Origin and Evolution of Viruses

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9780122203602: Origin and Evolution of Viruses

Are infectious diseases caused by novel entities, viruses that have rapidly evolved into more pathogenic forms, or viruses that have crossed species divides and become more virulent in their alternative host? These questions and how new diseases such as AIDS emerged have prompted renewed interest in the ways viruses originated and co-evolved with their hosts.
Origin and Evolution of Viruses presents a full and clear description of general viral concepts and specific viral systems, and provides an excellent foundation to our understanding of how viruses emerged.
This unique and comprehensive work is essential reading for all researchers in virology, molecular biology and related areas, as well as evolutionary biologists interested in phylogenetic approaches to molecular evolution. The reader is taken on an illumination journey--in time and concepts--from the first primitive replicons to their present-day complex viral counterparts.
Apart from the obvious interest, as humans are potential hosts for these viruses, there is also a great deal of academic interest in the evolutionary aspects of this simple group of organisms, since information can be gained about the origin of stains/species and evolutionary patterns that might be applicable to higher species.

The book addresses:
* Nature and evolution of early replicons
* DNA and RNA viruses in both plants and animals
* Viral origin, mutation, and survival
* Antigenic variation in influenza virus
* Interplay between host evolution and DNA virus evolution
* Emergence of viral-induced diseases, e.g. hepatitis, influenza and HIV

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About the Author:

Esteban Domingo studied chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Barcelona, Spain and spent postdoctoral stays at the University of California, Irvine and the University of Zürich. His main interests are the quasispecies structure of RNA viruses and the development of new antiviral strategies. He is presently Professor of Research of the Spanish Research Council (CSIC) at Centro de Biología Molecular "Servero Ochoa" in Madrid.

Dr. Robert Webster has worked in the field of Virology for over 30 years, first in New Zealand and then at the John Curtin School of Medical Research in Australia. He has spent the past 25 years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in the Department of Virology & Molecular Biology. In addition to his position as Chairman at St. Jude, Dr. Webster is Director of the U.S. Collaborating Center of the World Health Organization dealing with the ecology of animal influenza viruses. He has served on numerous national and international advisory boards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society. Dr. Webster has published extensively on influenza in areas covering the origin of pandemic strains, genetic variation, structure and function of virus and, in conjunction with Graeme Laver, was responsible for the development of influenza subunit vaccines.

Review:

"...this book...is a detailed account of current thinking on virus evolution... Because of the diversity of subjects, this book gives an up to date picture of research in various fields of virology, and helps to tease out connections between these fields. The subjects covered are essential reading for virologists but also have direct relevance for molecular biologists, and indeed any researchers with interests in early evolution... This publication is highly recommended for its breadth of coverage and detailed treatments of the various subjects"
-―TODAY'S LIFE SCIENCE (February 2001)

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Esteban Domingo (Editor), Robert G. Webster (Editor), John F. Holland (Editor)
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