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Knowledge of the origin and evolution of viruses could provide a better …


Biology Articles » Evolutionary Biology » Origin and evolution of viruses: EscapedDNA/RNA sequences as evolutionaryaccelerators and natural biological weapons

Summary
- Origin and evolution of viruses: EscapedDNA/RNA sequences as evolutionaryaccelerators and natural biological weapons

Origin and evolution of viruses: Escaped DNA/RNA sequences as evolutionary accelerators and natural biological weapons

Ivan Bubanovic a, Stevo Najman b, Zlatibor Andjelkovic c

a Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medica Centre, Novosadska 1/c, 18000 Nis, Serbia, Serbia and Montenegro
b Institute of Biology, Medical Faculty, University Medical School, Nis, Serbia and Montenegro
c Institute of Histology, Medical Faculty, Pristina, Kosovska Mitrovica, Serbia and Montenegro

Summary

Knowledge of the origin and evolution of viruses could provide a better understanding of a number of phenomena in the field of evolution such as the origin and development of multi-cellular organisms, the rapid diversification of species over the last 600–700 million years and the lack of transitional forms in the evolution of species (‘‘missing links’’) etc. One of the possible effects of escaped DNA/RNA sequences or viruses on the evolution of multicellular organisms, especially vertebrates, could be the phenomenon of horizontal transmission and dissemination of genes. Interestingly, if so, this effect could be considered as a model of primeval and natural genetic engineering. Other possible links between the evolution of multi-cellular organisms and viruses are connected with the fact that viruses represent the source of different forms of selective pressure such as epidemics of infectious diseases, autoimmunity, malignant alteration, reproductive efficiency, etc. At the same time, these two models of ‘‘long-term evolutionary relations’’ could represent ‘‘key factors’’ in the evolution between viruses and multi-cellular organisms. The capability of a genome to produce and emit DNA/RNA sequences or de novo created viruses which can be a vector of genes horizontal transmission and/or cause selective pressure on concurrent or predator species gives a new characteristic to viruses – the possibility of their acting as natural biological weapons. Finally, possibly evolutionary advantages of this genome capability could be one of explanations for the phenomena such as genome instability and its ability to emit DNA/RNA sequences and/or de novo created viruses, as well as evolutionary conservation of this unique phenomena.

 

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Other notes:
[An article from Ivan Bubanovic (author)]
[First published in Medical Hypotheses (2005) 65, 868–872].


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