A Planet of Viruses: Second Edition 2nd ed. Edition, Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- File Size : 7415 KB
- Publisher : University of Chicago Press; 2nd ed. Edition (October 6, 2015)
- ASIN : B014RWV2OE
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Publication Date : October 6, 2015
- Print Length : 128 pages
- Language: : English
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #150,125 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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This book was short and sweet, and a very good beginning for anyone interested in viruses but doesn't know how far they want to go with it. Like others have said, Zimmer gives good explanations about viruses. I do hate it when a newer emerging disease caused by a virus, like Ebola comes out, and everybody in the United States freaks out over it, though it isn't really going to be a problem here. Unfortunately, the stupid media gets a hold of this and usually misstates what is going to happen, too many times on purpose just to sell newspapers. I teach about pathophysiology to nurses and pre-meds so any new information is very helpful to me to use in my classes.
Definitely a good begining for understanding how viruses impact the world.
One of the things I loved about A Planet was its inclusion of non-pathogenic viruses. The book starts with the story of Tobacco Mosaic virus found in the Cave of Crystals, and a small history of virology. As humans, we often focus on only microbes that make us ill, but in reality, only a tiny, tiny proportion of the microbes that we know of can do so. The reminder that much of virology is based in viruses that infect plants and other organisms was refreshing. That being said, the other chapters about human pathogens were fun to read and very informative. The wide breadth of environments covered (from caves to the human body to animals to the oceans) was one of my favorite aspects of this book.
Additionally, often times, I find popular books about science to read like a Nature paper rather than a story. Carl Zimmer avoided that with entertaining stories about how specific viruses were discovered and what experiments were done. It never reads like an encyclopedia, rather, the book is more like an anthology of short, interesting scientific essays. The chapters range from smallpox- an eradicated virus with a long history- to Ebola- a newer virus with a shorter, but devastating history. He also includes less serious, but still costly viruses like rhinovirus.
Overall, I thought A Planet of Viruses was an enjoyable read with plenty of information to keep even virus enthusiasts entertained.
Very suitable for bedtime reading, incidentally.
Top reviews from other countries
I know the author as I have frequently read his articles in the New York Times and always enjoyed them. This selection is excellent as it represents various aspects of viruses. These articles are written so that they can be understood by everyone, and contain new information that adds to the fascination of these tiny forms of life.
I recommend this book to all who want to get to know the world of viruses and realize that not all of them are life-threatening.