Ed Yong Explains Umwelt

Sally Deng

Ed Yong’s new book was already on our reading list, but just got notched up in the priority list:

Spectacle floods into my eyes whenever I watch a wildlife documentary. A vortex of small fish is gradually picked off by waves of oceanic predators. Snakes chase after marine iguanas. Giraffes clash at sunset. Continue reading

Perspective On Life, Micro View

y648From the macro to the micro, some detailed reporting on a topic we need to be more informed about; in this book review of the recent book by Ed Yong (science reporter, another of our frequent fliers; see his recently filmed lecture on the topic below):

Reader, as you read these words, trillions of microbes and quadrillions of viruses are multiplying on your face, your hands and down there in the darkness of your gut. With every breath you take, with every move you make, you are sending bacteria into the air at the
rate of about 37 million per hour — your invisible aura, your personal microbial cloud. With every gram of food you eat, you swallow about a million microbes more.

According to the latest estimates, about half of your cells are not human — enough to 21weiner-master315make you wonder what you mean by “you.” Your human cells come from a single fertilized egg with DNA from your mother and father. Microbes began mingling with those human cells even before your first breath, the first kiss from your mother, your first taste of milk. And your human cells could not have built a healthy body without intimate help from all those trillions of immigrant microbes — your other half. Continue reading