscent of many wonderful movies of the forties portraying life risking events surrounded by war had me shaking my head not simply because of the inherent palpable drama but because it all really happened.
The Americans did lend support in terms of money and ingenuity but it was this team of Oxford scientists who would not be denied. Because of them millions of lives were saved before the end of World War Two and countless millions continue to be saved as a result of the second, third and fourth generations of anti-biotic drugs spawned by their initial discovery.
Mr. Lax has, to the great satisfaction of the reader, set the record straight. He gave credit where it was due without disparaging the reputations of any of many important contributors. It was pleasing and insightful to learn the true story of the greatest medical discovery of the century. Further, that these scientists did their work for the betterment of mankind rather than for the unabated lust for money and power that now confront us daily in news reports cannot be ignored.
My words and recollections only touch the tip of the iceberg that is this story, I urge everyone to pick up a copy of The Mold In Dr. Florey's Coat and then pass it on to a friend. Who knows maybe the notion of doing things for all of the right reasons might just start to spread. ... Read more


8. Fungal Physiology (Wiley Science Paperback Series)
by David H.Griffin
list price: $89.95
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Asin: 0471166154
Catlog: Book (1996-06-20)
Publisher: Wiley-Liss
Sales Rank: 783490
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Book Description

Thoroughly revised, this edition summarizes the field of fungal physiology from a dynamic, experimental perspective. Integrates molecular genetics with biochemistry and development of fungi. Reorganized into 14 chapters it describes the latest contemporary experimental approaches to fungal research as well as future developments. ... Read more


9. The Probiotic Solution: Nature's Best-Kept Secret for Radiant Health
by Mark A., Dr Brudnak, Dr. Mark A. Brudnak
list price: $24.00
our price: $20.40
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Asin: 093804575X
Catlog: Book (2003-05-01)
Publisher: Dragon Door Publications
Sales Rank: 310309
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10. Plague: A Story of Rivalry, Science, and the Scourge That Won't Go Away
by Edward Marriott
list price: $25.00
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Asin: 0805066802
Catlog: Book (2003-03-03)
Publisher: Metropolitan Books
Sales Rank: 181515
Average Customer Review: 3.83 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

A riveting account, at once a reconstruction of the race to find a cure, a history of bubonic plague, and an investigation into the threat of plague today
Plague. The very word carries an unholy resonance. No other disease can claim its apocalyptic or mythological power. It can lie dormant for centuries, only to resurface with ferocious, nation-killing force. Here, with the high drama of a great adventure tale, Edward Marriott unravels the story of this lethal disease: the historic battle to identify its source, the devastating effects of pandemics, and the prospects for the next outbreak.
Through a range of primary sources, Marriott takes us back to Hong Kong in the summer of 1894, when a diagnosis of plague brought two top scientists to the island-Alexandre Yersin, a lone, maverick Frenchman, and his eminent rival, the Japanese Shibasaburo Kitasato. Marriott interweaves his narrative of their fierce competition to discover the plague's source with vivid scenes of the scourge's persistence: California in 1900, when plague arrived in the United States; Surat, India, in 1994, where torrential floods drowned millions of rats, causing the worst epidemic in seventy years; and New York City, some time in the future, where there is a rat for every human being, a diminishing budget for pest control, and an emerging strain of plague that is resistant to antibiotics.
A masterly recounting of medical and human history, Plague is an instructive warning, a gripping account of history, and a chilling read.
... Read more

Reviews (6)

4-0 out of 5 stars rivalry between two scientists
Edward Marriott's book is an interesting, well-written, anecdoctal account of two rival scientists studying the plague that struck Hong Kong in 1894. In the light of present day news stories of mad-cow disease, SARS, and other exotic ailments that possibly could pose a pandemic threat, Marriott's book is especially relevant.

Marriott brings the rat-infested harbor area and the exceedingly crowded, poor districts of the city to vivid life. The stark pictures of those soon-emptied areas, so quickly deserted by panicked residents, are chilling to view.

Recommended to all readers, and especially to those involved in public health issues.

