Some readers may feel that the message biologist and noted science writer Rob Dunn conveys is somewhat unsavory, but no one can deny his delivery is outstanding. In other words, you won't want to shoot this messenger just because his assertions have a certain "ew" factor. With a brio and rakish good humor only a biologist can bring to the table, Dunn details exactly how "biological" we human beings are - even as we try our darnedest to separate ourselves from the microscopic, symbiotic critters he calls "mutualists."
His message? That having a chubby, wriggly worm in our gut is exactly what the doctor should order. Okay. Maybe, maybe not. But to summarize the take-away of this book, human beings better wake up to the fact that we are intimately - super intimately - dependent upon most of the yucky, slimy creatures from which we're currently trying to escape. Dunn documents...
Beyond the Book
In an article in The Daily Telegraph
, Dr. Roy Sleator, a lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology in Ireland, states that, "We are, in essence, only 10 percent human. The rest is pure microbe." In a June 2011 report, National Public Radio's Science Desk Correspondent, Robert Krulwich, agrees. Yes, he says, our bodies do indeed consist of roughly ten times more microbial cells than human cells. And they are, for the most part, not just handy but essential to our existence. Especially the ones inside our intestinal tract.
Krulwich goes on to report the recent discovery that different people the world...