Download A Planet of Viruses: Second Edition by Carl Zimmer PDF

By Carl Zimmer

The previous yr has been considered one of viral panic—panic about viruses, that's. via headlines, public overall healthiness warnings, and not less than one selfmade hazmat go well with, we have been reminded of the strong strength of viruses. they're the smallest residing issues recognized to technological know-how, but they could carry the total planet of their sway.
A Planet of Viruses is Carl Zimmer’s eye-opening examine the hidden international of viruses. Zimmer, the preferred technological know-how author and writer of National Geographic’s award-winning weblog The Loom, has up-to-date this variation to incorporate the tales of latest outbreaks, equivalent to Ebola, MERS, and chikungunya virus; new clinical discoveries, corresponding to a hundred-million-year-old virus that contaminated the typical ancestor of armadillos, elephants, and people; and new findings that exhibit why weather switch could lead to even deadlier outbreaks. Zimmer’s lucid factors and interesting tales display how deeply people and viruses are intertwined. Viruses helped provide upward thrust to the 1st life-forms, are liable for lots of our so much devastating illnesses, and should proceed to regulate our destiny for hundreds of years. completely readable, and as reassuring because it is scary, A Planet of Viruses is a desirable journey of an impressive hidden world.

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While Collins and other scientists discover how to make phages even more effective, antibiotics are now losing their luster. Doctors are grappling with a growing number of bacteria that have evolved resistance to most of the antibiotics available today. Sometimes doctors have to rely on expensive, last-Â�resort drugs that come with harsh side effects. And there’s every reason to expect that bacteria will evolve to resist last-Â�resort antibiotics as bacteriophages as viral medicine 43 well. Scientists are scrambling to develop new antibiotics, but it can take over a decade to get a new drug from the lab to the marketplace.

At its peak, the institute employed 1,200 people to produce tons of phages a year. During World War II, the Soviet Union shipped phage powders and pills to the front lines, where they were dispensed to infected soldiers. In 1963, the Eliava Institute ran the largest trial ever conducted to see how well phages actually worked in humans, enrolling 30,769 children in Tbilisi. Once a week, about half the children swallowed a pill that contained phages against Shigella. The other half of the children got a pill made of sugar.

Further research revealed that those survivors had acquired mutations that allowed them to resist the phages. The resistant bacteria then passed on their mutated genes to their descendants. Critics have argued that phage therapy would also foster the evolution of phage-�resistant bacteria, allowing infections to rebound. 42 the enemy of our enemy The advocates for phage therapy respond by pointing out that phages can evolve, too. As they replicate, they sometimes pick up mutations, and some of those mutations can give them new avenues for infecting resistant bacteria.

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