of books by Carl Zimmer

CARL ZIMMER (b. 1966) is a science journalist for the New York Times and a contributing editor at National Geographic, Scientific American and Discover magazine.

Microcosm - E.coli and the new science of life
by Carl Zimmer
Pantheon, 2008

Zimmer's latest book is a lucidly written essay about molecular biology. Using the bacteria Escherichia coli (E.coli) as the tour guide, he explains in simple terms and powerful prose how scientists discovered the rules of genetics at the microscopic (i.e. molecular) level. Chapter after chapter the reader finds a narrative that shows how working with a 'lowly' bacteria has made possible many breakthroughs in discovering that DNA and not proteins make genes, that even simple single cells can make complex decisions and respond to the environment, or that we still don't know everything about life.

November 11, 2008 /  © 2008 Lukas K. Buehler / go back to Book Review Home

Evolution - The triumph of an idea
by Carl Zimmer
Harper/Perennial, 2002, 2006

Written by a true connoisseur of science, this short volume gives the reader an easy to follow understanding of where modern evolutionary theory comes from explaining everything from natural selection to extinction, from the evolution of microbes to that of animals, from role that chance and constraint play in the evolution of complexity, the idea of a 'tree of life', the importance of the evolution of sex, and the origin of modern humans.

December 6, 2008 /  © 2008 Lukas K. Buehler / go back to Book Review Home