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The Invisible Siege

The Invisible Siege

By Dan Werbhardcover1 March 2022
$59.99
or 4 payments of $15.00 with Learn more
Booklovers earn $2.95 in rewards
An engrossing family history of coronaviruses and the modern-day scientific quest to conquer viral epidemics forever

The once-in-a-century pandemic caused by COVID-19--the third deadly coronavirus to emerge in the past twenty years--fixed humanity's gaze on the virus's present and immediate future. But the story of this pandemic extends far further back than many realize. In this fascinating narrative, epidemiologist Dan Werb traces the rise of the coronavirus family and society's desperate attempt to counter its threat. In the process, he weaves another kind of family history: that of a group of scientists who foresaw the danger and spent decades working to stop a looming pandemic.

When virologist Ralph Baric began researching coronaviruses in the 1980s, the field was a scientific backwater--the few variants known to infect humans caused little more than the common cold. But when a novel coronavirus sparked the 2003 SARS epidemic, this obscure viral family became the single greatest pandemic threat our species faced. For all its novelty, the SARS epidemic shared alarming similarities with historical moments when coronaviruses made rare but deadly jumps from animals to human hosts. When the MERS virus emerged ten years later--the blink of an eye in virological time--Baric and his allies realized that time was running out before a pandemic strain would make the inevitable jump.

In The Invisible Siege, Werb unpacks the dynamic history and microscopic complexity of an organism that has wreaked cycles of havoc upon the world for millennia. Elegantly tracing decades of scientific investigation, Werb illuminates how Baric's team of scientists hatched an audacious plan not merely to battle COVID-19, but to end pandemics forever. Yet as they raced to develop vaccines and therapeutics that struck at coronaviruses' key biological mechanisms, they ran headlong into a complicated nexus of science, ethics, industry, and politics that threatened to derail their efforts just as COVID-19 loomed ever larger.

The Invisible Siege is at once the story of an unprecedented global scientific movement to stop COVID-19--a rare success story in a pandemic defined by system failure--and the infuriating factors that even now threaten to leave essential scientific discovery unfinished and the world vulnerable to the ravages of the inevitable coronaviruses to come.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Title: The Invisible Siege
  • Author: Dan Werb
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY)
  • ISBN: 9780593239230
  • Width: 6.13 inch
  • Languages: English
  • Subtitle: The Rise of Coronaviruses and the Search for a Cure
  • Format: HardCover
  • Category: Biology , Popular Science , Social Sciences
  • Publication Date: 01/03/2022
  • Pages: 384
  • Height: 9.25 inch
  • Weight: 1.25 pound

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