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Publisher's Summary

An invisible world of astonishing complexity is all around you. A world so small you can’t see it with the naked eye. A world so crowded that its population staggers the mind. A world in which you participate every day - often without even knowing it. The inhabitants of this world are trillions of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and other organisms, collectively known as microbes. Hundreds of thousands could fit on the period at the end of this sentence. And many play a powerful role in your life, from the bacteria in your stomach that help you digest food to the pathogens that make you sick. 

Mysteries of the Microscopic World is your illustrated guided tour through a realm that is as teeming with exotic life as any rainforest - and that is just as exciting. 

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. 

©2011 The Great Courses (P)2011 The Teaching Company, LLC

What listeners say about Mysteries of the Microscopic World

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Much History

Felt like more history than I expected, vs more biology. But I suppose for that reason it works fine for audio.

5 people found this helpful

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Interesting but rambling

This lecturer needs to outline and organize his lesson plan way more. He rambles and jumps between topics at random.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable, but a misleading title

The lecturer explains things clearly and keeps things interesting, overall I found these lectures pretty enjoyable.

Sadly the content was not really what I expected from the title. A more appropriate title may be something like "Pathogens, Immunology, and History". Almost every chapter was about pathogens and immunology, peppered with historical anecdotes. There is very little content concerning non-pathogenic microscopic life, and very few "mysteries" throughout. Given the title, I expected this series to focus on interesting microbial phenomena that are as yet poorly understood by science.

If you already know a decent amount about pathogens and immunology then you'll probably learn very little from these lectures, however if you are new to these subjects you'll probably learn some interesting things while remaining entertained.

2 people found this helpful

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EVOLVING PANDEMICS

“Mysteries of the Microscopic World” is a reflection on the “The Invisible Realm”, the world of bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. It is somewhat dated because of today’s history of Covid19. However, Professor Fleury offers a modern understanding of pandemics and the role germs play in human life.

Fleury explains this microscopic world is not only a disease producer. It also aids human existence by offering microorganisms that get rid of wastes and remove toxic chemicals from the body. Fleury notes some humans die from microorganisms, but they cannot live without them. Fleury explains how the microscopic world follows the same Darwinian evolutionary path as the macroscopic world. The microscopic world, like the animal world, evolves with random adaptation that sustains all life.

The two edges of this microscopic world can cure or kill. Fleury explains how this unseen world evolves in the same way the animal kingdom evolves. Today’s Covid19 virus changes to preserve itself. Covid19 evolves like any life force to become resistant to current drug treatment. Pfizer and other drug manufacturers are tasked with modification of their drug formulas to defeat viral and bacterial evolution.

Fleury explains there is a race between microbes and humans. As antibiotic treatment improves, microbes mutate into strains that resist treatment. What worked yesterday may not work tomorrow. Fleury implies there is a natural balance among all living things. Humans may be destined for extinction, but Fleury reminds us of the myth of Pandora. She left hope in the bottom of the box when all the evils were unloosed on the world.

2 people found this helpful

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Absolutely Captivating

I got this for my 14 year old son for school but he always remembers everything the first time. So to keep up with him for when he wants to lecture me again on microbiology, I figured it would be best to listen first. I finished this in 2 days of listening. I proudly went to my son to tell him and he looked at me like someone would to a small child. He already knew it all. He was proud of me for learning about it. 🤔😒

11 people found this helpful

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Topic Still Current, Narration Good

The value of a book is subjective. This course fit nicely into my mental slot for microbiology. It kept my interest and kept me awake while commuting and at work (I have a job where I can listen to audiobooks).

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sithrandil
  • 10-04-19

Misleading title

This audiobook should have been titled Microbial Pathogens as almost all of it is dedicated to a history of disease with only a token look at other aspects.

3 people found this helpful