Planet of Viruses

ISBN-10: 0226983366

ISBN-13: 9780226983363

Edition: 2012

Authors: Carl Zimmer

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Description:

 Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, yet they hold the entire planet in their sway. We are most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, but viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for so long, in fact, thatweare actually part virus: the human genome contains more DNA from viruses than our own genes. Meanwhile, scientists are discovering viruses everywhere they look: in the soil, in the ocean, even in caves miles underground.            This fascinating book explores the hidden world of viruses—a world that we all inhabit. Here Carl Zimmer, popular science writer and author ofDiscovermagazine’s award-winning blogThe Loom, presents the latest research on how viruses hold sway over our lives and our biosphere, how viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, how viruses are producing new diseases, how we can harness viruses for our own ends, and how viruses will continue to control our fate for years to come. In this eye-opening tour of the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life as we know it, we learn that some treatments for the common cold do more harm than good; that the world’s oceans are home to an astonishing number of viruses; and that the evolution of HIV is now in overdrive, spawning more mutated strains than we care to imagine.           TheNew York Times Book Reviewcalls Carl Zimmer “as fine a science essayist as we have.”A Planet of Virusesis sure to please his many fans and further enhance his reputation as one of America’s most respected and admired science journalists. 
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Book details

List price: $12.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 4/30/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 122
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.484
Language: English

Carl Zimmer writes the monthly essay in the US magazine Natural History, having inherited this position from Stephen Jay Gould.

Foreword
Introduction "A Contagious Living Fluid": Tobacco Mosaic Virus
Old Companions
The Uncommon Cold Rhinovirus
Looking Down from the Stars Influenza Virus
Rabbits with Horns Human Papillomavirus
Everywhere, In All Things
The Enemy of Our Enemy Bacteriophages
The Infected Ocean Marine Phages
Our Inner Parasites Endogenous Retroviruses
The Viral Future
The Young Scourge Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Becoming an American West Nile Virus
Predicting the Next Plague
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Ebola
The Long Goodbye
Smallpox
Epilogue: The Alien in the Watercooler: Mimivirus
Acknowledgments
Selected references
Credits
Index
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