Review of the book “The other end of the microscope”

Written by Dr. Janet Thode on . Posted in Think out of the box

Just like my last book review, I’d like to take a humorous excursion into the world of microbes once more.

This time, I’d like to briefly describe my impressions of the book “The other end of the microscope” by Elmer W. Koneman (2003, Spektrum Akademischer Verlag GmbH Heidelberg Berlin, ISBN: 3-8274-1459-8 *).

At the first extraordinary bacteria conference, the bacteria speak for themselves. At this conference, various bacterial speakers take the podium in different sessions. Not only prominent bacterial personalities such as E.coli, Staphylococcus aureus or Helicobacter pylori raise discussions with their lectures, but also lesser known species reveal their point of view. The reader is taken on a trip by a conference participant, who as narrator allows us to participate in the conference. We learn a lot about bacterial habitats, morphology, pathogenesis, survival and defense strategies, but we also feel their frustration with taxonomic missteps.

The conference, with its different sessions, has structured the book well. The book is lovingly illustrated at appropriate places and conveys a lot of knowledge in a pleasant way. It is completed by an index and tips for further reading.

This modern scientific fairy tale is easy to understand and written with a wink. The funny and very entertaining presentation of the microbe personalities who have their say helps to refresh microbiological knowledge and to easily remember their properties. I can recommend it to any scientist and interested researcher who does not take himself too seriously, is open to a new perspective and enjoys professionally sound but humorous science.

* The book is available in English too (published 2002 by ASM PR, ISBN: 978-1555812270).

Tags: Microbiology recension

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