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Thinking Like a Phage


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About the Author

Leah L. Pant a is a classically trained artist who earned her BFA at Central Washington University and now specializes in drawing and painting. Her current mixed media abstract landscape work draws inspiration from the Abstract Expressionist movement.


  • It took about 100 years of phage research for us to realize that phages (and viruses in general) dominate cellular life, there being 10 to 100 times more phages than hosts. Wherever hosts live, phages seem to be there, too. Phages were also front and center when the field of molecular biology emerged. These messages should be distributed to the entire biology-oriented public in an easily readable way. Youle's phage book certainly offers this opportunity. Very good for new comers and those who do not remember anymore. --- Dennis Bamford, Professor Emeritus, University of Helsinki
  • Thinking Like a Phage is an engaging book that has the reader imagining what it is like to be a bacteriophage and to encounter the various challenges it faces, be it an obstinate cell wall, CRISPR fortifications, or a multitude of eager phage competitors. The range of depth and breadth of Thinking Like a Phage will delight every reader from the phage aphicianado to the student eager for immersion in the phascinating world of bacteriophages. --- Graham F. Hatfull, HHMI Professor, University of Pittsburgh
  • Whether you are an advanced high school or college student, a general science enthusiast, or a an established researcher or biology teacher seeking stimulating ways to introduce concepts in the classroom, "Thinking Like a Phage" is enjoyable and informative reading. The author, Merry Youle, astutely chooses specific phages to illustrate key life-cycles stages, viral-host interactions, and evolutionary concepts. The writing is witty and engaging, yet technically accurate and thorough. Together, the original artwork and the enthusiastic prose produce an unusually refreshing scientific narrative. --- Bentley Fane, Professor, University of Arizona

  • The phage phield has a nasty little secret: there is not a good introductory book for students and others interested in the most abundant life forms on the planet. Merry Youle has fixed this in the extraordinarily well-written Thinking Like a Phage. Concise, well-balanced in topics and current with the latest research, TLAP is a delight to read for the novice and expert alike. The incredible illustrations by Leah Pantea are both informative and beautiful. TLAP is the overview that the phage phield needs and a phascinating journey through the world's most interesting biology. --- Forest Rohwer, Professor, San Diego State University
  • My students will enjoy reading scientific information that is presented in such a clear, interesting and exciting manner. Chapter 1 is the best introduction to bacteriophage biology I have seen yet - hits all of my favorite topics! The book spotlights many of the usual suspect phage that we don't talk a lot about but that I want my students to know exist, as well as some of the truly weirdo phage. --- Sally Molloy, Assistant Professor, University of Maine

  • Our world is populated by untold numbers of creatures, but none are more abundant than the viruses that infect bacteria: the phages. This unseen realm plays a huge role in every ecosystem, yet its very existence is nearly universally unnoticed. It badly needs an advocate, and none serve better than Merry Youle. In these pages, she portrays this domain with aptly chosen examples, each described in an inviting, sometimes even witty, narrative. Be prepared to enter a splendid garden and view Nature at its most ingenious. --- Moselio "Elio" Schaechter, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Tufts University School of Medicine

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