Quote of the Fortnight: Richard Preston’s The Hot Zone

In 1994, Richard Preston wrote a book called The Hot Zone about the outbreak of a strain of virus in lab monkeys outside Washington, D.C. The book was non-fiction, and the virus was a variant of Ebola. While the Washington-area strain was found to not affect humans, the threat of Ebola remains.

Today, Ebola has ravaged the Western African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia in the worst Ebola outbreak in history. The crisis prompts this quote from the book, pointing to the unpredictably character of nature:

“In biology, nothing is clear, everything is too complicated, everything is a mess, and just when you think you understand something, you peel off a layer and find deeper complications beneath. Nature is anything but simple.”

230px-The_Hot_Zone_(cover)

Featured image Fair Use, from Wikimedia Commons.

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