5-0 out of 5 stars It's out there!
Plague, commonly known as The Black Death, has occurred in three major pandemics, and this is a fine history of the latest, which started in China in the late 19th century and spread worldwide from Hong Kong. Investigations into the nature of the disease in 1894 culminated in a contest between two early microbiologists, Kitasato and Yersin, a tale with obvious modern parallels. This historical footnote is one of the major themes of the book, but the author then follows the spread of Plague from Hong Kong to India and on to America. It has become entrenched in various wild animals worldwide. This is a great medical history, and one of the best of the rash of books on "killer diseases" that currently flood the market.

3-0 out of 5 stars Enlightening, entertaining, abbreviated
This is really 3 1/2 stars. The subject was engrossing, the story of the rivalry between the heroic Frenchman and the brilliant but cheating Japanese researchers interesting, the history of the plague informative. BUT it was very condensed; the chapters were quite short and needed fleshing out.

I did like the organization - alternating between a breakout of the plague in modern India and the one that struck turn of the century Hong Kong. Particularly disturbing were the tales of modern plague and the rather easy conditions needed to engender such a horror.

The author did not spend enough time with the main story. He concentrated on colonial conditions, the prejudice of the imperialists, the still-existing problem of health in the 3rd world. But the heart of the story was the rivalry between the two researchers and the plague itself. This could have been a brilliant book - instead it was only above average. Pictures and a bibliography are included.

3-0 out of 5 stars Trying too hard to be original
PLAGUE starts out slow but gathers steam in the last hundred pages. This progression may have been inevitable. True stories of killer diseases have emerged as a genre in recent years since the publishing of Richard Preston's THE HOT ZONE, and the plague in particular is probably the most written-about disease in human history. So Marriott needed to try something new or be hopelessly derivative. The problem with this book is that Marriott perhaps attempts tries in too many ways before the story steadies itself and becomes compelling.

The basic set up of the book is, HOT ZONE-like, an icky outline of what the disease can do, then the story of the scientific exploration of the disease. (Even more than THE HOT ZONE, PLAGUE's tale of scientific rivalry in the race to understand the disease reminded me of Gina Kolata's FLU). This story, the rivalry between French doctor Alexander Yersin and his Japanese competitor, Kitasato Shibasaburo, is essentially what the book is about.

But before the Yersin-Kitasato race becomes interesting, Marriott inserts several side stories, some of which distract from the momentum of the main story. Most distracting is an ongoing story about a 1994 plague outbreak in India. That's only the lengthiest of several stories of "future" plague outbreaks. I think the point is that even though the bacteria that causes plague was identified a hundred years ago, even though the disease is now treatable, even though its method of transmission is now understood, it is still a problem for human societies. But the point could have been made better in a more linear story. As it is, the side stories seem to be inserted in slow moments of the main story. Perhaps Marriott felt that the main story did not provide enough material for a full, suspenseful book.

Nevertheless, the suspense level of PLAGUE picks up and the Yersin-Kitasato story reaches a finite end. Not so the larger story of the plague, as indicated by the somewhat open-ended Indian outbreak story, which mutates into a more personal story about a family affected by the social impact of what turns out to be a small outbreak. Unfortunately, this is how the book ends. I think I understand why, but it just doesn't work.

4-0 out of 5 stars Lessons of History
Ask most educated people about the plague and the response you will get probably revolves around the "Black Death" of the Middle Ages that wiped out a good portion of the population of Europe. Most books about the plague tend to focus on this period. But Marriott's book reminds us that the plague is not gone, still popping up its ugly head from time to time.

In a world chilled by thoughts of bio-terrorism and SARS, most people tend to avoid books like this but I find them interesting. Humans will always be susceptible to disease but we will always fight back. In this book, Marriott tells the parallel stories of an outbreak of plague in southeast Asia in 1894 where two scientists--Alexandre Yersin and Shibasaburo Kitasato--tried to determine the process of this disease and an outbreak of plague in India in 1994 where he shows how panic still dominates our reactions to epidemics in our modern world. Along the way, he reminds Americans that plague also has its claws in the United States though our medical system tends to keep things at bay.

