I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

I Contain Multitudes

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 Yo...

Details I Contain Multitudes

TitleI Contain Multitudes
Release DateAug 9th, 2016
GenreScience, Nonfiction, Biology, Health, Audiobook

Reviews I Contain Multitudes

  • Will Byrnes
    You’ve got company.Carol Anne Freeling was certainly right when she said, “They’re hee-ur,” well maybe not enraged spirits, but there are certainly plenty of entities present to which we have paid insufficient attention. Maybe Regan MacNeil was closer to the mark in proclaiming “We are legion.” When Orson Welles said “We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone,” he was mistaken. Even when we are alone, we are never alone. W...
  • Jamie
    Well, I will never think of bacteria and archaea the same. I certainly have a newfound understanding of just how vital it is to every part of life. That microbes and bacteria have helped shape our planet for billions of years, down to every single flora and fauna; even all the oxygen we breath has come from bacteria. I also never really thought about the microbes that are constantly around us and even on me, or how many you are "seeding" to the w...
  • David
    This is a fascinating book about the microbes inside all of us, and inside other animals as well. Now, it is often said that there are ten times as many bacteria in our bodies as there are cells. This, it turns out, is probably an over-estimate; the number of bacteria is probably in the same ballpark as the number of cells. But still, that is a lot!This book goes into detail about the amazing partnerships--the symbioses--between microbes and larg...
  • Barbara
    Though we might lather our skin with antibacterial soap, clean our hands with alcohol sanitizers, gargle with mouthwash, scrub our kitchen surfaces, disinfect our bathrooms, spray Lysol all over the house, take antibiotics, etc., there are - and always will be - microbes everywhere. This is especially true of our warm moist bodies - which are covered inside and out with microorganisms....and this is a good thing.In fact our bodies are really an i...
  • Clif Hostetler
    Recently I've been hearing reports of miracle cures of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) by use of fecal matter transplants. Also I've heard that some autoimmune diseases may be caused by environments that are too clean. Upon hearing these things the question that comes to my mind is, why this new found enthusiasm for microorganisms? We've known about bacteria since Louis Pasteur. So why all this new information about microbes as if it was something...
  • Chrissie
    I liked this book so I am giving it three stars. It is common knowledge today that everything and all of us are covered with microbes - that some are good and some are bad. Their number can be debated. We have in the past been fixated on getting rid of them. This has been to our detriment. It is clear we have gone too far. Antibiotics are good and necessary, but at the same time they must be used with care. In heedlessly wiping out microbes, we h...
  • Emily
    A NEW NONFICTION FAVORITE!!! I'M SO HAPPY.This is absolutely fabulous scientific nonfiction. I think at times, scienctific nonfiction swings one of two ways--over simplified, or overly pendantic. This book truly hit the sweet spot. It's accessible, gorgeously written, and incredibly informative and well-researched.In particular, I liked that Yong doesn't shy away from differing schools of thought. Microbiology as we know it today is still a relat...
  • Joshua Buhs
    A fascinating topic poorly served by the conventions of popular science writing.Ed Yong's book is about microbes--bacteria, mostly, but also viruses and few other extremely small creatures--and how they live with other organisms--humans for the most part, with plenty of other animals, too, though no plants.It has Darwinian ambitions, announced in its subtitle: "A Grander View of Life" evokes Darwin's famous phrase closing the first edition of "On...
  • Paul
    You may think that we are just made from muscles, blood cells, bones and a fair bit of DNA, but in between the gaps are microbes. Billions and billions of them. There are the odd rogue ones, but most of them are useful and make up an essential element of our being. Without them we could not live. They help us in countless ways, sculpting our organs, protecting us from disease and feeding and nourishing us; our gut contains a complete ecosystem th...
  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    This is a fun read!Each one of us is a microbiome, with billions of bacteria literally on every bit of our skin and hair. Inside our bodies and in our cells, we have even more interesting little microscopic monsters. Plus, we share these little bugs with everyone we meet, especially the people we live with. If you have a dog, the volume of bacteria in your home increases exponentially. If, gentle reader, you are now scratching and twitching, may ...
  • Forrest
    You are what you eat. You eat what you are.What you aren't eats you and other things that aren't you, but are in you.I am legion.
  • Olive (abookolive)
    See my review on booktube: https://youtu.be/7A6jT35WEEQ
  • Dov Zeller
    “Forget Orson Welles, and heed Walt Whitman: “I am large, I contain multitudes.”“'Each animal is an ecosystem with legs,' says John Rawls."“As palaeontologist Andrew Knoll once said, 'Animals might be evolution's icing, but bacteria are really the cake.'"Yep, Ed Yong knows how to salt and pepper his writing with some good quotes. He also pens some wonderful great-for-quoting prose himself: "It's estimated that every human contains 100 t...
  • Rebecca Foster
    Ed Yong is a London-based science writer for The Atlantic and is part of National Geographic’s blogging network. I had trouble believing that I Contain Multitudes is his first book; it’s so fluent and engaging that it immediately draws you into the microbial world and keeps you marveling at its strange yet fascinating workings. Yong writes like a journalist rather than a scientist, and that’s a good thing: with an eye to the average reader,...
  • Wanda
    First of all, kudos for an excellent title, referencing the poetry of Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. It is not the only literary reference and I truly appreciate that in a science writer.Yong gives the feeling of being on a safari, observing exotic wildlife. He makes single-celled organisms as interesting as wildebeest and lions. We have come a long way in understanding this part of the ecosystem, and we have miles to go before we perfect that ...
