Viruses: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview

In recent years, the world has witnessed dramatic outbreaks of such dangerous viruses such as HIV, Hanta, swine flu, SARS, and Lassa fever. In this Very Short Introduction, eminent biologist and popular science writer Dorothy Crawford offers a fascinating portrait of these infinitesimally small but often highly dangerous creatures. Crawford first relates how viruses were discovered and she unravels the intricate structures of tiny parasites that are by far the most abundant life forms on the planet. Analyzing the...

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Viruses: A Very Short Introduction

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Overview

In recent years, the world has witnessed dramatic outbreaks of such dangerous viruses such as HIV, Hanta, swine flu, SARS, and Lassa fever. In this Very Short Introduction, eminent biologist and popular science writer Dorothy Crawford offers a fascinating portrait of these infinitesimally small but often highly dangerous creatures. Crawford first relates how viruses were discovered and she unravels the intricate structures of tiny parasites that are by far the most abundant life forms on the planet. Analyzing the threat of viral infections, Crawford recounts stories of renowned killer viruses such as Ebola and rabies as well as the less known bat-borne Nipah and Hendra viruses. She identifies wild animals as the source of the most recent pandemics, detailing the reasons behind the present increase in potentially fatal infections, and evaluating the evidence that suggests that long term viruses can eventually lead to cancer. Finally, Crawford looks to the future to ask whether we can ever live in harmony with viruses, and considers ways to prevent the emergence of new and devastating viruses.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199574858
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/1/2011
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 664,620
  • Product dimensions: 4.30 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Dorothy H. Crawford is Emeritus Professor of Medical Microbiology and Honorary Assistant Principal for Public Understanding of Medicine at the University of Edinburgh.

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Table of Contents

1. What are viruses?
2. Viruses are everywhere
3. Kill or be killed
4. Emerging virus infections
5. Epidemics and pandemics
6. Persistent viruses
7. Tumour viruses
8. Turning the tables on viruses
9. Viruses past, present and future

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2014

    Nice Review

    This was a nice review and a re-introduction to viruses and their impact on man and society. For those who have a n interest in the microscopic world, this will enlighten you and encourage more reading in this area. Without question the microbial world with have and continue to have significant impact on mankind. Despite modern medicine, microbes will continue to impact our lives. The advent of antibiotic resistances potential may through society back to the pre-antibiotic era, where infectious diseases were major contributors to morbidity and mortality. This will come as a huge surprise for many. Antibiotic treatments have been over used and abused. The microbes are one step ahead of us in the development of appropriate and adequate control measures. Flu, novel and emerging pathogens will be a continued old and new threat to society.

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