retroviruses; mammals

Julian Humphries jmhbs at UNO.EDU
Wed Sep 29 13:52:26 CDT 1999

>Nor I.  But in Margulis and Schwartz's Five Kingdoms they state:
>Viruses are probably related more closely to their hosts than to each other.
>They may have originated as nucleic acids that escaped from cells and began
>replicating on their own -- always, of course by returning to use the complex
>chemicals and structures in their former home cells.  Thus the polio and flu
>viruses are probably more related to people, and the tobacco mosaic virus
>to tobacco, than polio and TMV are to each other."

Lets think about this folks.  If the above statement were true and viruses
"alive" then life one earth has evolved a gazillion times.  Do they truly
that viruses keep originating de novo?  Is this the accepted view of viral
It doesn't matter what their DNA/RNA says if the truth of their history is
a point
origin in time.  Related means history not genetic similarity, no matter
how hard
that history is to see or is confounded by assimilation of new gene sequences.

Julian Humphries
University of New Orleans

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