Skip to comments.Viruses With Immune System Found; Indicates They Are Living Creatures
Posted on 03/01/2013 8:51:09 PM PST by Olog-hai
Astonishingly, a virus that exclusively attacks the cholera bacteria was caught having stolen the functional immune system of bacteriaand is even using it against its bacterial host. A study published this week in the journal Nature provides the first evidence that this type of virus, a bacteriophage (phage for short), can acquire a wholly functional and adaptive immune system, something that was thought to be a too complex task for the very basic and dumb virus.
The phage used the stolen immune system to disableand thus defeatthe cholera bacterias defense system against phages. Therefore, the phage can kill the cholera bacteria and multiply to produce more phage offspring, which can then kill more cholera bacteria. The study has dramatic implications for phage therapy, which is the use of phages to treat bacterial diseases. Developing phage therapy is particularly important because some bacteria, called superbugs, are resistant to most or all current antibiotics.
The study lends credence to the controversial idea that viruses are living creatures, and bolsters the possibility of using phage therapy to treat bacterial infections, especially those that are resistant to antibiotic treatment, said Camilli, professor of Molecular Biology & Microbiology at Tufts University School of Medicine.
(Excerpt) Read more at scienceworldreport.com ...
They’ll be voting Democrat before you know it.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
Oh boy...another way to design bio-weapons!
Maybe one day we will find out that viruses and bacteria are the ‘intelligent’ creatures, and the rest of us are just food.
Especially if their primitive immune systems make them immune to common sense, logic, patriotism, and God.
Less alive than a sunflower, more alive than a brick - Stanley Prusiner
If they don’t feed on the Dems first . . .
I knew that there was a controversy about whether viruses are life forms or not but if not living beings what the heck would they be?
I remain in the camp that viruses aren’t alive. They don’t eat or metabolize at all, they don’t reproduce, and they do nothing if there aren’t other living things around for them to subvert. They can only trick other living things into making more copies of themselves. Being able to passively defeat an immune system changes nothing. To me, they aren’t living beings, they’re loophole-like pathological special cases of replication gone wrong.
Aye. So saith Giorgio Tsoukalos.
The categories “living organism” and “not a living organism” do not exist in nature.
They are artificial constructs we create due to the overwhelming human compulsion to put things into categories as a way of mentally dealing with them.
IOW, the map (human representation) is not the territory (reality).
So whether a virus is a living organism or not is dependent entirely on the definition you choose to use for “living organism.”
If I could rate posts, I’d give yours an A+.
Hmmm. Interesting way to look at it. There is no doubt they are very strange things. Yet they do mutate into new types don’t they? I am thinking of the new strains of flu viruses and their like.
They’ll be able to vote Democrat, as long as you don’t call them a fetus. Because a fetus isn’t a life form. Puppies and viro-phages, sure. Humans, not so much.
Yes, flu viruses mutate their protein coat, which (temporarily) defeats the immune response that is geared to a particular type of protein. But what is described in this article is a more significant alteration, picking up a whole new capability.
I don’t disagree with you at all, which is why I began my post “I remain in the camp” rather than “Viruses aren’t alive.” Then again, any category that can be spoken of is just a human construct too, nobody would be talking about anything if we weren’t here. Nevertheless, categories are useful constructs which is why we make them.
I presented reasons to reject viruses as being alive, with which others are free to argue.
Don’t they always tell us the flu shot can’t make us sick because it is a “dead” virus?
It sounds like PETA should be out there protesting all flu shots. Further it is our DUTY to cough in their face when we have it and they should like it.
And many of them work in Washington DC.
To their credit they are also called “deactivated” viruses. The idea is to expose people to the protein coats, so they can build up immunity to those, but have the “Replicate a whole bunch of ME!!!!” DNA or RNA instructions destroyed. But if some of them aren’t destroyed, then you get the flu. Even if they are destroyed, the immune response to the proteins might make you somewhat sick. But if the DNA parts they aren’t destroyed, and you do get sick, that doesn’t make them “alive” - at least by my definition. They still don’t eat, they don’t poop, they don’t metabolize, they don’t reproduce, and their number never increases unless and until they manage to infect some other living thing, which then is subverted into churning out copies of them, instead of doing whatever they were supposed to be doing. A virus is like a sheet of paper that says “URGENT! Copy me, and give the copies to your co-workers to also copy!” that is by the copy machine. If someone just follows instructions they are given, they will set aside what they are doing and will just churn out and distribute those copies, because that’s what they were “instructed” (by the virus) to do. Come to think of it it’s like the “If you send this email to five of your friends, you will get lucky but if you don’t, bad luck will befall you.” Such emails actually require cognitive action on the part of the recipient, as opposed to regular email viruses that act only within the operating system (and indeed which often attempt to conceal themselves from the user). Without the minds of the users, the “send this email to five of your friends” viruses wouldn’t propagate.
If they don’t reproduce where do they come from , and why can’t we eradicate all of them?
They cause other things to make copies of them. As for eradicating all of them, it’s simple: Just comb every square nanometer of the Earth, and destroy them all. So long as a single copy remains, it might infect one creature or another, and make billions and trillions of copies again. Good luck finding all of them! (Don’t forget to search all the seawater, too.)
My apologies if I seemed to be disputing your post.
I intended to agree and expand on it, not disagree.
Thanks. They are very strange, like robots almost. In spite of having to steal RNA they are rather complex little malware units.
Fascinating report. Thanks, SC...
Treating infections with phages predates anti biotics by many years.
promisin promising treatment against dru resistance back.
It will be a great day when the mysteries of viruses and cancers are unlocked and I think that will happen. There is no telling what else will be discovered about health and life itself by following those paths. It will certainly ease a great deal of suffering.
Thanks a lot!
It looks like there are a lot worse guys I could channel, though he appears to operate at a level of sophistication several orders of magnitude higher than I do.
I appreciate knowing where the phrase "the map is not the territory" comes from. Thanks.
My only point was that the categories we create to organize the world are just that, artificial categories. Nature itself doesn't necessarily correspond to them.
I agree and just thought it interesting you used the phrase. We organize our universe to suit our thoughts as we’re part of the natural order our categories are not unnatural, but they change and are more nuanced as new information and facts come forward.
The map can never be the territory, just an approximation.
An example of our mania for creating categories and then insisting that everything fit into them is the present debate over how terrorists should be treated.
The categories are criminal and prisoner of war, and 99% of the argument focuses around which of these two groups terrorists should be slotted into.
Almost nobody bothers to even consider the possibility that dealing with terrorists effectively might require creating a new category.
Another example is the (mostly over now) argument about the Iraq War. Liberals claimed it was a Vietnam quagmire, conservatives, or at least neo-cons, saw it as WWII if appeasement hadn’t been implemented. Almost nobody was willing to consider that it wasn’t either of these.
Isn’t that the nature of human inquiry? We categorize things from the familiar forward. It’s one of the exciting things about the English language American’s speak. It’s dynamic enough and flexible enough to change.
If you click through to the article there is a link to a nifty photo taken by Cassini showing Venus between a couple of Saturn’s rings.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.