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Questions regarding bloodborne viruses...

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Questions regarding bloodborne viruses...

Postby punkles » Thu Feb 25, 2010 12:25 am

I am writing a fictional book series that features a virus that I invented as a main plot point. The only problem is that I have never been very knowledgeable in Biology and I have some pretty specific questions. I have started this thread in the hope that good samaritans may be able to answer some of my questions.

The fictional virus is a bloodborne virus that has both negative(bleeding from the pores for quick transfer, enraged tendencies similar to animal rabies, and eventual death) and positive(super human strength, and reinforced skeleton) side effects.

Now, this is where the plot becomes specific and my lack of knowledge hinders me from tying together every loose end. In my story, the main antagonist needs to find a way to bond the virus with his unique genetic code. His plan is to live with the virus inside of him in a sort of a symbiotic relationship. Therefore, the virus lends him all of it's positive side effects, and none of the negative ones. He plans to let the virus take over the world, and wipeout the majority of the world. Then, he will rule the world us a superior race, using the virus inside of him. His plan is to also infect his biological son, the main protagonist of the story. Since his son would share his genetic code, he could rule beside the main antagonist, and pass the virus on to generation after generation. Therefore, the antagonist, the protagonist, and all of their descendants could rule the world forever as a family of superior humans... sort of like a physically manifested family of gods.

My only hitch is that I have no idea how this could work scientifically. I was thinking about incorporating nano technology or some invented enzyme, but like I mentioned before, my knowledge of Biology is very limited. Is there anyone who could offer any suggestions? I'd greatly appreciate it. Thankyou!
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Postby plasmodesmata11 » Thu Feb 25, 2010 1:47 am

look up the term "provirus". This is when a virus' DNA inserts itself into the host's genome. You could make it so the bad guy has only a certain place in his genome where it would attach, but look up basic virus stuff to get a good idea.
ALSO.... the unique part of his DNA that his son has... it would need to be passed on only through the Y chromosome it seems, because you didn't mention the mum having it. hope this helps? :D
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Postby punkles » Thu Feb 25, 2010 6:52 am

Thanks! That is a definate possibility that I will research... Is there any way for scientists to modify a virus to bond with a person's genome?
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Postby JackBean » Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:30 am

IMHO some gene therapy would be better (as there are used viruses as well, you only need to use the same kind of virus)

anyway, if you had massive bleeding, the virus would be deadly. Also, how could you incorporate only positive, but not negative effects?
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Postby Darby » Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:56 pm

If you could figure out how the virus generates the positive effects, you wouldn't need the virus to do it; if you couldn't figure it out, you can't modify the virus the way you want.

Also, diseases evolve to keep their hosts up and running about longer, the better to spread the viral offspring - the disease gets milder over time. This is the one major biological gaffe a lot of fiction makes. Pandemics, really bad ones, rarely have a mortality rate above 15%.
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Postby punkles » Sat Feb 27, 2010 9:18 pm

Thank you! You've all been really helpful... Maybe, I should just abandon the virus idea. It has too many plot holes... That, or I will just proceed with artistic license... I was hoping to incorporate genetics into it since lineage is a major theme in my series, and maybe there is an alternative road to that rather than virology.
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Re: Questions regarding bloodborne viruses...

Postby gmd » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:04 am

Just a suggestion but if you haven't already read it maybe you should read the book "Darwin's" Radio" by Greg Bear.
Don't run any more tests! The data do not support my conclusions!!!
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