Bacteria, the Benign, the Bad and the BeautifulBacteria, the Benign, the Bad and the Beautiful is a comprehensive, reader-friendly introduction to the world of bacteria.

When most people hear the word 'bacteria', they associate this with dirt, disease or even death. Yet, while some bacteria certainly cause their share of misery in the world, they are only a tiny portion of all bacteria that exist in the World. Without them, nothing else could live on Planet Earth. This book introduces this diverse, microscopic world and explains the fundamental microbiological concepts needed to explore the life and behavior of bacteria. The book’s clear, jargon-free language informs the reader, without the need of a background in microbiology, about a wide variety of bacterial subjects.

With color artwork by Karoly Farkas and Eshel Ben Jacob and black-and-white illustrations by Karoly Farkas.
With index and bibliography.


ISBN: 978-1118107669
Paperback, 232 pages
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
First published: November 2009
Bacteria, the Benign, the Bad and the Beautiful is available as paperback and Ebook

Order at or click here for (Also available as Ebook). Or purchase directly from the publisher,  Wiley Blackwell



 A peek inside the book:

If only we could see them without the necessity of a microscope! How useful it would be if we could see the bacteria lurking on the glove of the surgeon who, after meticulously scrubbing his hands and underarms, unknowingly touched his hair with his gloves - bacteria that will smear onto the scalpel, enter the wound as the metal cuts through the flesh, start multiplying in this new warm, moist and nutrient-rich environment and cause a post-operative infection that sets back the patient's health with days or weeks. How practical it would be to be able to see the bacteria growing in a freshly made desert that had raw egg whites and sugar as key ingredients and is now standing on the kitchen bench to set. One egg contained Salmonella bacteria, which feed on the sugar and start multiplying at the ambient temperature to reach critical numbers in only a few hours, and which will make half of the dinner party guests go down with diarrhea. Or to see the slightly bent bacteria that wiggle in the foul drinking water of a refugee camp, water that got contaminated by a single child suffering from the onset of diarrhea, which rapidly developed into cholera that will take hundreds of lives in the epidemic to follow.