A Planet of Viruses: Second Edition by Carl Zimmer

By Carl Zimmer

The previous 12 months has been considered one of viral panic—panic about viruses, that's. via headlines, public wellbeing and fitness warnings, and not less than one do-it-yourself hazmat go well with, we have been reminded of the strong strength of viruses. they're the smallest dwelling issues recognized to technology, but they could carry the total planet of their sway.
A Planet of Viruses is Carl Zimmer’s eye-opening examine the hidden international of viruses. Zimmer, the preferred technological know-how author and writer of National Geographic’s award-winning weblog The Loom, has up to date this variation to incorporate the tales of recent outbreaks, akin to Ebola, MERS, and chikungunya virus; new clinical discoveries, similar to a hundred-million-year-old virus that contaminated the typical ancestor of armadillos, elephants, and people; and new findings that exhibit why weather swap could lead on to even deadlier outbreaks. Zimmer’s lucid reasons and engaging tales display how deeply people and viruses are intertwined. Viruses helped supply upward thrust to the 1st life-forms, are liable for lots of our such a lot 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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And there’s every reason to expect that bacteria will evolve to resist last-Â�resort antibiotics as bacteriophages as viral medicine 43 well. Scientists are scrambling to develop new antibiotics, but it can take over a decade to get a new drug from the lab to the marketplace. It may be hard to imagine a world before antibiotics, but now we must imagine a world where antibiotics are not the only weapon we use against bacteria. And now, a century after Herelle first encountered bacteriophages, these viruses may finally be ready to become a part of modern medicine.

Those concerns helped to keep vaccination rates low. In 2013, only 35 percent of boys and 57 percent of girls received the HPV vaccine by their thirteenth birthday. ” No matter what objections parents may have about the vaccine, it unquestionably works. Long-Â�term studies have shown that it provides complete protection against the two strains that cause 70 percent of cervical cancer cases. Even if all children get the vaccine, however, cervical cancer may not disappear altogether. At best, the two strains targeted by the vaccine could be eradicated.

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. Ocean viruses are stunning not just for their sheer numbers but also for their genetic diversity. The genes in a human and the genes in a shark are quite similar—Â�so similar that scientists can find a related counterpart in the shark genome to most genes in the human genome.

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