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Viral-induced evolution

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

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Viral-induced evolution

Postby ChesneMD » Wed Nov 16, 2011 4:08 pm

I am not going to provide any lengthy paragraph regarding the foundation of evolution, but propose a thought I just had.

We're under the assumption that evolution occurred and progressed through common ancestral species.

It has already been hypothesized that viruses may be the most prehistoric "life form". Mindful I do not use life form to assert that they are living, hence the quotations. What I mean is that they could be abiotic precursor to the start of cells.

One way this could probably be done is viruses originally being able to infect or fuse with eachother, given different variables. This could have led to the form of cells, though I won't attempt explaining how because I haven't worked that part out fully.

Another way is that they infected the original self-replicating molecular systems, during the RNA world. The formation of viruses could probably have been "waste" of these replicating molecular systems before the introduction of RNA, or they themselves have been the cause of RNA, while still being the waste of the SRMS.

Of course, it could be proposed then that viruses caused the SRMS, too.

Okay, now onto the biotic part -- The first unicellular organism, it would have been a bacteria or something close to it. Now, there is not much mutation in bacteria, due to binary fission, though it can evolve. What I would like to ask is your opinion on that evolution of species to new species could be a result of the first organisms being viral infected, causes a major shift in the RNA, then later DNA, in the organisms.

As stated earlier, some things I will not type as I haven't fully thought it out, but I thought it was interesting enough to ask other people about it.

If this is a current theory or hypothesis being tested by other scientists, I am completely unaware and I apologize.
I am a biologist, biological anthropologist, physicist, theoretical physicist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist... I am a scientist. Dammit, Jim, stop pestering Dr. McCoy!
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Postby canalon » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:43 pm

Virus are not thought to be the precursor of other life forms. They are parasite that require complex and developed host to reproduce. They must have evolved later.

Bacteria do have mutations a lot. The DNA replication is not as accurate. They have horizontal genetic transfer (conjugation, transpositions, transformation...).

Your hypothesis is not based on good research. I would study a bit more to think with better foundations. Good luck.
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Re:

Postby ChesneMD » Wed Nov 16, 2011 9:16 pm

canalon wrote:Virus are not thought to be the precursor of other life forms. They are parasite that require complex and developed host to reproduce. They must have evolved later.

Bacteria do have mutations a lot. The DNA replication is not as accurate. They have horizontal genetic transfer (conjugation, transpositions, transformation...).

Your hypothesis is not based on good research. I would study a bit more to think with better foundations. Good luck.


I do have to disagree, there is at least one theory in which they are, and even proposed that they will evolve to a higher organism in the future.

And binary fission is made to correct clones. And their way of replicating DNA is simple, too. Yes, there are mutations, but the purpose of binary fission is to keep things normal,same for their replicating nucleic acids. They do have recombination, obviously, which is why the bacterial cell becomes an Hfr, conjugating into F- instead of F+.

My hypothesis is not based on bad research, and your suggestion to study more is quite hilarious. I am a microbiologist, among numerous other fields. I've also taken more than enough virology classes, and have done independent research. And actually, I first learned about the virus theory from my former professor who is a virologist at Vanderbilt University. If you'd like, we can discuss my education and more in the PM section. Or, if I were to take a page out of your book, I'd be inclined to arrogantly and ignorantly suggest the same to you, to study more. But I'd prefer to stick to the science and not resort to such manners. After all, perhaps you are mistaken.

As for the research regarding my hypothesis, I am merely proposing an idea to be tested or thought about. Something occurred to the self-replicating molecular systems which altered them to form RNA. This could have been viruses, which could have contained RNA first as a nucleic acid and introduced it to this SRMS. Or, it could have been a precursor to viruses which caused unusual changes in the SRMS, causing them for constantly mutate. Of course a perfectly plausible alternative is the environment itself.

This can go along with the fact viruses have evolved along with us and the simple nature of what a virus is and does. I attribute it similar to Endosymbiosis theory, what I propose with the virus.

Furthermore, in your assertiveness, you seem to have forgotten we don't have answers regarding the subject I am talking about in any theory. The Fox and Miller-Urey experiment is nice, and more recent research based on the Miller-Urey, but we're not anywhere near knowing the answers.

I would not dare publish this hypothesis without sufficient research, of which it'd be hard to do. I apologize my random idea proposed caused you to doubt my intellect. I mean, aren't all theories and hypotheses more or less the same until properly researched and then supported, or eventually rejected?
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Postby canalon » Thu Nov 17, 2011 3:34 am

So could you present or link to that hypothesis that virus could be the origin of life?
I do not care about your education (or mine or that of your mentor in whatever university: we all can be wrong and mislead) but when you make extraordinary claims, i.e. that a parasite that cannot replicate without external assistance could be the origin of that external assistance you need to provide extraordinary proof. :roll:
And binary fission is made to correct clones. And their way of replicating DNA is simple, too. Yes, there are mutations, but the purpose of binary fission is to keep things normal,same for their replicating nucleic acids. They do have recombination, obviously, which is why the bacterial cell becomes an Hfr, conjugating into F- instead of F+.

