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Biography of a Germ

by Arno Karlen

  • ISBN: 9780385720663
  • ISBN10: 0385720661

Biography of a Germ

by Arno Karlen

  • List Price: $14.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Random House Inc
  • Publish date: 05/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780385720663
  • ISBN10: 0385720661
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Description: "The Biography of a Germ" is precisely that, and "like most biographies", writes Arno Karlen in this splendidly original book, "this one will describe a life and its setting in time and place". Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb for short) probably came into being some hundred million years ago. And it adapted and thrived because of its peculiar corkscrew shape. While an incorrigible cousin would inconveniently begin to cause syphilis nearly six thousand years ago, Bb itself would remain essentially anonymous until late in the twentieth century, when a Swiss scientist specializing in tick-borne diseases was asked to assist in the study of a strange illness plaguing the Connecticut town of Lyme.

From the Linnaean system of classification to a history of microscopes, to how ticks link the joy of sex with the joy of eating, Karlen lucidly explores every aspect of the world of this recently prominent germ. Erudite, charming, and thorough, this book fascinates in its ability to playfully entertain while it compellingly instructs.

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