A Planet of Viruses

A Planet of Viruses Viruses are the smallest living things known to science and yet they hold the entire planet in their sway We re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu but viruses also cause a

  • Title: A Planet of Viruses
  • Author: Carl Zimmer
  • ISBN: 9780226983332
  • Page: 183
  • Format: ebook
  • Viruses are the smallest living things known to science, and yet they hold the entire planet in their sway We re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, 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, inViruses are the smallest living things known to science, and yet they hold the entire planet in their sway We re most familiar with the viruses that give us colds or the flu, 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, in fact, that we are actually part virus the human genome contains 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 This fascinating book explores the hidden world of viruses a world that each of us inhabit Here Carl Zimmer, popular science writer and author of Discover magazine s award winning blog The Loom, 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 for years to come In this eye opening tour through the frontiers of biology, where scientists are expanding our understanding of life as we know it, we learn that some treatments for the common cold do harm to us than good that the world s oceans are home to an astonishing 1,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000 viruses and that the evolution of HIV is now in overdrive, spawning mutated strains than we care to imagine The New York Times Book Review calls Carl Zimmer as fine a science essayist as we have A Planet of Viruses is sure to please his many fans and further enhance his reputation as one of America s most respected and admired science journalists.

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      Published :2019-08-21T10:00:36+00:00

    About "Carl Zimmer"

    1. Carl Zimmer

      Carl Zimmer is a columnist for the New York Times and the author of 13 books about science His latest book, She Has Her Mother s Laugh, will be published in May 2018 Zimmer is a frequent guest on Radiolab and has written hundreds of articles for magazines such as National Geographic, The Atlantic, and Wired He is, to his knowledge, the only writer after whom a species of tapeworm has been named Visit him at carlzimmer, on Facebook at facebook carlzimmerauthor and on Twitter carlzimmer.

    177 thoughts on “A Planet of Viruses”

    1. The thing with me is that I don't get anything. Here's an example: I want to find out about viruses, so I track down the best book I can about viruses and I read it, and now if you ask me what a virus is I can say things. They hijack a cell's normal function so that it makes copies of their DNA, instead of copies of their own DNA. Something like that. Amazing, I am so smart. But what if you ask me what a cell is? Or what DNA is? I can keep saying things - the cell is the factory of the human bod [...]


    2. “Viruses are biology’s living matrix.”We share little in common with our forebears’ understanding of the universe. In ancient times the earth was ensconced by a dome or firmament which held back rain and other effusions from above. Drought and wetness were tangible indicators of the pantheon’s impression of earthly behavior, with a blue sky betokening the rain that lay just beyond the earth’s protective shell. For many of our ancestors, the stars influenced the health of those on ear [...]


    3. এক বারের জন্য ও মনে হয় নি আমি কোন অনুবাদ পড়ছি। কি অসাধারন সুন্দর সহজ সাবলীল ভাষায় লেখা । যাদের ভাইরাস নিয়ে বিন্দু মাত্র জানার ইচ্ছা আছে বিনা দ্বিধায় বইটা পড়া শুরু করে দিতে পারেন। !!!


    4. This is a very interesting book, and I am glad I read it. My only beef with this book is that it is too short. After reading Carl Zimmer's outstanding book "Parasite Rex", I had expected more.


    5. I liked reading this book, and I think so did many retroviruses I carry.I've read a lot of Zimmer's blogs and magazine articles, and I've even seen him at a symposium, but this is the first of his books I've tackled. I like his work because he takes on difficult subjects and explains them to the masses in a very approachable format. I actually didn't expect this to be quite as short and easy a read as it was, but this was practically airplane reading – many short vignettes enabling easy stoppi [...]


