Please help!!

Ashley luvmuzk at
Sat Dec 12 11:29:46 EST 1998

This is the third time I've tried to post this!!  For some reason it
wouldn't post to multiple newsgroups at once.

To whom it may concern:

I am a freshman at Virginia Tech, and I need help with an Honors Biology
assignment.  This is our final exam grade and is called a "creative
experience."  We are allowed to ask anyone for ideas, except people in our
class.  Here is the problem:

We read a sci-fi story called "The Giving Plague" by David Brin.  It was
actually interesting and I highly recommend it to anyone!  It is about a
fictional disease called ALAS (Acquired Lavish Altruism Syndrome), which is
a blood-to-blood transmitted virus which causes its victims to acquire a
false altruism, beginning with the insatiable desire to donate blood.

If you have ideas on any one or more of the following questions, please
email me at apuig at  Thanks in advance!!  :)  (By the way, this is not
the entire set of questions- I am not asking anyone to do my homework for
me!  I just need more ideas)  They are worded a little differently to avoid
having to explain the entire story:

1.  Design an experiment to test if another (deadly) virus evolved from
ALAS.  What data would you expect to get from your experimental design and
how would you interpret these data?

2.  The ALAS genome may incorporate itself into the host genome.  How would
you determine if it does?  How would you separate it from the nucleotide
sequences of the host organism?  (I know that restriction enzymes are used
to cut specific sequences- but are there any problems that might arise from
this being a virus??)

3.  You are on a team to design a way to prevent the spread of ALAS or
inhibit it from propagating in the host.  How could you achieve this goal

Again, thanks to anyone who takes the time to answer any of the above
questions.  I really appreciate your assistance!!

Ashley :)

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