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In this fascinating and abundantly illustrated book, two eminent ecologists explain how the millions of species living on Earth-some microscopic, some obscure, many threatened-not only help keep us alive but also hold possibilities for previously unimagined products, medicines, and even industries. In an Afterword written especially for this edition, the authors consider the impact of two revolutions now taking place: the increasing rate at which we are discovering new species because of new technology available to us and the accelerating rate at which we are losing biological diversity. Also reviewed and summarized are many "new" wild solutions, such as innovative approaches to the discovery of pharmaceuticals, the "lotus effect," the ever-growing importance of bacteria, molecular biomimetics, ecological restoration, and robotics.