Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Unique giant virus messes with current theories of viral evolution

Gorgona pushkin.jpg

mythical monster Medusa/shakko Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

The newly identified Medusavirus infects amoebas, causing them to grow a hard shell. (The mythological Medusa turned her victims into stone.) Among other things, it was “ the first giant virus to have been isolated from a heated environment.” From ScienceDaily:

Along with the location of its discovery, Medusavirus holds a number of distinguishing features compared with other giant viruses. Its DNA codes for all five types of histones, the key proteins that help compact DNA within the nucleus. In fact, no other known virus has all five types. Further, Medusavirus encoded neither RNA polymerase nor DNA topoimerase II, whereas all other giant viruses encode at least one.

These features could explain why the replication of Medusavirus DNA begins and completes in the host nucleus to eventually fill the amoeba nucleus with viral DNA, which again is unlike other giant viruses.

Moreover, the morphology of the capsid surface was unique, in that it was covered with an extraordinary number of spherical-headed spikes. In addition, the amoeba genome encoded several capsid surface proteins.

The existence of histone genes in Medusavirus and capsid protein genes in amoeba suggest lateral gene transfer going both directions — host-to-virus and virus-to-host.

Overall, the findings suggest that Medusavirus offers a new model for host-virus co-evolution and that the Medusavirus is a new family of large DNA viruses. Paper. open access) – Genki Yoshikawa, Romain Blanc-Mathieu, Chihong Song, Yoko Kayama, Tomohiro Mochizuki, Kazuyoshi Murata, Hiroyuki Ogata, Masaharu Takemura. Medusavirus, a novel large DNA virus discovered from hot spring water. Journal of Virology, 2019; DOI: 10.1128/JVI.02130-18 More.

Giant viruses have only been known from the past few decades. There is still debate about whether viruses are actually life forms. Surely, there will be many game changers to come. Anyone attempting to compile an evolutionary history of giant viruses would be like the person who writes the history of a major league playoff series after the first game. Without the crystal ball.

See also: One way viruses get spread “never should have evolved”


Reset! Different segs of virus genome can exist in different cells but work together

Before you go: Viruses devolve. (PaV)

Virus expert highlights the conflict over whether viruses are alive In short, it is an open question. The question relates to the role viruses can play in evolution, among other things. Are they precursors of life, detritus of life, or something in between? Or all three? Keep the file open. 

Viruses invent their own genes? Then what is left of Darwinism?

Why viruses are not considered to be alive

Another stab at whether viruses are alive

Phil Sci journal: Special section on understanding viruses

Should NASA look for viruses in space? Actually, it’s not clear that RNA came first. Nor is it clear that viruses precede life. A good case can doubtless be made for viruses being part of the scrap heap of existing life. But no matter. If you think you can find viruses in space, boldly go.

Why “evolution” is changing? Consider viruses

The Scientist asks, Should giant viruses be the fourth domain of life? Eukaryotes, prokaryotes, archaea… and viruses?

Viruses are alive.


Are viruses nature’s perfect machine? Or alive?

