By Carl Zimmer
A Planet of Viruses is Carl Zimmer’s eye-opening examine the hidden global of viruses. Zimmer, the preferred technology author and writer of National Geographic’s award-winning weblog The Loom, has up-to-date this version to incorporate the tales of latest outbreaks, comparable to Ebola, MERS, and chikungunya virus; new clinical discoveries, corresponding to a hundred-million-year-old virus that contaminated the typical ancestor of armadillos, elephants, and people; and new findings that convey why weather switch could lead on to even deadlier outbreaks. Zimmer’s lucid factors and engaging tales reveal how deeply people and viruses are intertwined. Viruses helped supply upward push to the 1st life-forms, are liable for lots of our so much devastating ailments, and may proceed to regulate our destiny for hundreds of years. completely readable, and as reassuring because it is scary, A Planet of Viruses is a desirable journey of an impressive hidden world.
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Extra resources for A Planet of Viruses: Second Edition
One reason for all this diversity is that marine viruses have so many hosts to infect. Each lineage of viruses has to evolve new adaptations to get past its host’s defenses. But diversity can also evolve by more peaceful means. Temperate phages merge seamlessly into their host’s DNA; when the host reproduces, it copies the virus’s DNA along with its own. As long as a temperate phage’s DNA remains intact, it can still break free from its host during times of stress. But over enough generations, a temperate phage will pick up mutations that hobble it, so that it can no longer escape.
New growths returned, though, and so Dede had to undergo more surgery from time to time. Dede’s growths, along with all the others on humans and mammals, turned out to be caused by a single virus—Â�the same kind that puts horns on rabbits. It’s known as the papillomavirus, named for 28 rabbits with horns the papilla (buds in Latin) that infected cells form. In the 1970s, the German researcher Harald zur Hausen speculated that papillomaviruses might be a threat to human health far bigger than the occasional wart.
In 1986 a graduate student at the State University of New York at Stony Brook named Lita Proctor decided to see how many viruses there are in seawater. At the time, the general consensus was that there were hardly any. The few researchers who had bothered to look for viruses in the ocean had generally found only a scarce supply. Most experts believed that the majority of the viruses they did find in seawater had actually come from sewage and other sources on land. But over the years, a handful of scientists had gathered evidence that didn’t fit neatly into the consensus.