Ultimately, Marriott gives us a good look into the foundations of modern medicine and how diseases came to be combated despite the combat, both intellectual and physical, between doctors of different nations and sensibilities. He also reminds us in a rather subtle way of how primitive our response to deadly sickness remains despite our drugs and treatments--something that we need to be reminded of in a world where we could be called to respond to an epidemic on many fronts. His prose may not be as gripping as some writers in this field (Richard Preston comes to mind) but he gets the job done in a very readable way. ... Read more


11. The Ecology of Cyanobacteria - Their Diversity in Time and Space
by Brian A. Whitton, Malcolm Potts
list price: $95.00
our price: $95.00
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Asin: 0792347552
Catlog: Book (2000-06-01)
Publisher: Kluwer Academic Publishers
Sales Rank: 278696
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Book Description

Cyanobacteria make a major contribution to world photosynthesis and nitrogen fixation, but are also notorious for causing nuisances such as dense and often toxic `blooms' in lakes and the ocean. The Ecology of Cyanobacteria: Their Diversity in Time and Space is the first book to focus solely on ecological aspects of these organisms. Its twenty-two chapters are written by some thirty authors, who are leading experts in their particular subject.The book begins with an overview of the cyanobacteria -- or blue-green algae, for those who are not specialists -- then looks at their diversity in the geological record and goes on to describe their ecology in present environments where they play important roles. Why is one of the key groups of organisms in the Precambrian still one of the most important groups of phototrophs today? The importance of ecological information for rational management and exploitation of these organisms for commercial and other practical purposes is also assessed. Accounts are provided of nuisances as well as the ecology of the commercially successful Spirulina and the role of cyanobacteria in ecosystem recovery from oil pollution.Many chapters include aspects of physiology, biochemistry, geochemistry and molecular biology where these help general understanding of the subject. In addition there are three chapters dealing specifically with molecular ecology. Thirty-two pages of colour photos incorporate about seventy views and light micrographs. These features make the book valuable to a wide readership, including biologists, microbiologists, geologists, water managers and environmental consultants. The book complements the highly successful The Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria already published by Kluwer. ... Read more


12. Color Atlas of Medical Bacteriology
by Luis M. De LA Maza, Marie T. Pezzlo, Janet T. Shigei, Ellena M. Peterson
list price: $139.95
our price: $139.95
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Asin: 1555812066
Catlog: Book (2004-04-01)
Publisher: ASM Press
Sales Rank: 203728
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13. Mycobacteria Protocols
by Tanya Parish, Neil G. Stoker, N. G. Stoker
list price: $109.50
our price: $109.50
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Asin: 0896034712
Catlog: Book (1998-09-15)
Publisher: Humana Press
Sales Rank: 1169020
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

4-0 out of 5 stars The first Methods in Mycobacterial molecular biology.
Mycobacteria protocols edited by Parish and Stoker provide the first mycobacterial method booklet since the introduction of molecular biology and bionformatics to the field of mycobacterial research. Although this collection of protocolos is too broad as a source of protocolos to the clinical microbiologist or the bench basic scientist it provides an excelent source of start up points, references and knowladge to poeple working in the field of mycobacteria. ... Read more


14. Bacillus Subtilis and Its Closest Relatives: From Genes to Cells
by Abraham L. Sonenshein, James A. Hoch, Richard Losick
list price: $149.95
our price: $149.95
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Asin: 1555812058
Catlog: Book (2001-10-01)
Publisher: American Society Microbiology
Sales Rank: 378944
Average Customer Review: 5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Better than the Original!!
This inspirational, emotionally-charged follow-up to "Bacillus Subtilis and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria: Biochemistry, Physiology, and Molecular Genetics," delivers the goods. One would expect the authors to be crushed by the weight of expectation for this sequel, but they have defied conventional wisdom and completely outdone themselves. I laughed, I cried, it became a part of me. ... Read more


15. Molecular Genetics of Mycobacteria
list price: $119.95
our price: $119.95
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Asin: 1555811914
Catlog: Book (2000-05-15)
Publisher: American Society Microbiology
Sales Rank: 1158541
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Book Description

This volume begins with a historical context of the development of mycobacterial genetics, illuminating how crucial problems have been understood and overcome.The molecular genetics of the mycobacteria are then presented in four major sections.Descriptions of the tools for performing genetic analyses are integrated with discussions on the biology that they have been employed to discover.

Appendixes at the end of the volume provide a short compilation of methods commonly used in mycobacterial genetics, a list of currently available Internet websites ofuse to researchers in the field, and the complete map of the M. tuberculosis genome, which server as a reference to most of the chapters.

