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No. 32: Mar-Apr 1984

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An Ocean Full Of Viruses

"A decade ago, veterinarian Alvin Smith, now at Oregon State University, found that a virus causing lesions and spontaneous abortions in California sea lions was 'indistinguishable' from one that ravaged pigs nationwide in 1952. New varieties of the culprit -- called a calicivirus -- have since turned up in diverse hosts: whales, cats, snakes and even primates. To reach such a variety of hosts, they either jump from organism to organism, Smith proposes, or they escape from bubbles popping on the ocean surface, waft ashore and enter a food chain. If he is right, the seas may be a bottomless reservoir for viruses -- and our attempts to combat diseases on land may be nullified by legions of new strains waiting to come ashore. In fact, some flu viruses are said to be spread by wild ducks."

(Anonymous; "Are the World's Oceans a Viral Breeding Ground," Science Digest, 92:20, February 1984.)

Comment. We leave it to the reader to fit this piece of the jigsaw to the preceding and following pieces.

From Science Frontiers #32, MAR-APR 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987