In this engagingly written and scientifically rigorous book, author and scientist Ludger Wess introduces an eclectic collection of impressive, useful, weird, and dangerous bacterial species. Wess reveals their ability to survive almost anywhere, to “sleep” for millions of years before becoming active again, to maintain their own immune systems (a discovery that has led to medical breakthroughs for humans), and to—hypothetically—live on other planets. In part two, Wess moves on to his curious compendium of bacterial species, presenting fifty fascinating portraits grouped by useful categories: bacteria that are record holders, extreme-habitat dwellers, unusual consumers, people-helpers, and people-harmers. Beautiful black-and-white illustrations accompany each portrait. At the end of this engrossing read, Wess recognizes how much we still don’t know about bacteria. But by starting here, we can come closer to understanding the first life on Earth.
Complete English translation available
Ludger Weß, born in Dorsten in 1954, studied chemistry and biology, worked as a researcher in the field of molecular developmental biology and began writing about science in the 1980s.
"In varied, lively portraits, the author succeeds in giving individual species of bacteria something of a personal touch and immersing the unimaginably tiny life forms in an aura of likeability and fascination. It is a wild, alien world that opens up here - congenially illustrated by Falk Nordmann. Great! - Susanne Billig, Deutschlandfunk Kultur