This volume contains five chapters which served as the twentieth annual Priestly lectures. The subjects chosen by the author, who is an associate research professor of physics of the. University of Pittsburgh, are largely concerned with biophysical properties of certain viruses which have become available in large enough quantities and in states reasonably pure enough to warrant biophysical analyses.
The first lecture deals with "viruses as molecules"; the fourth considers "viruses as organisms." This in itself does not imply a contradiction, since it becomes more and more obvious that a variety of agents are included at present under the heading of viruses. The second and third lectures are entitled "the size and shape of viruses" and "the disintegration of viruses," whereas the last considers "viruses and human welfare."
The experimental data quoted, of which a sizable share involves the author's work, are concerned to a large extent with plant viruses,