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 web publication The Loom, has up to date this variation to incorporate the tales of recent outbreaks, similar to Ebola, MERS, and chikungunya virus; new clinical discoveries, resembling a hundred-million-year-old virus that contaminated the typical ancestor of armadillos, elephants, and people; and new findings that exhibit why weather switch could lead to even deadlier outbreaks. Zimmer’s lucid motives and engaging tales exhibit 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 illnesses, and should 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 a powerful hidden world.
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Extra info for A Planet of Viruses: Second Edition
But scientists have identified thirteen other cancer-Â�causing strains of HPV, and there are likely others yet to be discovered. If vaccines decimate the two most successful strains, natural selection might well favor the evolution of other strains to take their place. Never underestimate the evolutionary creativity of a virus that can transform rabbits into jackalopes or men into trees. human papillomavirus and infectious cancer 33 E V E R Y W H E R E, IN ALL THINGS Bacteriophages attach to the surface of the host cell, a bacterium Escherichia coli The Enemy of Our Enemy Bacteriophages as Viral Medicine By the beginning of the twentieth century, scientists had learned a few important things about viruses.
How marine phages rule the sea 49 Viruses kill these geoengineers by the trillions every day. As the microbial victims die, they spill open and release a billion tons of carbon a day. Some of the liberated carbon acts as a fertilizer, stimulating the growth of other microbes, but some of it probably sinks to the bottom of the ocean. The molecules inside a cell are sticky, and so once a virus rips open a host, the sticky molecules that fall out may snag other carbon molecules and drag them down in a vast storm of underwater snow.
But over enough generations, a temperate phage will pick up mutations that hobble it, so that it can no longer escape. It becomes a permanent part of its host’s genome. As a host cell manufactures new viruses, it sometimes accidentally adds some of its own genes to them. The new viruses carry the genes of their hosts as they swim through the ocean, and they insert them, along with their own, into the genomes of their new hosts. By one estimate, viruses transfer a trillion trillion genes between host genomes in the ocean every year.