Bacteria: A Very Short Introduction

ISBN : 9780199578764

Sebastian G. B. Amyes
160 Pages
114 x 174 mm
Pub date
May 2013
Very Short Introductions


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  • Considers the important role of bacteria in the environment and its role in human civilisation
  • Explores the origins and evolution of bacteria over time
  • Looks at various types of bacteria and disease, and our efforts to manage bacteria

Bacteria form a fundamental branch of life. They are the oldest forms of life as we know it, and they are still the most prolific living organisms. They inhabit every part of the Earth's surface, its ocean depths, and even terrains such as boiling hot springs. They are most familiar as agents of disease, but benign bacteria are critical to the recycling of elements and all ecology, as well as to human health.
In this Very Short Introduction, Sebastian Amyes explores the nature of bacteria, their origin and evolution, bacteria in the environment, and bacteria and disease. In looking at our efforts to manage co-evolving bacteria, he also considers the challenges of resistance to antibiotics. 

"Despite its title, 1Bacteria is neither 'very short', nor is its level merely 'introductory' it's appropriate for teachers as well as students. Succinct and full of detail, there's something for everyone to learn." - Susan Alexander, The Biologist

"Succinct and full of detail, there's something for everyone to learn." - The Biologist


1: Origins of bacteria
2: Evolution of bacteria
3: Discovery of bacteria
4: Bacteria in the environment
5: Bacterial pathogenesis
6: Antibiotics
7: Antibiotic resistance
8: The future for bacteria
Further reading

About the author: 

Sebastian G.B. Amyes is Professor of Microbial Chemotherapy at Edinburgh University, and author of many research publications as well as the books Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, and Magic Bullets: Lost Horizons.

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