Re: Viruses

From: Robert Bradbury (
Date: Tue Jan 25 2000 - 20:19:41 MST

On Tue, 25 Jan 2000, david gobel wrote:

> Joe Dees
> Thank you so much for a real answer...
> Mitochondria and chloroplasts are suspected of having once been
> biotic parasites; today's virulence may bud and bloom into
> tomorrows symbience.

Dave, you should be careful not to group mitochondria or chlroplasts
with viruses. There is a big difference beween a relationship
that starts out between to relatively balanced "equals" where
there may be clear mutual advantages and where there is a
a clearer parasitic relationship (e.g. viruses) that could not
exist without the host.

Viruses got their start as natures way to speed up evolution by
transfering DNA between bacteria. The bacteria were quite content
to simply gradually mutate their way into new niches, but along
come these viruses and suddenly you are able to mix and match
genes from very different niches.

While you might like the effects of a supportive spouse, I don't think
you are going to look kindly on subversive agents that may cause your
children to rise up and slay you so they can have the master bedroom...
But hell, the cells don't care, they're just bags of dumb molecules...


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