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Publisher's Summary

Bacteria are the most overlooked organisms on your nature walk. You see birds, trees, and wildflowers. You may even examine fungi, rock formations, mosses, lichens, nests, tracks, and insects. However, it is likely that you are not seeing bacteria even though you may know they are there in countless numbers, far outnumbering the other organisms, and that their influence on the environment is vast and profound.Professor Betsey Dexter Dyer of Wheaton College examines the role of bacteria as major players in Earth's biodiversity. In the course of these fascinating lectures, Professor Dyer delves into the history of microbiology, the four billion year history of bacteria and archaea as the dominant organisms on Earth, and the place of pathogens in the greater context of the bacterial world. This course serves as both a field guide for curious naturalists and a friendly introduction to the world of bacteria and archaea.
©2008 Betsey Dexter Dyer; (P)2008 Recorded Books
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Customer Reviews

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By Lucas on 04-23-11

Even THINKING about it? Go ahead and get it!

I picked this up on one of Audible's super sales (I think I got it for $5) and I absolutely loved it. Yes, I'm a science geek, and your average person is not going to appreciate this course but, if you're at all curious about microbes and the history of science, I can assure you this is an excellent course. The professor obviously loves her subject and communicates well (this is a series of lectures, not really an "audiobook" per se). It is aimed at the curious, not the wanna-be microbiologist, so it's not TOO technical and I assure you that you will be impressed with all that bacteria do to make life possible for us.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Forbes on 07-05-10

A passion for bacteria

The author is passionate about her subject and the information is compelling. The presentation style is like a lecture so you should not expect zippy over enthusiastic selling of ideas. There are several noteworthy facts about bacteria: for example, haemoglobin was developed in bacteria to sequester oxygen because it interefered with early life processes. Only later in the evolutionary descent was that protein used to carry oxygen where it is needed. This is a useful note if you are arguing against "intelligent" design and "intrinsic complexity"

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Carol on 10-03-14

Bacteria has a pin up girl!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Would not change a thing. It was brilliant to hear the enthusiasm in Betsey narration.

What three words best describe the narrator’s performance?

Enthusiastic, down to earth (literally), relatable.

Do you think The Modern Scholar needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Always, follow up books are necessary. Please do another one Betsey!!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Birgit on 01-01-13

Engaging and accessible

Its not easy to write engaging science books so I take my hat off to Betsy Dexter Dyer. Never having taken microbiology as an undergraduate, I inadvertantly stumbled into biogeochemistry during my post-graduate research and really panicked when I failed to understand paper after paper and found the textbooks on the subject dry, labourious and curiously unhelpful. This book does not require any previous knowledge of the subject nor does it require infinite amounts of patience, concentration and academic grit to learn from it, and yet neither is it written in a patronizing style. All that is required to enjoy this book is a curiosity about life on earth. Listening to this audiobook (and reading parts of her fieldguide to bacteria, which makes a great companion book) gave me a knowledge foundation and, more importantly, the interest and motivation to read drier and less 'user-friendly' papers and textbooks.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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