  • Isil Arican
    I love Ed Yong's articles and I wanted to read this book since I heard it was coming out.Microbiom is a fascinating subject and he does a good job of giving background information, explaining the background work and giving interesting examples. So overall I enjoyed reading it.The reason for only three stars: the books structure is not great. He talks about an issue and revisits it again and again. It is lacking the flow, and feels like he is visi...
  • Cheese
    This was an excellent eye opener into the world of microbiomes and how they shape our world.We are just a vessel for them. They are the real dominant species on this planet. We live with them, we provide for them adn they work with us. The examples given in this book are really interesting, but what really blows my mind is how we can now start using them to improve the way we live and improve our planet.
  • Charlene
    This book is jam-packed with tons of information about the recently uncovered world of microbes. Considering how many books about microbes are popping up, I was skeptical at first, but it quickly became apparent that this book was based on nothing but the best science available on the subject. Just like the Sonnenburgs' book Gut, I contain Multitudes focused on what we know about microbes and was very clear about the lack of evidence when specula...
  • Ian Rose
    My favorite popular science book of the past few years. I think it certainly deserves to be mentioned aside Elizabeth Kolbert's Sixth Extinction, Song of the Dodo, etc. I read a fair amount about biology and practiced it in the field (albeit in a wildly different specialty) and I was still shocked by some of the work going on in microbial bio today. Can't recommend it enough, for people interested in science and certainly for science fiction writ...
  • Leo Walsh
    Reading a straight pop-science book is a nice change, and even better when the book covers super-interesting material, as Ed Yong’s I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life does. Where Yong lays bare research into inter-species cooperation that’s changing scientist’s views about natural selection. In the classic evolutionary/ biological view, it’s “us” against “the world.” Life is a struggle, red in ...
  • Atila Iamarino
    Uma revisão bem ponderada sobre as descobertas recentes do microbioma humano (e não só humano). O Ed Yong é um escritor de ciência de mão cheia, tranquilamente um dos melhores da atualidade, que entre outras coisas bloga no Not Exactly Rocket Science, da NatGeo. Este é o primeiro livro dele (pelo que sei) e já acerta de mão cheia. Bem humorado, bem explicado, bastante acessível e atualizado. Na minha opinião, o livro definitivo para se...
  • Emma Sea
    just fantastic. the best book I've read in the last couple of years. Makes me actually excited and optiomistic about the future, which is a refreshing sensation after so many climate change books.
  • Allie
    Utterly fascinating. Review to come, once I pick up the pieces of my brain and assemble some coherent thoughts.
  • John
    A Most Engrossing Exploration of the Microbial Organisms Which Lurk Within UsEchoing Charles Darwin's concluding paragraph in the first edition of Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" in its subtitle, noted science journalist Ed Yong's "I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life" is an exceptional, quite riveting, account explaining how bacteria and other microbes have played - and continue to play - important roles in...
  • Elentarri
    I Contain Multitudes is an enjoyable and informative book that takes a look at how microbes live, where microbes live and their interactions with other species, including humans. This book contains many interesting scientific findings and microbial interactions - such as worms that don't have a mouth and don't need to eat; parasitic wasps with antibiotic antennae goo; viruses inside bacteria inside a bug; bacteria that influence which bugs get t...
  • Katie Bananas
    This book was extremely interesting. I was compelled by it being in the field. The definition of microbiome and what bacteria are to us humans was extremely fascinating. I was following the book with the audio version; it really does read like someone talking to you about interesting little creatures that make us up as well as our entire world! The writing was awesome, very easy to read for those who are not into microbiology or animals. It’s d...
  • Jessica Healy
    Intriguing. Excellent writing, fascinating topic. All the science. So much science. I mean, it's really good. Really sciencey. Worldview, changed. All the knowledge. But... but really, and I say this with the greatest respect, what I'm mostly taking away from this is... THERE ARE TINY THINGS EVERYWHERE. I mean I knew this. Or at least, I kind of knew this, but I didn't know HOW MUCH this. Like... like really. You couldn't even eat food without th...
  • Mal Warwick
    If you’re a physician, a nutritionist, or have studied biology, you’re probably aware that our bodies contain an immense number of microbes. Most of the rest of us find that surprising. Though I knew about the bugs that inhabit my digestive system, British science journalist Ed Yong helped me understand just how numerous and widely dispersed those microbes are on my body—and yours. Try 39 trillion. That number’s greater than the estimated...
  • Nikki
    If you’ve already read books like Martin Blaser’s Missing Microbes, a lot of this info won’t be new to you. However, Ed Yong’s enthusiasm and wider range — dipping into the microbes of other animals and even insects — is a joy. He also provides a counterpoint to some of Blaser’s more hysterical ideas about the loss of microbes. He agrees that microbes are important, and that our relationships with them are complex. But he doesn’t ...
  • Becky
    This was cruising along at a pleasant 4 stars, but I had to bump it up when I got to the penultimate chapter. Here, the microbiomania was tempered by words of caution and foresight. For example, the lack of evidence that the lactic acid-producing bacteria survive the digestive track or even influence resident gut microbe communities, (most “probiotics” are mostly hype) while the bugs that HAVE shown clinical effects (e.g. in mice) should be w...