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Virolution: the Most Important Evolutionary…
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Virolution: the Most Important Evolutionary Book Since Dawkins' Selfish… (edició 2009)

de Frank Ryan

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663314,541 (3.91)No n'hi ha cap
The extraordinary role of viruses in evolution and how this is revolutionising biology and medicine. Darwin's theory of evolution is still the greatest breakthrough in biological science. His explanation of the role of natural selection in driving the evolution of life on earth depended on steady variation of living things over time - but he was unable to explain how this variation occurred. In the 150 years since publication of the Origin of Species, we have discovered three main sources for this variation - mutation, hybridisation and epigenetics. Then on Sunday, 12th February, 2001 the evidence for perhaps the most extraordinary cause of variation was simultaneously released by two organisations - the code for the entire human genome. Not only was the human genome unbelievably simple (it is only ten times more complicated than a bacteria), but embedded in the code were large fragments that were derived from viruses - fragments that were vital to evolution of all organisms and the evidence for a fourth and vital source of variation - viruses. Virolution is the product of Dr Frank Ryan's decade of research at the frontiers of this new science - now called viral symbiosis - and the amazing revolution that it has had in these few years. As scientists begin to look for evidence of viral involvement in more and more processes, they have discovered that they are vital in nearly every case. And with this understanding comes the possibility of manipulating the role of the viruses to help fight a huge range of diseases.… (més)
Membre:PickledOnion42
Títol:Virolution: the Most Important Evolutionary Book Since Dawkins' Selfish Gene
Autors:Frank Ryan
Informació:London : Collins, 2009
Col·leccions:Nonfiction
Valoració:
Etiquetes:genetics, evolution, virology, biology, microbiology

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Virolution de Frank Ryan

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Es mostren totes 3
I've been reading about the ideas Ryan presents in his book for years, ever since the "junk DNA" in our genome was first announced. It never made sense, in an evolutionary perspective, that we would build a large database of useless information. There's got to be more to it.

With the discovery of mimivirus and pandoravirus, there seem to be new ideas about what viruses are what what role they play in evolution and environmental adaptation. Ryan as, I believe, the right idea: co-evolution.

Good book, well written, and a nice mix of science and anecdote. I suspect it will need a revision in the next few years to incorporate some of the more recent discoveries. ( )
  ichadwick | Dec 7, 2020 |
Very irritating writing style (too much waffling), but worth reading for the very interesting information and examples - the discussions on the Elysia chlorotica (type of sea slug), the koala and the gender changing fish were very interesting. The author also included diagrams to explain some concepts, which was nice. ( )
  ElentarriLT | Mar 24, 2020 |
I borrowed this book from the library yesterday and it posits a very interesting idea.
That viruses may be the big factor in man's evolution.

The accepted view is the darwinian view, where natural selection, and gene mutation are the engines of evolution.

this book suggests that viruses may play a bigger role and account for the sudden and rapid adoption of advantageous behavioral,and physical changes that natural selection and mutation may not be able to explain.
Man and viruses affect each other in a symbiotic relationship to evolve.

The arguements given are very persuasive and logically, I would think there is no reason why nature would exclude viruses from influencing man's evolution.

After all, we know bacteriophages were incorporated into the nuclear cells as mitochondria, and they enable us to produce energy.
They are to us as chlorophyll is to plants.

so why not viruses being incorporated into our genes to give us an evolutionary edge in our survival.

Now, we know viruses are the causes of some cancers. In fact, we may find that they are the causes of all cancers, that by being incorporated into the human gene pool they act as delayed switches that kills off old cells and are the cause of new cells being made. And causes cells to continue to replicate without stopping.

There is a strong survival edge to being able to switch these functions on and off as and when necessary or in response to external forces.
We dont know much about viruses, yet they are as old, if not older than anything. /The book says viruses may have existed before bacteria, which are older than nucleated cells, the basic building blocks of multicelled organisms.

So we will have to change our way of thinking about viruses as causing diseases. They are good guys as well. Much like every thing in nature, there is no clear division between good and bad. in some circumstances, the good guys can become bad, and vice versa.

Viruses are perfect mechanisms for replicating themselves, and so it stands to reason they will be v useful to man.

The book suggests that by incorporating the virus into the gene pool, one set of animals can make themselves immune to its effects. And the virus will kill off any rival newcomers who will compete for food.
When i read this i thought of the viruses that killed the indigenous natives of mayan and aztec america, as well as all the people of the countries where the white man colonised, and here was where viruses were actually of great help to the white man's conquests.

it's a fascinating idea. ( )
  gametes69 | Feb 21, 2010 |
Es mostren totes 3
It's too bad that "Virolution" suffers from these shortcomings, because it has an important message. Scientists have identified a few compelling examples where our inner viruses do useful things for us. But in many cases we don't know what, if anything, they're doing. These viruses can have a dark side: In cancer cells, for example, viral genes seem to help speed up their growth. Discovering the true nature of our inner viruses isn't just a matter of natural history. It's potentially a matter of life and death.
 
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The extraordinary role of viruses in evolution and how this is revolutionising biology and medicine. Darwin's theory of evolution is still the greatest breakthrough in biological science. His explanation of the role of natural selection in driving the evolution of life on earth depended on steady variation of living things over time - but he was unable to explain how this variation occurred. In the 150 years since publication of the Origin of Species, we have discovered three main sources for this variation - mutation, hybridisation and epigenetics. Then on Sunday, 12th February, 2001 the evidence for perhaps the most extraordinary cause of variation was simultaneously released by two organisations - the code for the entire human genome. Not only was the human genome unbelievably simple (it is only ten times more complicated than a bacteria), but embedded in the code were large fragments that were derived from viruses - fragments that were vital to evolution of all organisms and the evidence for a fourth and vital source of variation - viruses. Virolution is the product of Dr Frank Ryan's decade of research at the frontiers of this new science - now called viral symbiosis - and the amazing revolution that it has had in these few years. As scientists begin to look for evidence of viral involvement in more and more processes, they have discovered that they are vital in nearly every case. And with this understanding comes the possibility of manipulating the role of the viruses to help fight a huge range of diseases.

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