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purpose of viruses??

Roy Goodacre rrg at aber.ac.uk
Fri Jan 27 12:43:29 EST 1995

In article <anh-2401950740200001 at mac-burl-11.dfci.harvard.edu> anh at macmailgw.dfci.harvard.edu (Anh Nguyen) writes:

>I agree with you Mark. I would argue that the "purpose" of viruses, as
>with all living organisms,is to propagate their genetic material. Viruses
>are just a little more aggressive in their pursuit of this goal.

Yes another agrees.  The aggressiveness can be really very high, Ebola Zaire 
for example kills 9 out of 10 human hosts in <14 days.  I'd speculated that, 
for the virus, this is not too good an idea as if you want to spread your 
genetic material if your are too pathogenic then you eventually loose your 
host.  Whereas AIDS although equally agressive allows the host to live thus 
allowing its (somewhat rapid) propagation.


Dr Roy Goodacre            E-mail: rrg at aber.ac.uk
FTP:      Voice:  +44 970 623111 ext 4187 (work)
Fax:   +44 970 622354              +44 974 241236 (home)
URL:   http://gepasi.dbs.aber.ac.uk/roy/chemom.htm
Snail: Inst Biol Sci, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Dyfed, UK

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