After years stalking the HIV and other viruses with a computer, the author detected something very strange in the outer shell protein of HIV-1. He believes that the virus is literally acting as a shapeshifter in evading the host immune system.
This book is about a scientific adventure that covers the HIV, SARS, Yellow Fever, Ebola and other viruses. As this book explains, each virus has its own story in terms of evolution and its interactions with humans. It also argues that early vaccine successes with the smallpox, rabies and polio viruses were due to the hard shells of those viruses.
The concept of viral shapeshifting also opens up a new world of possibilities in improved treatments for cancers and infectious diseases.
The presentation in this book is aimed both at the curious layman and researchers.
Gerard Goh has advanced degrees in chemistry and computer science. He has co-authored research papers related to HIV, MERS, SARS, Ebola, Dengue, Yellow Fever, Hepatitis C, and tumor oncolysis. Having previously held research positions at the Indiana University School of Medicine (USA), National University of Singapore Medical School, and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Singapore, he is currently an independent researcher in computational protein virology.
The next big human pandemic—the next disease cataclysm, perhaps on the scale of AIDS or the 1918 influenza—is likely to be caused by a new virus coming to humans from wildlife. Experts call such an event “spillover” and they warn us to brace ourselves. David Quammen has tracked this subject from the jungles of Central Africa, the rooftops of Bangladesh, and the caves of southern China to the laboratories where researchers work in space suits to study lethal viruses. He illuminates the dynamics of Ebola, SARS, bird flu, Lyme disease, and other emerging threats and tells the story of AIDS and its origins as it has never before been told. Spillover reads like a mystery tale, full of mayhem and clues and questions. When the Next Big One arrives, what will it look like? From which innocent host animal will it emerge? Will we be ready?