Summary and Info
Considering the complexity of the topic covered in this book, it is incredibly readable. In short, it turns out that the view that bacterial cells are unaware of one another is quite wrong. They chatter away through the exchange of genetic amino acids. And they don't only communicate with their own species. They chat with a variety of species as they form biofilms, creating functional microbial societies where they feed off one another's secretions and defend one another against predators.90% of the cells in the human body are microbes. Most of them are quite friendly, but the few that are pathogenic can wreak havoc! Traditionally, antibiotics have been used to kill off unwanted bacteria, but that has resulted in more virulent strains that then resist drugs. So, this book proposes that we don't kill them, but simply knock out their cytoarchitectural communication infrastructures. That may sound militaristic, but if we can target the communication amino acids of only the virulent bacterias, then the human body could be more easily cured of disease while leaving the healthy microflora intact.As this book is so accessible, I would recommend it not just to scientists, but also anyone interested in this type of science and its metaphysical implications. Even if the chemistry is a bit much, the concepts are abundant and clear. The decriptions of viewing bacteria as collectives or biofilms versus individuals is compelling. This could easily lead to an overall reevaluation of what it means for a human to be a body. And it certainly suggests we reconsider just what our relationship to our own microflora is.