It's an incurable virus, as deadly as Ebola and as contagious as measles. Scientist call it "Virus X" - will it be the next plague? In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the human battle against the microbe. Also virologists who tread where others wouldn't dare -- into the "hot zone."
Physician Frank Ryan tells Jim Fleming that "Virus X" is a worst case scenario that could threaten the human race and explains how viruses operate in symbiosis with their hosts. Ryan is the author of "Virus X: Tracking the New Killer Plagues."SEGMENT 2:
Virologists Joseph McCormick and Susan Fisher-Hoch, formerly with the Centers for Disease Control, tell Steve Paulson about their work in the lab and in the field with the world's deadliest viruses. They are co-authors of "Level 4: Virus Hunters of the CDC." Also, Christopher Wills tells Steve Paulson that most of today's disease organisms have been around for a long time and have altered human history on various occasions. Wills teaches biology at the University of California - San Diego and is the author of "Yellor Fever, Black Goddess: The Co-evolution of People and Plagues."SEGMENT 3:
Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins has coined the word "meme" to describe a thought or set of thoughts that propagate like a virus. Dawkins tells Judith Strasser than memes range from the fashion for wearing baseball caps backwards to organized religion. Dawkins teaches at Oxford and is the author of "Climbing Mount Improbable."
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