This volume provides valuable resource materials and detailed reviews of major topics and suggests special as well as fundamental guestions that need to be answered. ... Read more


16. The Secret Life of Germs : What They Are, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Protect Ourselves Against Them
by Philip M. Tierno
list price: $14.00
our price: $10.50
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Asin: 0743421884
Catlog: Book (2004-01-01)
Publisher: Atria
Sales Rank: 305609
Average Customer Review: 4.54 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

They're on everything we touch, eat, and breathe in -- on every inch of skin. And despite the advances of science, germs are challenging medicine in ways that were unimaginable ten years ago. No wonder the world is up in arms -- and using antibacterial soaps.

From the common cold, E. coli, and Lyme disease to encephalitis, mad cow disease, and flesh-eating bacteria, Tierno takes readers on a historical survey of the microscopic world. Rebuffing scare tactics behind recent "germ events" Tierno explains how the recycling of matter is the key to life. Yes, he'll tell you why it's a good idea to clean children's toys, why those fluffy towels may not be so clean, and why you never want to buy a second-hand mattress, but he also reveals that there is a lot we can do to prevent germ-induced suffering. You'll never look at anything the same way again. ... Read more

Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Secret Life of Germs review
I have read this fascinating book about germs. It contained everything I ever wanted to know them and somethings I had no idea I should ask. The book is divided in three sections the first presenting an informative historical view in a down to earth foksey manner. It laid out a fascinating scenario concerning Ebola virus taking place in Grand Central Station. I won't spoil your fun by revealing the the concluding remarks.It is written in an entertaining fashion. The second section of the book contained info on evry way germs are transmitted and what we can do in our everyday life to protect ourselves. Awesome!!!! The last sections talk anot bioterrorism---uncanny discussion. and lastly the future is discussed with an uplifting overview, powerfully presented. A must read .. a gem...surperb is an understatement.

5-0 out of 5 stars A wonderfully sobering book
I usually don't take time from my busy work schedule to write book reviews but I make an exception here. The book on germs written by Dr. Tierno is so profoundly important and so clearly written that I think that it should be read by everyone for their own well being. It cleared up ALL of the misconceptions about germs that I've had for years. And yet I found his book to be entertaining and informative and, in fact, at times downright mesmorizing. I take issue with the lone reviewer who talked about "disproportionate" and obsessive hygiene. Nonsense! Dr.Tierno's book is powerfully documented with plenty of supportive data. i am involved with food professionally and you can never be too clean nor cautious when dealing with food and the public. I appreciated Dr. Tierno's "Protective Response Strategies" which suggest ways to reduce our everyday risk of infection. The one statistic that rings in my head is the fact that 100 years ago infections diseases were the #1 killer of men worldwide and as Dr. Tierno points out THAT IS STILL THE CASE!!
Bravo for this book. I highly recommend it.

4-0 out of 5 stars Yikes! Get this book if you don't know what lurks about you
This books will open your eyes to the world of germs, if they're not already open to them. You'll find some handy tips to keep yourself safe around the house... I've kept all the mites and allergies out of my system with originalmsm.com and the knowledge from this book has helped kill a lot of germs. It is definitely worth the read. It's one of those books that will change the way you live - for the better. Get it, read it, then tell the rest of us customers here at Amazon what you think.

4-0 out of 5 stars Useful book - only slightly neurotic
This is not one of those alarmist books that is meant to keep you up at night worrying about impending doom. Surprisingly, this is a realistic guide to understanding the real risks and benefits of germs and learning how to protect yourself. Probably the highest compliment I can pay this book is that I have changed some of my own hygiene strategies based on what I learned.

Despite the fact that Tierno has spent most of his life studying germs and infectious diseases, he comes across and only slightly neurotic about hygiene. Maybe a third of the advice in this book is common sense, another third is probably over-ambitious, and a third is really useful and interesting.

I would have found the book a lot more interesting, but less useful in an every day sense, if it had focused more on the epidemiology and microbiology and less on hygiene. I probably even would have forgiven him for throwing in a few more sensationalistic stories about epidemics and drug-resistant microbes. But then again, there are plenty of books out there that already have that covered.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lessons we should have learned
Do you remember your mother and your teachers always getting after you to wash your hands? And sometimes a little voice inside of you said, "My hands already look clean." And you didn't bother to wash them?

