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Home » Books » Science » Medicine » Immunology

The Hidden Half of Nature

The Microbial Roots of Life and Health

By David R. Montgomery, Anne Bikle

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Format: Hardcover, 320 pages
Other Information: Illustrated
Published In: United States, 04 December 2015
Our world is built on an invisible one we are barely beginning to understand. In The Hidden Half of Nature, geologist David R. Montgomery and biologist Anne Bikle argue that Earth's smallest creatures-microbes-could fundamentally change how we grow food, what we eat and how we practise medicine. The Hidden Half of Nature shares Montgomery and Bikle's efforts to turn a barren patch of ground into a flourishing garden, and Bikle's struggle with cancer. Taking readers deep into the science and history of agriculture and immunology, they show that microbes can provide powerful solutions to the problems plaguing modern agriculture as well as our own bodies. A spellbinding story, The Hidden Half of Nature reveals how we can restore fertility to the land and defeat chronic diseases.

About the Author

David R. Montgomery is a professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington and a 2008 MacArthur Fellow. He is the author of The Rocks Don't Lie and two other award-winning popular science books. Anne Bikle is a biologist and environmental planner. Her career spans the fields of environmental stewardship, habitat restoration, and public health. The Hidden Half of Nature is her first book.

Reviews

The Hidden Half of Nature is a great read, opening up for nonscientists the microbial world that underlies all life. You will see your body and the world around you in exciting new ways. --Sandor Ellix Katz, author of The Art of Fermentation The Hidden Half of Nature draws a straight line from the microbes that live in healthy soil to those that live in healthy guts, skillfully blending the personal and the scientific. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with their own health. --Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist The Hidden Half of Nature reads like a fast-paced novel but tells the true story of the workings of soils, and even our own bodies. --Neil Shubin, author of The Universe Within Montgomery and Bikle give microbes their rightful due as powerful organic machines propelling life into death into life.--Bruce Barcott, author of The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw" [G]enial, erudite and wise. Using their personal story, historical fact and cutting edge science, David Montgomery and Anne Bikle have given us a great gift a deep understanding and appreciation of our relationship with the microbial world. By seeing this invisible world in an entirely new way, as allies, we can move forward in reclaiming the health of our bodies, soil and world by befriending our microbiota. It s exciting, absolutely necessary, and, now that I have digested this wonderful work, I believe totally possible.--Deborah Koons Garcia, filmmaker, Symphony of the Soil, The Future of Food" What a friendly and highly readable excursion into the enthralling world of microbes. Through personal experiences and lively historical vignettes, the authors lead us on a delightful journey to discover why microbes are essential for the health of all life forms including us.--Moselio Schaechter, San Diego State University and University of California at San Diego" Eye opening A must for all fascinated by the workings of the body and for those concerned with health care and the environment.--Carl Hays" A must-read for avid gardeners, those interested in bolstering our precarious food supply, or anyone remotely concerned about their health and the soil under their feet. At the heart of this delightful book lies the simple belief that microbes have 'shaped our past and how we treat them will shape our future in ways we are only beginning to understand' The Hidden Half of Nature offers a wonderfully fresh and exquisitely informed approach that could change how we relate to ourselves, our diets, our gardens and our world. --Tim McNulty [A] transformative read.--Tom Philpott One of the year s best books on gardens and health.--Jim McCausland" Montgomery and Bikle argue that when we farm and when we eat, we're feeding a diverse community of microorganisms. This book is sure to become a game-changing guide to the future of good food and healthy landscapes.--Dan Barber, chef and author of The Third Plate One of the year's best books on gardens and health.--Jim McCausland The Hidden Half of Nature reads like a fast-paced novel but tells the true story of the workings of soils, and even our own bodies. --Neil Shubin, author of The Universe Within The Hidden Half of Nature draws a straight line from the microbes that live in healthy soil to those that live in healthy guts, skillfully blending the personal and the scientific. This is a must-read for anyone concerned with their own health. --Amy Stewart, author of The Drunken Botanist The Hidden Half of Nature offers a wonderfully fresh and exquisitely informed approach that could change how we relate to ourselves, our diets, our gardens and our world. --Tim McNulty

EAN: 9780393244403
ISBN: 0393244407
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Dimensions: 23.88 x 15.49 x 2.54 centimetres (0.73 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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