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How Pathogenic Viruses Think, Second Edition
Making Sense of Virology

Author(s): Lauren Sompayrac, PhD, Retired Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • ISBN-13: 9781449645793
  • Paperback    170 pages      © 2013
Price: $56.95 US List
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Over the past decade, the amount of data on viruses has grown dramatically. How can a virology student possibly make sense of all this information?  In How Pathogenic Viruses Think, Second Edition, Dr. Sompayrac introduces an “organizing principle” – a paradigm to use to cut through all the details and focus on what’s important.  He demonstrates the use of this paradigm by “interviewing” twelve medically important viruses. During these interviews, each virus is encouraged to disclose not only what it does, but why it does it. And when a “talking virus” reveals its secrets, they are hard to forget!
How Pathogenic Viruses Think covers the essential elements of virus-host interactions with descriptive graphics, helpful mnemonic tactics for retaining the information, and brief reviews of important concepts. It is an ideal book to help medical, science, and nursing students make sense of this complex subject. 
Interviewer: I always ask the viruses I interview, “How do you attack your hosts, and why have you chosen that route?”

Flu Virus: I favor the respiratory route.

Interviewer: Okay, but why? For example, why not enter via the digestive tract?

Flu Virus: Are you kidding me? Do I look like a dumb virus to you? My Uncle Harold tried the digestive tract once, and got as far as the stomach before the acid in there ate him alive! Not me. I take the easy way in. The respiratory route of infection provides direct access to my favorite target cells – the epithelial cells which line the human airway. 
Part  I  Fathoming the Mind of a Virus
    1  The Organizing Principle
    2  Host Defenses
    3  The Interferon Defense System
Part  II  The Bug Parade
  Viruses We Inhale
    4  Influenza: A “Bait-and-Switch” Virus
    5  Rhinovirus: A Virus That Surrenders
    6  Measles: A “Trojan-Horse” Virus
  Viruses We Eat
    7  Rotavirus: An Undercover Virus
    8  Adenovirus: A Virus with a Time Limit
    9  Hepatitis A: A Virus That Detours
  Viruses We Get From Mom
    10  Hepatitis B: A Decoy Virus
    11  Hepatitis C Virus: An Escape Artist
    12  HTLV-I: A Tribal Virus
  Viruses We Get By Intimate Physical Contact
    13  HIV-1: An Urban Virus
    14  Herpes Simplex: A Virus That Hides
    15  Human Papillomavirus: A Very Quiet Virus
Part  III  Beyond the Bug Parade
    16  Emerging Viruses
    17  Virus-Associated Cancer
    18  Vaccines
    19  Antiviral Drugs

Lauren Sompayrac, PhD-Retired Professor, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

PDr. Lauren Sompayrac was born in Jacksonville, Florida, on September 4, 1941. He attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and received a B.S. degree in physics in 1963, and a Ph.D. degree in elementary particle physics in 1969. After two years of postdoctoral research in particle physics, he moved to Copenhagen where he was a Postdoctoral Fellow for two years at the Microbiology Institute. Returning to the United States in 1973, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Pathology at the Harvard Medical School where he studied tumor viruses. In 1976, he moved to the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology at the University of Colorado to continue his work on tumor viruses, eventually rising to the rank of Research Professor before his retirement in 1998. In retirement, he writes science books, and is the author of How the Immune System Works, published by Blackwell Science in 1999, and How Pathogenic Viruses Work, published by Jones and Bartlett in 2001.

Additional Titles by this Author
  • The "interviews" with the viruses humanize them in a way that will make general principles as well as differences between viruses stick in the reader¹s mind ­ whether a beginning student in medical sciences or a more advanced reader.

    Daniel G. Tenen, MD
    Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School
    Distinguished Professor, Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore
  • "I especially like the new approach which reflects the scientific experimental practice by directly asking the object under investigation and then let it answer.  In this way the facts are also easy to remember and, most important, the meaning of the viral activity is clearly mediated. The viruses are personalized as biological entities and they lose their abstract character, making it easy to raize interest in virology. It was a good idea to include the chapter on the interferon system."

    Prof. Dr. Andreas Dotzauer
    Department of Virology
    University of Bremen, Germany