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virus origins

n.panjwani at ic.ac.uk n.panjwani at ic.ac.uk
Thu Jan 19 09:41:21 EST 1995

The chicken...

No... the egg...

No the chicken...!

No. The egg!

Who know. Well having said that we see human sequences in viral genes. Some
oncogenes in viruses have almost identical human counterparts. But whereas
the virus can pick up a gene and propogate it. It is unlikely that a viral
gene that gets integrated into a human cell will continue in the human's
offspring, because that would require integration of that viral gene into
the humans germ line, or integration into a brand new zygote.

The chicken and egg problem of virus origin still holds, however, when we
speak of unicellular or simple undifferentiated multicellular organisms and
THEIR viruses...

Naveed Panjwani
University of London

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