purpose of viruses??

Donald A. Lehn, Ph.D. dalehn at facstaff.wisc.edu
Fri Jan 27 11:45:03 EST 1995


In article <rrg.1018.000CB9E9 at aber.ac.uk>, rrg at aber.ac.uk says...
>
>In article <anh-2401950740200001 at mac-burl-11.dfci.harvard.edu> 
anh at macmailgw.dfci.harvard.edu (Anh Nguyen) writes:
>
>>I agree with you Mark. I would argue that the "purpose" of viruses, as
>>with all living organisms,is to propagate their genetic material. Viruses
>>are just a little more aggressive in their pursuit of this goal.
>
>Yes another agrees.  The aggressiveness can be really very high, Ebola 
Zaire 
>for example kills 9 out of 10 human hosts in <14 days.  I'd speculated 
that, 

But you are implying here that Ebola Zaire's preferred host is humans.
I don't think this is a valid assumption.  A virus can be 100% lethal
in one species and still be propagated if it can hide out in another
host.

>for the virus, this is not too good an idea as if you want to spread your 
>genetic material if your are too pathogenic then you eventually loose your 
>host.  Whereas AIDS although equally agressive allows the host to live thus 
>allowing its (somewhat rapid) propagation.
>
>Roy
>
>Dr Roy Goodacre            E-mail: rrg at aber.ac.uk
>FTP:   144.124.112.36      Voice:  +44 970 623111 ext 4187 (work)
>Fax:   +44 970 622354              +44 974 241236 (home)
>URL:   http://gepasi.dbs.aber.ac.uk/roy/chemom.htm
>Snail: Inst Biol Sci, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Dyfed, UK
>

-- 
Donald A. Lehn, Ph.D.                   Phone:  (608) 263-7668
Medical Sciences Center / 3415          Fax:    (608) 262-9300
University of Wisconsin Medical School  Email:  dalehn at facstaff.wisc.edu
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