A comprehensive, reader-friendly introduction to the world of bacteria When most people hear the word «bacteria» they think of food poisoning; infections; and acute, debilitating, or fatal diseases. Yet, while E. coli, strep, and other bacterial pathogens certainly cause their share of misery in the world, they are only a tiny portion of a vast universe of microorganisms—the most basic of life forms. Without them, nothing else could live or grow on Planet Earth. Bacteria: The Benign, the Bad, and the Beautiful introduces you to this diverse, microscopic world and explains the fundamental microbiological concepts you need to explore the life and behavior of bacteria. Even if you have no previous background in the subject, the book's clear, jargon-free language tells you what you need to know about: The origins and evolution of bacteria Some of the fundamental ways in which bacteria have shaped the world Bacteria commonly found in the healthy human body Antibiotics and the growing problem of resistance Marine microbiology, bacterial toxins, and enzymes Bacterial genetics and genomics Bacteria that survive in extreme environments, such as boiling water And much more This comprehensive guide features custom-drawn, black-and-white illustrations by artist Karoly Farkas, and it illuminates its points through real-world examples and engaging stories. Discrete, topic-by-topic structure, text-box summaries of background science, and a helpful glossary make for quick and easy reference. Whether you are a science professional in need of information on bacteria outside of your specialty, a student in search of a solid introduction, or a curious reader looking for fascinating and reliable information, Bacteria: The Benign, the Bad, and the Beautiful is the resource you need.