    6. Non seulement, j'ai eu le plaisir de lire le livre en anglais (il est génial) mais également de le traduire en français avec mon ami Karim Madjer ! Tels des Flauberts en herbe, nous nous sommes arrêtés sur chaque phrase et nous sommes demandés quelle idée l'auteur voulait véhiculer, afin de respecter son intention et d'éviter une traduction littérale. Expérience géniale ! Intéressé par tout retour sur la traduction :)Bonne lecture !BizAlan


    7. Don't be deterred by the pedestrian science in the first few chapters of Planet of Viruses. It gets better. And by better, I mean more interesting and mysterious. Viruses are fragments of genetic code encased in protein with the capacity to invade cells and commandeer cell resources to reproduce the virus, ultimately bursting the cell wall to release replicated viruses. Certain viruses have been harnessed by animals and humans to play critical roles in the life of the organism. For example, huma [...]


    8. বিভিন্ন জাতের ভাইরাসের পরিচিতি, মানব সমাজে তাদের উপকারী ও অপকারী প্রভাব, ভাইরাস-প্রতিষেধক আবিষ্কার, ভাইরাস ঠেকানোর উপায়, ভবিষ্যত মহামারীর প্রকৃতি কেমন হতে পারে সে-সম্পর্কে ধারণা-- এসব নিয়ে [...]


    9. A very interesting read. Although I know absolutely nothing of this subject matter, it was relatively easy to understand. My favourite chapter was on the human rhinovirus (common cold). Who knew that it’s actually not the virus that makes us feel sick, the immune cells released to fight the virus, makes us feel horrible. I was also fascinated by the chapter on bacteriophages. These live viruses can be injected to (very effectively) fight and kill other viruses. We may be hearing more about thi [...]


    10. I do hope to get this out of the library again and write a better review, but I had to send it back and didn't have a chance to take notes. Here are two excellent gr reviews:/review/show/review/show


    11. Carl Zimmer, one of the most gifted and engaging science writers of our time, has done it again. Few voices bring life to science this way, or indeed to the very rocks on which you walk. His details are always striking and intriguing. Here's an example: The human genome contains about 23,000 genes, coding sequences making up about 1.2% of our DNA. It also contains about 100,000 fragments of viral DNA, 8% of the total. Yes, you are a graveyard of undead viral DNA, endogenous retroviruses making u [...]


    12. This is my first foray into the writings of Carl Zimmer. Given its extreme brevity (because it's actually a collection of essays), I know that it's not necessarily representative of his other books which, based on this one, I'm looking forward to checking out. Three stars only because it's a solid and edifying treatment of a somewhat arcane subject, not some kind of action thriller. "A Planet of Viruses" is a whirlwind review of what viruses are, how they were first isolated as pathogens by 19th [...]


    13. I'll expect nightmares tonight.'Part chicken part virus' is a phrase that'll stick in my head. Also the image of the world's oceans, which I'll know from now on as chock to the brim with viruses -- few of which want anything to do with me personally -- which is not what can be said of mosquitoes (viruses on wings), or the new crop of viruses evolving in monkeys somewhere in the African jungles as we speak. The chapter entitled 'Our Inner Parasites' should probably be avoided by the hypochondriac [...]


    14. This is a slender volume that gives you quite a bit of easily accessible information about viruses. Each chapter tells the tale of a different virus in a fascinating way. Profiled are: rhinovirus (common cold), influenza virus, human papillomavirus, bacteriophages (viruses that "eat" bacteria), marine phages (viruses in the ocean), endogenous retroviruses (viruses that survive by inserting themselves into the host's DNA, some going back thousands of years), HIV, West Nile virus, SARS and Ebola, [...]


    15. My husband looked over and saw me reading this book, and said “No!” while shaking his head. I looked up, I knew why he was having this reaction. I can be a little obsessive over germs, but I assured him that it was ok. I had made it past the worst part of the book where the author coyly points out on page 3 that a virus might even impregnate a piece of paper, spreading disease with the touch of a finger. Who wouldn’t look at the book in their hand with a small amount of horror after readin [...]



    16. I am not a big science person, but I really did enjoy this one considering the topic. It could have been really boring, yet I found myself very engrossed in this one by the end.



