jmone at MARAUDER.MILLERSV.EDU
Wed Apr 15 13:46:06 EST 1998
Since viruses are obligate intracellular parasites (totally dependent
on host cells for replication), it is reasonable to assume that the
present-day forms of viruses are actually "escaped genomes". It isn't
too hard to imagine that an ancestral cell possessed a piece of DNA
that somehow managed to encapsidate itself and escape from the cell
from which it originated. This seems much more likely than the idea
that viruses evolved before their host cells. What is more difficult
to envision is the origin of minus sense RNA viruses, and
double-stranded RNA viruses, which needed to also develop their own,
unique RNA polymerases to allow them to replicate.
By the way, what happened to your breast milk experiments?
More information about the Microbio