Viruses: A Very Short Introduction

Paperback | July 12, 2011

byDorothy H. Crawford

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Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, swine flu, and SARS, we are constantly being bombarded with information about new lethal infections. In this Very Short Introduction Dorothy Crawford demonstrates how clever these entities really are. From their discovery and the unravelling oftheir intricate structures, Crawford demonstrates how these tiny parasites are by far the most abundant life forms on the planet. With up to two billion of them in each litre of sea water, viruses play a vital role in controlling the marine environment and are essential to the ocean's delicateecosystem. Analyzing the threat of emerging virus 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. Pinpointing wild animals as the source of the most recent pandemics, she discusses the reasons behind thepresent increase in potentially fatal infections, as well as evidence suggesting that long term viruses can eventually lead to cancer. By examining our lifestyle in the 21st century, Crawford looks to the future to ask whether we can ever live in harmony with viruses, and considers the ways in which we may need to adapt to prevent emerging viruses with devastating consequences.

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Viruses are big news. From pandemics such as HIV, swine flu, and SARS, we are constantly being bombarded with information about new lethal infections. In this Very Short Introduction Dorothy Crawford demonstrates how clever these entities really are. From their discovery and the unravelling oftheir intricate structures, Crawford demons...

Professor Crawford took the Robert Irvine Chair of Medical Microbiology at the University of Edinburgh in 1997, headed the school of Biomedical Sciences from 2004-2007, and was appointed Assistant Principal for Public Understanding of Medicine in 2007. She has previously published two books on microbes for a general audience, The Invi...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:176 pagesPublished:July 12, 2011Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199574855

ISBN - 13:9780199574858

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Table of Contents

1. What are viruses?2. Viruses are everywhere3. Kill or be killed4. Emerging virus infections5. Epidemics and pandemics6. Persistent viruses7. Tumour viruses8. Turning the tables on viruses9. Viruses past, present and future