Microorganisms, viruses, and computer programs encode all the information necessary to reproduce and spread themselves. Yet these mechanisms are amazingly similar in the animate world, in the world of viruses, and even in the world of technical systems. Viruses in all Dimensions shows how great the parallels are between these various animate and inanimate replicating systems and what they are based on.
The excursion also leads into the fascinating world of genetics, to the question of what defines life and into the programming of software that multiplies itself independently. Finally, the question is derived whether and to what extent such self-replicating technical systems can become as dangerous as infectious viruses in triggering pandemics, such as the coronavirus pandemic in 2020.
- Viruses, microorganisms and molecular genetics
- What is life?.-Basic concepts of molecular genetics
- Viruses and early genetics
- Algorithms and self-replicating computer programs
- What is information?
- Coding of information in technology and biology
- Coevolution of life and technology
The author Rafael Ball holds a PhD in biology, is a historian of science and a librarian. He is the director of the ETH-Bibliothek Zurich and a lecturer in library science and management at the University of Applied Sciences Graubunden. For many years he has been concerned with questions of information theory, science communication and the effects of digitisation on science and society in the present and the future. He is the author of numerous relevant publications, editor of information science journals and speaker at meetings and conferences.