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Author, environmentalist and biochemist Pranay Lal talks to host Pavan Srinath about the fascinating world of viruses, their natural history, their biology, and their role in maintaining human and global systems.
Humans have only discovered about 5,600 species of viruses till date, and a small number of them are known to cause lethal diseases in humans. During the COVID-19 epidemic, it is useful to take a step back and understand how sub-microscopic, not-fully-alive viruses shape so many aspects of the world as we know it.
Pranay Lal takes listeners on a rhapsodic journey through the world of viruses and paints vivid pictures of them as cosmopolitan colonisers, as regulators of global Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide, of microbes in our own digestive systems, and as even the cause of one of the oldest economic bubbles in human history – Tulip Mania.
Pranay Lal is a biochemist and an artist who works in public health and environment. He has extensive publications in the areas of public health, global trade, ecology and mysterious fevers.