Most people think viruses are bad. But the Book of Genesis says “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31) Now a book has been written – “Viruses: Essential Agents of Life” (2012) - explaining how viruses are actually essential for life, so how could they be “bad”? Here’s a book review. I’ll give you some excerpts:
Today you can peruse any virology textbook and get the impression that less than two dozen viruses represent the entirety of Earth’s virosphere.
Viruses: Essential Agents of Life (2012, Springer), edited by Günter Witzany, is a great way to kick off the next 100 years of virology, with nary a reductionist thought to be found within its 427 pages.
Viruses are everywhere and in abundance, and the time has come to sit up and take notice.
Marilyn Roossinck suggests that the focus on viruses as agents of disease has led to a bias in our understanding of viruses in nature, that we ignore “the probability that viruses may play important roles in the ecology of their hosts [italics are mine].”