Viruses as life

Next Topic
 
classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
4 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Viruses as life

Raifu
Administrator
This post was updated on .
See this article, which lets us know that viruses and bacertia could have a common ancestor: https://cosmosmagazine.com/biology/what-came-first-cells-or-viruses

Also note that viruses make decisions (which at some level might imply motion, regardless of whether they can translocate their entire bodies unaided).

Viruses have taxonomy, and relationships to other viruses.

Viruses are comprised of multiple atoms, in a structured way. They contain fat, protein, and DNA.

Viruses can be destroyed (for example, by heat or other means). Depending on who you ask, they may or may not term that as death. And if it can die, it's perhaps alive, in some sense.

While viruses need cells from other organisms to reproduce, I don't see how that, in and of itself, differentiates them from parasitic animals.

With these things in mind, and others we already should know, I don't see why they should be excluded from being considered alive.

I think the problem here is that life is an abstract word and it is based on context. I mean, in what contexts are viruses alive, or not alive? In what contexts are animals alive? In what context can computers be alive? They're all alive in some contexts. If you separate context and life, it doesn't make a lot of sense to attempt to use logic to determine what is alive and what isn't.

So, rather than trying to make life describe its own context (which doesn't make sense), I think we have to describe in what way things are alive. I mean, pick your criteria and give it a context name.

virus_
bacteria_
life_
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet
Profile post
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Viruses as life

Raifu
Administrator
I found this article: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171206122423.htm

It supports the notion that viruses and other life-forms have a common ancestor:

"The researchers found hundreds of folds that are present across all superkingdoms of life and in all types of viruses, which suggests that they came from an ancient ancestor of all life forms, Caetano-Anolles said."

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "Viruses share genes with organisms across the tree of life, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171206122423.htm (accessed April 1, 2020).

It tells us also about how viruses interact with DNA of things besides their hosts, how they can put DNA in other life-forms, and how they might be able to create new genes. To me, with my limited knowledge about this, it seems possible that the possible new genes they might create might just be genes from their ancestors that don't belong to other creatures.

life_
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet
Profile post
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Viruses as life

Raifu
Administrator
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Raifu
Viruses communicate and strategize: https://www.pharmamicroresources.com/2017/02/how-viruses-communicate.html

Viruses make decisions, cooperate, and compete: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/02/170206130405.htm

Also research Arbitrium.
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet
Profile post
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Viruses as life

Raifu
Administrator
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Raifu
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6171941/

One might be tempted to think that because 'synthetic viruses' supposedly can be created, that viruses are not alive.

Well, as this article demonstrates, synthetic viruses are not entirely synthetic. A live organic virus appears to be used in their creation. It's the genome that is synthesized (not the full virus).

It sounds like it's pretty much the same as what they do to make new bacteria (which are widely considered alive): https://gizmodo.com/mad-scientists-created-synthetic-bacteria-with-only-473-1766686722

Yes, that involves implanting a genome into a living cell.

It sounds similar to what is done for cloning sheep.
Location: SW Idaho, USA
Climate: BSk
USDA hardiness zone: 6
Elevation: 2,260 feet
Profile post
Feedback, Links, Privacy, Rules, Support