Panic in Level 4 by Richard Preston
Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science

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Synopsis

Bizarre illnesses and plagues that kill people in the most unspeakable ways. Obsessive and inspired efforts by scientists to solve mysteries and save lives. From The Hot Zone to The Demon in the Freezer and beyond, Richard Preston’s bestselling works have mesmerized readers everywhere by showing them strange worlds of nature they never dreamed of.

Panic in Level 4 is a grand tour through the eerie and unforgettable universe of Richard Preston, filled with incredible characters and mysteries that refuse to leave one’s mind. Here are dramatic true stories from this acclaimed and award-winning author, including:

• The phenomenon of “self-cannibals,” who suffer from a rare genetic condition caused by one wrong letter in their DNA that forces them to compulsively chew their own flesh–and why everyone may have a touch of this disease.
• The search for the unknown host of Ebola virus, an organism hidden somewhere in African rain forests, where the disease finds its way into the human species, causing outbreaks of unparalleled horror.
• The brilliant Russian brothers–“one mathematician divided between two bodies”–who built a supercomputer in their apartment from mail-order parts in an attempt to find hidden order in the number pi (π).

In fascinating, intimate, and exhilarating detail, Richard Preston portrays the frightening forces and constructive discoveries that are currently roiling and reordering our world, once again proving himself a master of the nonfiction narrative and, as noted in The Washington Post, “a science writer with an uncommon gift for turning complex biology into riveting page-turners.”


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About Richard Preston

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Michael Crichton has sold over 200 million books, which have been translated into thirty-six languages; thirteen of his books have been made into films. His novels include "Next", "State of Fear", "Timeline", "Jurassic Park", and "The Andromeda Strain". Also known as a filmmaker and the creator of "ER", he remains the only writer to have had the number-one book, movie, and TV show simultaneously. At the time of Crichton's death in 2008, he was well into the writing of "Micro"; Richard Preston was selected to complete the novel. Richard Preston is an internationally acclaimed best-selling author of eight books, including "The Hot Zone" and "The Wild Tree"s. Many of Preston's books have first appeared in "The New Yorker". He has won numerous awards, including the American Institute of Physics Award and the National Magazine Award, and he is the only person not a medical doctor to receive the Centers for Disease Control's Champion of Prevention Award for public health. He lives with his wife and three children near Princeton, New Jersey.
 
Published May 27, 2008 by Random House. 241 pages
Genres: Professional & Technical, Science & Math, Education & Reference, Nature & Wildlife, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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“The Human Kabbalah,” which focuses on Craig Venter and the business and technology behind the deciphering of the human genome, is loosely linked to “The Self-Cannibals,” which tackles a genetic disorder that causes those who have it to attack themselves brutally.

Apr 15 2008 | Read Full Review of Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, ...

Publishers Weekly

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""Buffy the Vampire Slayer""'s James Lurie brings his rich, honeyed baritone to Prestons book of essays on radical science.

| Read Full Review of Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, ...

NPR

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NPR coverage of Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, Killer Viruses, and Other Journeys to the Edge of Science by Richard Preston. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.

Jan 01 2010 | Read Full Review of Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, ...

Entertainment Weekly

Panic in Level 4, a slightly awkward grab-bag collection, includes expanded versions of six pieces Richard Preston originally wrote for The New Yorker, from an account of insect-ravaged Appalachian forests to the photographing of intricate 16th-century tapestries to the search for the origins ...

May 23 2008 | Read Full Review of Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, ...

Bookmarks Magazine

Richard Preston, a science writer for the New Yorker, is best known for his 1994 nonfiction thriller The Hot Zone (about the Ebola virus).

Jun 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Panic in Level 4: Cannibals, ...

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