Re: Viruses

From: david gobel (
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 09:52:38 MST

I said...
> > >
> > > What are viruses for? What positive contribution to they make to the
> > > biosphere?
> >

someone else said...
viruses are not FOR anything. There is no divine plan.
> >
> > Viruses contain genes. Genes are the primary unit of biological
> replication.
> > Replicators replicate.....end of story...

Thanks for the lecture...I'm pleased that you are brilliant. I guess
language has ceased to be a very useful tool.

Elizabeth Childs said...
> Yes, but it's an interesting question when you phrase it this way instead:
> "If we destroyed all viruses, would any other form of life be negatively
> effected?"
> And that's an interesting question, because we may some day have the power
> to do it. And if the answer is "no," then it would be in human being's
> interests to destroy all viruses.
> Is that what you meant,


I say...I like your reformulation of the question, and appreciate you
extension of kindness. If most/all living things on Earth are DNA/RNA based,
and they are part of an ecocosm, and each component of the ecocosm
formulates appropriate adaptive responses to competition and cooperation
from other DNA based lifeforms - What if any cooperative (from the human's
selfish conscious standpoint) activities/eventualities accrue
amongst/between viruses and mammals (specifically human cause that's what I
am). My first question was simpler and easily parsed. This question is
vastly more specific, but frankly adds no new info.

As an example of possible benefits, I have heard it postulated that viruses
may provide a mechanism for the injection of novel DNA into otherwise stable
mammalian genomes, and that action if true, may contribute to longer term
species viability, but I have never heard whether this was confirmed or
experimentally proved untrue.

Now for the REASON for the question...most research on viruses focus on the
ideopatic/pathologically negative to humans action of viruses. What if there
are massively useful but extraordinarily subtle benefits that viruses convey
to humans about which we are totally ignorant. Is there any research on
this? If no one is looking here, my intuition is that it would yield
incredible fruit.

Dave G

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