Viruses and the Evolution of Life

Author: Luis P. Villarreal1
Affiliations: 1: Center for Virus Research and Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry University of California, Irvine Irvine, California
Content Type: Monograph
Format: Electronic
Publication Year: 2005

Category: Viruses and Viral Pathogenesis

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Viral Studies conducted in the 1950s contributed tremendously to the scientific understanding of molecular mechanisms present in living organisms. is an intriguing presentation of the virus-host relationship, as revealed through an examination of host evolution. This new volume avails the informed reader of a new perspective on the evolution of life while targeting the expert reader with discussion of specific scientific literature.

While it is generally accepted among evolutionary biologists that viruses are not self-sustaining and therefore cannot be alive, their impact on life is dramatic. Starting with prebiotic precursors of life, the book features an engaging discussion of various life forms and how each group has been affected by viruses. The author develops the concept of and distinction between acute and persisting viruses, an area of study that has heretofore largely been ignored. The relationship between the familiar disease-causing viruses and those viruses from which they emerge is also clarified.

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