Friday, September 5, 2008

the Virus and the Origin of Life

Via Science Daily:

"Scientists at Penn State have developed a new computational method that they say will help them to understand how life began on Earth. The team's method has the potential to trace the evolutionary histories of proteins all the way back to either cells or viruses, thus settling the debate once and for all over which of these life forms came first."

You know, I once voiced the opinion that viruses might have existed with very simple cells. I even went so far as to call them the "missing link" between self replicating molecules and life. It appears that we will know very soon whether I was right or wrong!

If you do not know, one of the current hypotheses is that viri originate as extremely mutated cells (according to one of my science teachers). I find that implausible for various reasons, and I think this idea will prove better.

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