Peer as to this cooment from your link:
The ‘VIGE-first hypothesis’—how easy it is to swap cause and effect - Peer Terborg - 2013 I have argued that in order to understand the origin of RNA viruses, it is imperative to completely ignore the mainstream view that a major part of our genome is made of the genetic debris of ancient invasions of RNA viruses. Instead, I have hypothesized that transposable and transposed elements might have been originally designed to generate variation in offspring and should therefore be renamed variation-inducing genetic elements (short: VIGEs).6. https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j27_3/j27_3_105-112.pdf
I don't know if you have seen this following study yet, but if not, you might find it very interesting. Particularly, "This enormous diversity means that over half of all genes in an individual, around 9,000 of 17,500, occur uniquely in that one person – and are therefore individual in the truest sense of the word.
Duality in the human genome – November 28, 2014 Excerpt: The results show that most genes can occur in many different forms within a population: On average, about 250 different forms of each gene exist. The researchers found around four million different gene forms just in the 400 or so genomes they analysed. This figure is certain to increase as more human genomes are examined. More than 85 percent of all genes have no predominant form which occurs in more than half of all individuals. This enormous diversity means that over half of all genes in an individual, around 9,000 of 17,500, occur uniquely in that one person – and are therefore individual in the truest sense of the word. The gene, as we imagined it, exists only in exceptional cases. “We need to fundamentally rethink the view of genes that every schoolchild has learned since Gregor Mendel’s time.,,, According to the researchers, mutations of genes are not randomly distributed between the parental chromosomes. They found that 60 percent of mutations affect the same chromosome set and 40 percent both sets. Scientists refer to these as cis and trans mutations, respectively. Evidently, an organism must have more cis mutations, where the second gene form remains intact. “It’s amazing how precisely the 60:40 ratio is maintained. It occurs in the genome of every individual – almost like a magic formula,” says Hoehe. http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-11-duality-human-genome.html
This directly falsifies the Darwinian belief that Genetic recombination (also known as genetic reshuffling) is random. In fact, the entire 'central dogma' of Darwinism "DNA makes RNA, makes Protein makes You" is false. As Dr. Jonathan Wells states in the following article, “It's the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism.”
Ask an Embryologist: Genomic Mosaicism - Jonathan Wells - February 23, 2015 Excerpt: humans have a "few thousand" different cell types. Here is my simple question: Does the DNA sequence in one cell type differ from the sequence in another cell type in the same person?,,, The simple answer is: We now know that there is considerable variation in DNA sequences among tissues, and even among cells in the same tissue. It's called genomic mosaicism. In the early days of developmental genetics, some people thought that parts of the embryo became different from each other because they acquired different pieces of the DNA from the fertilized egg. That theory was abandoned,,, ,,,(then) "genomic equivalence" -- the idea that all the cells of an organism (with a few exceptions, such as cells of the immune system) contain the same DNA -- became the accepted view. I taught genomic equivalence for many years. A few years ago, however, everything changed. With the development of more sophisticated techniques and the sampling of more tissues and cells, it became clear that genetic mosaicism is common. I now know as an embryologist,,,Tissues and cells, as they differentiate, modify their DNA to suit their needs. It's the organism controlling the DNA, not the DNA controlling the organism. http://www.evolutionnews.org/2015/02/ask_an_embryolo093851.html
Moreover, there is far less ‘randomness’ and/or ‘random thermodynamic jostling’ within molecular biology than was originally presupposed within the reductive materialistic framework of Darwinian evolution: At the 6:52 minute mark of the following video, Jim Al-Khalili states:
“To paraphrase, (Erwin Schrödinger in his book “What Is Life”), he says at the molecular level living organisms have a certain order. A structure to them that’s very different from the random thermodynamic jostling of atoms and molecules in inanimate matter of the same complexity. In fact, living matter seems to behave in its order and its structure just like inanimate matter cooled down to near absolute zero. Where quantum effects play a very important role. There is something special about the structure, about the order, inside a living cell. So Schrodinger speculated that maybe quantum mechanics plays a role in life”. Jim Al-Khalili – Quantum biology – video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOzCkeTPR3Q
The following video goes over many more lines of evidence that have falsified the Darwinian presupposition of ‘random thermodynamic jostling’ within molecular biology.
Darwinian Materialism vs. Quantum Biology – video https://youtu.be/LHdD2Am1g5Y
March 27, 2019
04:42 PM
It simply depends on the definition of virus. Usually, viruses are defined as viruses because of their outer coat. Most likely, this is a eukaryotic microorganism that acquired a few viral genes which are now expressed on its surface, making it look like and behave like a DNA virus. Usually, it is the other way around. RNA viruses for instance, are transposable elements (such as the genetic elemenst know as ERVs), which acquired genes from the genome in which they are normally silenced. https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j23_1/j23_1_99-106.pdf https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j23_1/j23_1_107-114.pdf https://creation.com/images/pdfs/tj/j27_3/j27_3_105-112.pdf https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4409/8/2/130Peer
March 27, 2019
02:08 PM

Leave a Reply