Living in a Microbial World is a textbook written for students taking a general microbiology or microbiology-themed course for non-science majors. It teaches the essential concepts of microbiology through practical examples and a conversational writing style intended to make the material accessible to a wide audience.
In order to make the science relevant to students, every chapter of the book contains a series of cases intended to motivate learning the microbiology concepts. The cases present microbiology in the news, in history, in literature, and in scenarios of everyday life. Each case ends with several questions intended to pique student interest, and those questions are answered in the next section of the chapter.
By clearly and succinctly explaining the fundamentals of microbiology through practical examples, the book provides a scientific framework through which students can understand critical issues about microorganisms and disease that they will encounter throughout their lives. They will learn the role that microorganisms play not only in our health but also in ecosystem processes, our diet, industrial production, and human history. Topics that we hear about every day, from global warming to energy independence to bioterrorism, all have a microbial angle. This text is designed to provide the reader with the background needed to understand and discuss such topics with a genuine understanding rooted in science.