In spite of their destructive force, there is something fascinating about viruses. They are the earliest form of life to have developed on our planet. They bring suffering and death, and they trigger epidemics and plagues. We follow one scientist who successfully fought smallpox in the 1960s and 70s, and a colleague of his who is pursuing germs that thrive in California’s boiling acid lakes. A third scientist, from the Wildlife Conservation Society, is battling avian flu around the world.