An Extensive Revision of an Essential Text for a Foundational Course in the Life Sciences Perennial best-seller Alcamo's Microbes and Society is the ideal text for non-majors taking a foundational course in the life sciences. Like its predecessors, the Fourth Edition discusses the role of microbes in our daily lives, from food production to biotechnology, and provides extensive coverage of both the positive and negative roles microbes play. The text explores the function of microbes in ecological and environmental systems, as well as key current issues such as antibiotic resistance, the importance of vaccines, and emerging microbial diseases. Students will come away with a critical understanding of the broad impact microbes have on our society. The Fourth Edition retains the user-friendly readability of previous editions while incorporating original features and material, including new information on viruses and microbial groups, new data on microbes in agriculture and the environment, current applications of genetic engineering and biotechnology, and fully updated coverage of microbes and the human micro biome.