Pristine water - hidden for millions of years, untouched by pollution, and possessing natural healing powers - is found miles under Antarctic ice. The scientists who make this astonishing discovery stand to win worldwide acclaim and earn billions. While people around the world line up for a taste of the therapeutic water, a cluster of new cases of mad cow disease explodes in a rural French province. Dr. Noah Haldane and his World Health Organization team are urgently summoned. Fresh from a brush with a pandemic flu, Noah recognizes the deadliness of a prion - the enigmatic microscopic protein responsible for mad cow disease - that kills with the speed and ferocity of a virus. Despite intense international pressure to declare the outbreak a random occurrence, Noah suspects that factors other than nature have ignited the prion's spread among animals and people in France. Facing a spate of disappearances and unexplained deaths, Noah uncovers a conspiracy that stretches from St. Petersburg, Russia, to Beverly Hills, and from the North to the South Pole. He soon realizes that the scientific find of the century - a lake the size of Lake Superior buried three miles under Antarctica - might hold the key to a microscopic Jurassic Park. With a billion-dollar industry hanging on his silence, Noah has to stay alive long enough to sound the alarm.
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