You might not think it worthwhile to read a book that nags you on this very same subject, especially if you are a physician or hospital care worker. But, as this author points out, hospital-acquired infections are among the biggest public health threats in America and they're on the rise. The often drug-resistant germs kill more than twice as many people as traffic accidents (in fact, these infections kill more people per year than all accidental deaths including car crashes, fires, burns, falls, etc.) and cost an estimated $4.5 billion a year.

Those are astonishing statistics--something to be expected from a medieval pest hole, not a modern hospital.

Just yesterday (10/25/2002), the government issued guidelines urging doctors and nurses to abandon the ritual of washing their hands with soap and water between patients, and instead rub on fast-drying alcohol gels to kill more germs. The author of "The Secret Life of Germs" also favors germicides over simple soap and water. He's done his research and does not feel that germs will develop resistance to these products, because they do not kill selectively like antibiotics do.

Be sure to read the section on "The (Not So) Sweet Smell of Human Flora." You might be surprised by some of the causes of chronic bad breath---and the remedies (chew a wad a parsley or celery seed after eating garlic).

In fact this book recommends protective response strategies for almost all of those times when you might find yourself in a germ-laden environment. After hospitals, public restrooms are the scariest (yes, your mother was right about them, too). The author recommends specific techniques for washing your hands before and after using public facilities. Unfortunately, another one of his protective response strategies--close the lid of the seat before flushing--can't be implemented in a restroom stall, because there are no lids. This is a problem because "flushing the toilet can send small drops of aerosolized fecal matter as far as twenty feet into the air."

The least you can do is close the lid at home, especially if your toothbrush happens to be stored in the open, less than twenty feet away from your toilet.

The sections on pets, fast food, municipal water supplies and leftovers are also grim. Did you know that the bacterium 'Listeria monocytogenes,' the cause of listeriosis food poisoning, resists freezing and actually thrives at normal refrigeration temperatures? The author has a list of nineteen protective response strategies for eating and drinking. You really should check them out, especially if you are fond of fast foods, are giving or attending a party where food is served buffet-style, or are immuno-suppressed.

"The Secret Life of Germs" is not a fun book, but it is essential reading for those of us who are concerned about our health or the health of others (Saddam Hussein is actually practicing good hygiene when he makes people scrub up before shaking hands with him). ... Read more


17. Cell Wall Deficient Forms: Stealth Pathogens, Third Edition
by Lida H. Mattman
list price: $129.95
our price: $101.36
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Asin: 0849387671
Catlog: Book (2000-10-26)
Publisher: Lewis Publishers, Inc.
Sales Rank: 346633
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Book Description

Numerous infectious diseases are described as idiopathic, meaning that "the cause is a complete mystery." For many idiopathic diseases, the causes become clear when certain techniques are applied to the patient's blood or other tissues. Cell Wall Deficient Forms: Stealth Pathogens, Third Edition describes these techniques. In the case of tuberculosis, a disease that has recently regained importance because the strains have acquired antibiotic resistance, the book describes a method that is widely used abroad. This method typically renders the diagnosis within 72 hours. The book examines a plethora of issues and provides answers to the following questions:oWhat organism should be added to the childhood vaccine, especially for boys?oWhat bacteria in its pleomorphic state is found in direct smears of synovial fluid of rheumatoid arthritis cases?oIn which chronic diseases ( presently considered as being of unknown origin) is an acid-fast organism routinely found in smears of 72 hour blood cultures?oWhich "bacterium" has a life cycle in the human erythrocyte as complex as that of Plasmodium malaria?oWhich common pathogen's L Form can permanently damage myocardium mammaliam? Cell Wall Deficient Forms: Stealth Pathogens, Third Edition discloses significant aspects of microbiology, aspects that are not taught, and which go unrecognized in the clinical laboratory. ... Read more


18. Molecular Genetics of Bacteria
by Larry Snyder, Wendy Champness
list price: $99.95
our price: $99.95
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Asin: 155581204X
Catlog: Book (2002-12-01)
Publisher: American Society Microbiology
Sales Rank: 116132
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Book Description

