A Planet of Viruses: Third Edition

A Planet of Viruses: Third Edition

A Planet of Viruses: Third Edition

A Planet of Viruses: Third Edition

Paperback(Third Edition)

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In 2020, an invisible germ—a virus—wholly upended our lives. We’re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or Covid-19. But viruses also cause a vast range of other diseases, including one disorder that makes people sprout branch-like growths as if they were trees. Viruses have been a part of our lives for so long that we are actually part virus: the human genome contains more DNA from viruses than our own genes. Meanwhile, scientists are discovering viruses everywhere they look: in the soil, in the ocean, even in deep caves miles underground.
Fully revised and updated, with new illustrations and a new chapter about coronaviruses and the spread of Covid-19, this third edition of Carl Zimmer’s A Planet of Viruses pulls back the veil on this hidden world. It presents the latest research on how viruses hold sway over our lives and our biosphere, how viruses helped give rise to the first life-forms, how viruses are producing new diseases, how we can harness viruses for our own ends, and how viruses will continue to control our fate as long as life endures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226782591
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 03/29/2021
Edition description: Third Edition
Pages: 144
Sales rank: 444,040
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times, where he has contributed articles since 2004. His writing has earned a number of awards, including the Stephen Jay Gould Prize, awarded by the Society for the Study of Evolution. His latest book is Life’s Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive.  His 2018 book, She Has Her Mother’s Laugh: The Powers, Perversions, and Potential of Heredity, won the 2019 National Academies Communication Award and was named the best science book of 2018 by the Guardian. He is professor adjunct of biophysics and biochemistry and a lecturer in English at Yale University. He lives in Guilford, CT.

Table of Contents

Foreword Judy Diamond Charles Wood xi


"A Contagious Living Fluid" Tobacco Mosaic Virus and the Discovery of the Virosphere 3

Old Companions

The Uncommon Cold How Rhinoviruses Gently Conquered the World 17

Looking Down from the Stars Influenza's Never-Ending Reinvention 24

Rabbits with Horns Human Papillomavirus and Infectious Cancer 31

Everywhere, in all Things

The Enemy of Our Enemy Bacteriophages as Viral Medicine 45

The Infected Ocean How Marine Phages Rule the Sea 55

Our Inner Parasites Endogenous Retroviruses and Our Virus-Riddled Genomes 63

The Viral Future

The Young Scourge Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Animal Origins of Diseases 75

Becoming an American The Globalization of West Nile Virus 85

The Pandemic Age Why COVID-19 Should Have Come as No Surprise 95

The Long Goodbye The Delayed Oblivion of Smallpox 108


The Alien in the Water Cooler Giant Viruses and What It Means to Be a Virus 123

Acknowledgments 133

Selected References 135

Credits 142

Index 143

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