By Frank Ryan
Collins Publishing; ISBN: 9780007315123; 390 pages
Virolution is a fascinating read and relative to the world we live in today. With cancer and autoimmune diseases affecting 1 in 20 people in our society I found Virolution to be a viable resource of understanding.
Author Frank Ryan is a physician and evolutionary biologist. He pioneered the evolutionary concepts of “viral symbiosis” and “genomic creativity.” In Virolution Dr. Ryan explores the evolution of viruses as it relates to the human genome. This is a new concept deriving from the biological discoveries of Darwin.
I am not a scientist so I found it interesting to learn that we have just recently discovered the code of the entire human genome. This discovery was released on Sunday February 12, 2001 and scientists were surprised to learn that the human genome is unbelievably simple, only ten times more complex then bacteria. They also discovered large fragments of viruses embedded in the human DNA. This discovery triggered a passion in Dr. Ryan that led him on a ten-year journey of research. Virolution is the product of this research.
Virolution is complex yet readable. Frank Ryan truly writes for both the scientific and the non-scientific reader. He makes decoding and understanding the intertwined biological relationships between plants, animals, humans and viruses digestible and interesting. He gives thorough examples of every concept to explain his discoveries and theories. Virolution explores viruses, how they have adapted and mutated to co-exist in the human genome and how this discovery relates to cancer, autoimmune diseases and other incurable conditions that affect the human body.
I personally have friends and family living with MS, AIDS, lupus, Alzheimer’s, and cancer and two family members lost their battle with cancer this past year. I think it’s safe to generalize that the non-scientific population typically looks at these conditions through emotional eyes, with anger and helplessness. I walked away from reading Virolution with knowledge and a sense of reassurance that scientific understanding too is evolving, new discoveries are continually being made and cures to autoimmune diseases and cancer are possible.