Molecular Genetics of Bacteria fulfills the need for a comprehensive, primary textbook on bacterial and microbial genetics.Ideally suited for advanced undergraduate and graduate level courses, this book presents an interesting, modern perspective of the subject and offers descriptive background information, detailed experimental methods and data interpretation, examples of genetic analysis, and advanced material relevant to current applications of molecular genetics in biotechnology.The theme of genetic analysis is used to integrate all of the concepts presented in the text, with the pathogenesis and recombinant DNA techniques covered in their own chapters.Although the much-studied genetics of

E. coli are discussed throughout the book, many other microbial systems are introduced in order to show the breadth and diversity of the discipline of bacterial genetics.Chapters are pedagogically constructed and end with a review of key concepts, a set of discussion questions, a set of problems for exercise and testing assignments, and answers to the questions.An end of book glossary reviews all of the key terms found in the text.This book, extensively reviewed and class tested by instructors over the past four years, serves as an important text for all courses in bacterial and microbial genetics.TABLE OF CONTENTS: Introduction The Biological Universe What Is Genetics? Bacterial Genetics Phage Genetics A Brief History of Bacterial Molecular Genetics What's Ahead? Genes: Replication and Expression Introduction to Macromolecular Synthesis: Chromosome Structure and Replication Introduction to Macromolecular Synthesis: Gene Expression Genes and Genetic Elements Mutations in Bacteria Plasmids Conjugation Transformation BacteriophagesTransposition and Nonhomologous Recombination Genes in Action Molecular Basis of Recombination DNA Repair and Mutagenesis Regulation of Gene Expression Global Regulatory Mechanisms Genes in Practice Genetic Analysis in Phage Genetic Analysis in Bacteria Recombinant DNA Techniques and Cloning Bacterial Genes Molecular Genetic Analysis and Biotechnology ... Read more

Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This is an excellent and in-depth presentation of the molecular genetics of prokaryotes. Explanations are crystal clear throughout, and the diagrams are very well done. (Typographical errors are everywhere, but fortunately they are easy to spot and none of them are misleading.) The text can seem long at times, but the extra effort spent reading is repaid in terms of clarity. The authors are careful to insure everything is explained well. The book also covers several areas of prokaryotic biology besides molecular genetics, such as cell division, antibiotics, transport of molecules across the cell membrane, two-component signaling pathways, bacteriophages, and many others.

This is undoubtedly the best introduction to prokaryotic biology out there. Highly recommended.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good book for microbial genetics
While many books in molecular biology explore about the eukaryotic cells, this book is designed for prokaryotic aspects. Most of the topics are about the E.coli the bacteria that we now know much about. However, some of the topics are somewhat complicated and misleading for an undergradaute student who still needs some backgrounds in bacterial genetics (A good example is where the authors draw the picture of the interaction between lac O1, O2 and O3 in the lac operon and that's wrong!)...The questions at the end of each chapters are nice and well prepared but a few of the answers given at the end of the book do not explain the point well enough. Overall, this is a good book for anyone who wants to know specifically in the field. ... Read more


19. Human (Dk Smithsonian Institution)
by Robert Winston, Don E., Dr. Wilson, Don E. Wilson
list price: $50.00
our price: $30.00
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Asin: 0756605202
Catlog: Book (2004-10-18)
Publisher: DK Publishing Inc
Sales Rank: 3910
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Book Description

A highly comprehensive and illustrated account of what makes us what we are: how we evolved, how our bodies work and develop, and how we think and behave, this unbelievable reference examines the qualities all humans share but also highlights the diversity of human society and culture. Profiling more than 250 peoples who inhabit the world and examining fascinating facts - from environmental and health issues to beliefs and customs - Human is the definitive illustrated guide to our species. ... Read more


20. Heath Life Science: The Challenge of Discovery (1991)
by Loretta M. Bierer, Violetta Fisher Lien, E. Silverstein
list price: $70.76
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0669180351
Catlog: Book (1991-01-01)
Publisher: D C Heath & Co
Sales Rank: 813849
Average Customer Review: 2 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (1)

2-0 out of 5 stars Bright ideas let down by poor follow-through.
I have to teach 7 and 8 grade science using Heath's science textbook. I shall be recommending that our school group chooses a different text in future. Experiments are not properly commented in this work. As an example, children do an experiment involving the force of gravity, and the book fails to provide the formula for gravity's acceleration. ... Read more


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