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Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science » (Bargain)

Book cover image of Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science by Richard Preston

Authors: Richard Preston
ISBN-13: 9781616802684, ISBN-10: 1616802685
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Date Published: May 2008
Edition: Bargain

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Author Biography: Richard Preston

Whether fiction or nonfiction, Richard Preston's books about disastrous scientific scenarios are always impeccably researched, informative, and deftly drawn. Most of all, however, they re shocking, affecting, and thoroughly engrossing -- and when Preston tries, he ll scare the living daylights out of you.

Book Synopsis

Bizarre illnesses and plagues that kill people in the most unspeakable ways. Obsessive and inspired efforts by scientists to solve mysteries and save lives. From The Hot Zone to The Demon In The Freezer and beyond, Richard Preston's bestselling works have mesmerized readers everywhere by showing them strange worlds of nature they never dreamed of.

PANIC IN LEVEL 4 is a grand tour through the eerie and unforgettable universe of Richard Preston, filled with incredible characters and mysteries that refuse to leave one's mind. Here are dramatic true stories from this acclaimed and award-winning author, including:

  • The phenomenon of "self-cannibals," who suffer from a rare genetic condition caused by one wrong letter in their DNA that forces them to compulsively chew their own flesh-and why everyone may have a touch of this disease."
  • The search for the unknown host of Ebola virus, an organism hidden somewhere in African rain forests, where the disease finds its...

    Publishers Weekly

    The title of New Yorkercontributor Preston's new collection refers to the subject of his bestselling The Hot Zone: a series of rooms in a government biohazard laboratory where scientists work with virulent pathogens like the Ebola viruses that would be devastating in the hands of terrorists. The essays (all from the New Yorker) cover such scientific matters as a profile of controversial über-genome mapper Craig Venter; a gene that leads people to cannibalize themselves; and two Russian-Jewish émigré scientists who built a monster computer in their cramped apartment to puzzle out patterns in the value of pi. Preston's essay on the destruction of large swaths of eastern U.S. forests by insect parasites accidentally brought into the country from abroad is the shortest but most compelling. Preston might have done more to update his pieces; for example, the Marburg virus was found in bats last year, supporting his hypothesis that they are the reservoir for Ebola. But Preston's fans will enjoy his showing how few degrees of separation there are between far-flung areas of scientific endeavors. Illus. (June)

    Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  • Table of Contents

    List of Illustrations     xi
    Introduction: Adventures in Nonfiction Writing     xiii
    The Mountains of Pi     3
    A Death in the Forest     48
    The Search for Ebola     71
    The Human Kabbalah     89
    The Lost Unicorn     132
    The Self-Cannibals     150
    Glossary     181
    Acknowledgments     187