This does not make any sense. What does correcting clone means? The purpose of replication is to multiply and spread genes.There are proofreading mechanisms, but mutation rates are highly variable even within a species, and in some case high mutation rates can be highly beneficial
And you view of conjugation seems quite limited (there is more than one type of plasmid, some can jump species and genus, carry things that will integrate in the genome and do plenty of fun little things)
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Re:

Postby ChesneMD » Thu Nov 17, 2011 4:13 am

canalon wrote:So could you present or link to that hypothesis that virus could be the origin of life?
I do not care about your education (or mine or that of your mentor in whatever university: we all can be wrong and mislead) but when you make extraordinary claims, i.e. that a parasite that cannot replicate without external assistance could be the origin of that external assistance you need to provide extraordinary proof. :roll:
And binary fission is made to correct clones. And their way of replicating DNA is simple, too. Yes, there are mutations, but the purpose of binary fission is to keep things normal,same for their replicating nucleic acids. They do have recombination, obviously, which is why the bacterial cell becomes an Hfr, conjugating into F- instead of F+.

This does not make any sense. What does correcting clone means? The purpose of replication is to multiply and spread genes.There are proofreading mechanisms, but mutation rates are highly variable even within a species, and in some case high mutation rates can be highly beneficial
And you view of conjugation seems quite limited (there is more than one type of plasmid, some can jump species and genus, carry things that will integrate in the genome and do plenty of fun little things)


It's not that they're the origin of life, that is just something I suggested as a plausible explanation. The theory is that viruses are pre-biotic organisms. The other part postulates that current viruses will eventually evolve into biotic organisms. Likewise, it is suggested that life, reiterating, came about as a result of viruses. But I wouldn't asy the origin. The origin would be self-replicating molecular systems, or whatever had preceded it. That's more on the Theory of Abiogenesis/Biopoeisis.

I just got home from a long day, eating and relaxing, about to watch The Big Bang Theory. But I will provide a link regarding the theory about viruses and the potential to evolve into full biotic organisms after I relax. I'd have to look for it, it's somewhere in my paper/files.

And agreed, we can all be wrong. My intent with stating credentials is that you brought up that I should study some more, which I vehemently disagreed with.

I'll admit I rushed through, running on empty as I haven't slept in 4 days (a lot of work, and I know... cognitive function and etc diminishes the longer I stay up.) , and barely skimmed what really happens with bacteria and their mutations. So it was limited. But I do promise I know the entire process and every variable related, lol.

Regarding "correct cloning", please disregard that. I think I was falling asleep while typing it, which is completely unprofessional. I am not sure what I meant, but what I would like to say is that binary fission is made to create clones. Of course, as we both stated, that's not the whole story. But honestly, I am too tired as of right now to get into it I did not exactly disagree with you regarding it, and won't. I think certain parts are subjective in it, which caused the misunderstanding.

I spent all day in the lab inoculating, incubating, etc. I am sure you understand, as you seem to enjoy microbiology, as well. All I have been doing since Monday.

But about my topic, and a viral-induced evolution and etc.. It's just an idea I had randomly on my way to the campus. Viruses evolved along with life, so it's as old as we are. And without us, there is no reason for it to exist. I would love to be able to expand on it and even test it, but that's impossible. I was merely asking what others thought, if they'd love to entertain the thought, etc.
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Postby Darby » Fri Nov 18, 2011 12:42 am

I might suspect that viruses are remaining remnants of prebiotic organisms, a stripped-down parasitic subgroup of what might have been a much more diverse group (although there might be non-parasitic versions still remaining in the oceans, they're just starting to run analyses that could reveal them).
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Re:

Postby awkko808 » Sun Dec 04, 2011 3:19 am

canalon wrote:Virus are not thought to be the precursor of other life forms. They are parasite that require complex and developed host to reproduce. They must have evolved later.

Bacteria do have mutations a lot. The DNA replication is not as accurate. They have horizontal genetic transfer (conjugation, transpositions, transformation...).

Your hypothesis is not based on good research. I would study a bit more to think with better foundations. Good luck.


Sorry to butt in so late, but I found this topic interesting. Here one might argue that, at that point in life's timeline, bacterial conjugation and pili may not have evolved yet. I personally do not have any knowledge of when pili had evolved, but if someone has insight on this it would probably help refine your idea.

I think the idea of viruses coming from SRMS waste is interesting. Perhaps excreted nucleic acid waste from another, engulfed SRMS was the origin of viruses, and then these viruses infected SRMSs, increasing mutation rate? Whatever may have happened, it would be hard to find support for this.
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