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Thread: What would happen if there was a "DNA Virus?"

  1. #1 What would happen if there was a "DNA Virus?" 
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    Our DNA is the blueprint of our life, so we would want to protect it. What if a virus adapted to harm the genes along with the cells to disable defenses?


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    Clarify what you mean please. Viruses already mess with the genes of the cells they infect. The infected cells generally die. Or ar you talking about a virus that alters the genetic "package" in the sex cells so as to change the next generation?


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    Forum Masters Degree mat5592's Avatar
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    As Sealeaf said, they already do this, so you might want to clarify.
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    To clarify, what would happen if a virus found a way to destroy/mutate our DNA and cause harm that is nearly impossible to repair by keeping the infected cell alive to spawn more infected cells AND destroying regular cells in the body?
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    It is estimated that 8% of the human genome consists of sequences inserted by viruses.
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    As was already said, viruses already do so. That's why some viruses are able to cause cancer, because they mess with oncogenes. I'm not sure about what happen with animal cells, but some viruses that infect bacteria integrate their genes in its host chromosome, and when the bacteria replicate they pass those genes to their progeny. Every now and then mutations occur and the viral genes can't get out from the bacteria chromosome, giving rise to what is called a "cryptic virus".
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    Yep, they already do this.

    To an extent that we have only a few defences left that prevents this. 1 is apoptosis (suicide). And the other are killer cells. Not much we can do then contain the virus in a cell, then killing the cell. An unassembled virus isn't very potent.
    Growing up, i marveled at star-trek's science, and ignored the perfect society. Now, i try to ignore their science, and marvel at the society.

    Imagine, being able to create matter out of thin air, and not coming up with using drones for boarding hostile ships. Or using drones to defend your own ship. Heck, using drones to block energy attacks, counterattack or for surveillance. Unless, of course, they are nano-machines in your blood, which is a billion times more complex..
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  9. #8  
    exchemist
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew McMahon View Post
    To clarify, what would happen if a virus found a way to destroy/mutate our DNA and cause harm that is nearly impossible to repair by keeping the infected cell alive to spawn more infected cells AND destroying regular cells in the body?
    Presumably, if the "harm" were sufficient to affect reproductive success, then the part of the population susceptible to the virus would in time be selected against, while those with better resistance would be selected for, and thus the human species would undergo a bit of evolution, in response to the "stress" imposed on the species by the virus. Although, since viruses seem to mutate quickly in terms of virulence, the effect might be short-lived.

    See also John Galt's reply.

    But I confess to being puzzled by the scenario you pose in your question. What are you getting at?
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    SHF
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    Just as a point of order, you use the term "DNA virus" in your thread title and from your subsequent text it seems you are not using it in its correct sense of a virus whose genetic material is DNA based (I fully understand what you go on to clarify regarding what you are trying to ask but "DNA virus" is not the correct term for what you are trying to say as you are taking about a virus that will integrate/infect the DNA of an organism).

    see DNA virus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for clarification on terms
    Last edited by SHF; June 30th, 2013 at 01:22 PM. Reason: typo
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