Virusphere: From Common Colds to Ebola Epidemics–Why We Need the Viruses That Plague Us

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Viruses are the most abundant of biological entities, with an enormous range of genetic diversity, and are packaged in such minute sizes as to require the power of the electron microscope to visualize them. Physician and evolutionary biologist Frank Ryan from the University of Sheffield makes visual many of the familiar viruses that plague us in the form of viral diseases. The poxes, influenza, AIDS, Ebola, SARS, polio, Zika, rhino, and other notorious viral infections are aptly described along with their accompanying treatments. Vaccines are strongly advised as preventive measures. Unfortunately, the book came out before the Corvid-19 pandemic arose, but coronaviruses are noted. Viruses are ubiquitous, living symbiotically in the cells of all forms of life, and evolve with their hosts. Monkeys, mice, and bats host scores of viruses causing no harm to their hosts, but when introduced into a new species this formerly quiescent virus may cause havoc. Humans have an entire range of helpful viruses within their bodies and within the enterobacteria of the gut. The diversity of viruses now being identified is enormous, and the question of whether to include them within the realm of life or to designate them as an independent domain still resonates. The book cogently illuminates the domain of viruses within our biosphere. The average reader may become confused by the variety of virus types described; charts and illustrations would have been helpful.

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Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Prometheus
Publish Date 2020-02-01
ISBN 9781633886049 Buy this Book
Issue June 2020
Category Science & Nature


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