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Virology text focuses on families

A new virology textbook published by ASM Press educates the reader by focusing on the families. Based on the author's experiences teaching virology for more than 35 years, Virology: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis enables readers to develop a deep understanding of fundamental virology by emphasizing principles and discussing viruses in the context of virus families.

"Virology: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis is meant to be used as a textbook for a comprehensive virology course aimed at advanced undergraduate and graduate students. It was conceived and organized to express my avid belief that the best way to teach virology is to discuss viruses in the context of virus families," says author Leonard Norkin of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

The individual virus families are examined within the context of the Baltimore classification system, a key unifying theme that allows readers to assume basic facts about the replication strategy of a virus based on the nature of its genome.

The first chapter provides an historical overview, followed by a chapter introducing the principles of animal virus classification and the Baltimore classification system. The next chapter explores the various modes of virus infection and disease. Chapter 4 then considers host defenses against microorganisms and viral countermeasures to subvert those host defenses.

Armed with a solid foundation in basic principles, readers move on to eighteen subsequent chapters, each one dedicated to a particular virus family. These chapters detail the organization of the viral genome and its pattern of expression, with additional discussions covering viral structure, entry, assembly, release, and associated medical issues.

"I know from more than three decades of teaching virology in this way that this is a sure-fire strategy for preparing students to approach the journal literature on any virus intelligently, key relevant knowledge already having been mastered. For the same reason, this book should continue to serve as a valuable reference for those who have studied from it," says Norkin.

The flow of chapters in Virology constitutes a continuous narrative in which key principles are regularly reintroduced to show how they apply in different contexts. This emphasis on principles coupled with the text's clear, straightforward writing style enables upper-level undergraduate and graduate students as well as professionals to grasp core principles of virology with ease.


Contact: Jim Sliwa
American Society for Microbiology

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