Viruses are called many things, often scary.  But Marilyn Roosinck, from the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State calls them fascinating, exciting, and above all beautiful.  Dr. Roosinck has just published a new book called "Virus: An Illustrated Guide to 101 Incredible Microbes" with foreward by Carl Zimmer.  The book, with hundreds of stunning illustrations, details the dizzying breadth of biology that viruses exhibit. With examples of viruses from the animal, plant, fungal, and bacterial world, this book is bound to surprise and delight even the most devout of germophobes. Though we often are bombarded with news of the few viruses that threaten humans, this book illustrates just how critical viruses are to the world we see around us.


"Viruses rule our world. They both threaten to kill us and help to regulate the food webs of oceans. They embed themselves in our DNA and stalk the bacteria in our guts. They are ever-present, understudied, and, as this book makes more clear than any other has, beautiful. Roossinck provides a window into the diminutive architecture of our viruses, their grandeur, horror, details, and stories. Her book is a reminder that the world is always more interesting than it seems."--Rob Dunn, author of The Man Who Touched His Own Heart: True Tales of Science, Surgery, and Mystery

"Viruses are a microscopic but fundamentally important part of every ecosystem on the planet. By mixing spectacular illustrations with summaries of the properties of 101 viruses, this ‘field guide' brings the hidden world of these fascinating microbes to life."--Jonathan Eisen, University of California, Davis

"This is a wonderful book that educates readers about the variety, uses, and history of viruses. Roossinck does not take the expected position that all viruses are bad, but instead reveals the complexity and surprising diversity of them."--Erica Ollmann Saphire, Scripps Research Institute

"Absolutely terrific."--Sunetra Gupta, University of Oxford