    17. There are many reasons why Carl Zimmer is the best science writer. This book provides one more. It's high-class science writing.I don't know the first thing about viruses, so most of the content was new to me, especially the extent to which viral genes have become a part of the genomes of all animals, including humans. There are plenty of threads that I'm sure Zimmer would have followed up, perhaps in the years of deep diving he would have enjoyed to soak up knowledge required for a book of this [...]


    18. "The very word virus began as a contradiction. We inherited the word from the Roman Empire, where it meant, at once, the venom of a snake or the semen of a man. Creation and destruction in one word."Good read about viruses written generally enough for non-scientists to follow. Conversely, I am a scientist and found this little book both interesting and informative, though there were parts that were a review. Another telling point: one of my close friends is a virologist, and he's the one that re [...]


    19. I read about viruses in introductory Microbiology course, and I have a good knowledge of Evolution, but even that didn't prepare me for the bizarre facts that Zimmer presented in this book. I'll never look at oceans or water coolers the same way again.What is common among a man with tree-like growth all over his skin, a mythical creature ( rabbit with a horn ), and a protein without which mammal foetus don't survive? Virus!This book scares you about the innumerable number of viruses you're surro [...]


    20. An enjoyable short work all about Viruses. As someone who maintains at best a loose lay interest in all things scientific I would have to say that this was an excellent account on the topic that was clear and never overly complicated in its use of technical terms. The book is split by the main types of viruses it talks about and takes a brief look into the history of human contact with the virus, and in many cases through research also discusses the history of the virus itself and how it develop [...]


    21. An exciting journey into the world of viruses. It was so interesting that it didn't let me hop into some other book,which I do all the time while reading a book. And considering how stupid(not much interested too) I am in matters of science,this is an extraordinary feat. Just to give you an idea of how stupid I am,I will just add that I haven't heard of rhinovirus ever before(or may have,but never noticed). So I'm nowhere near even a mediocre when it comes to analyzing the science in here. But i [...]


    22. A short introduction to viruses. This book describes what viruses are, how they work, and gives specific overviews of a number of viruses that most people would have heard of. Viruses are far more common than most people think and there are many of them whose purpose is still not understood.The book highlights the amount of virus DNA most humans carry in their genes. The human body (and many other organisms) are pack-rats, collecting DNA snippets and packing them into our genes. Scientists are a [...]


    23. A good intro for learning about viruses -- if you really want to know about all the viruses that use your body as a host, or the ways in which they have influenced our own evolution. The bit about the placenta was a revelation to me.Some of the best parts are the historical moments when researchers first tried to understand what viruses were, before they could even see them. There were some crazy experiments in our past, but sometimes the best lessons come from insanity. Also of interest: how we [...]


    24. An excellent read, but too short. This is really a series of articles about specific viruses, but the articles are related and follow a logical progression, and an epilogue ties them together. The writing is good, lucid for the non-virologist but not patronizingly simple. My only complaint is that it is too short. I would love to have seen three or four more chapters/articles. It's a fascinating topic and it is very important to us.


    25. I am a closet science geek and could not resist reading this as soon as I got my hands on it even though I am in the middle of another book. The chapter on endogenous retrovirus went completely over my head but the rest of the book was easily understood. It discusses a wide range of viruses, from the common cold right to HIV, SARS and Ebola. This was a quick, informative and interesting read.


    26. Excellent book. Makes you obnoxious, uncomfortable at times and yet present you with new insights about verity of Viruses that has influenced Humans over the years. I still cannot fathom the fact that Human Genome is the ultimate result of evolutionary process that involves Natural Selection of various strains of viruses that are still part of us and other living organisms on this planet. Another one of those books that has wealth of knowledge in very few pages. Highly Recommended.


    27. This little collection of scientific articles concerning myriad viruses did it's job well: it overwhelmed me with valuable and interesting new information about these simple "organisms" and their pernicious - but sometimes necessary - effects on living things.Overall, it instigated in me a curiosity towards more literature on this specific subject.


    28. A planet of viruses is a brief little book. I really don't know what to say about it; it contains a "most popular" list of viruses, accompanied by just general information about each of the viruses discussed. For me, it didn't bring anything new to the table, so I couldn't give it more than three stars.


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