Sex and mate selection counterpoint (thanks @steelcitysci)

In reply to my previous post, I present a cut and paste job culled from

Jim Pipas and the Dangers of Mongrel Viruses

Jim Pipas has started taking stock of this dizzying viral diversity, sampling everywhere from Barcelona sewers to Phillipine bat caves, because he has a radical idea about one way that dangerous new viruses can arise. He thinks that all those millions of kinds of viruses are continually engaged in a haphazard game of gene mix-n-match, in which every so often, one hits the viral jackpot that lets them infect a new kind of host, wreaking havoc on that host’s defenses.

in the process of searching thousands of viral genomes for HIPs, they also kept finding evidence for the exchange of HIPs between completely unrelated viruses.

“Gene recombination across different virus families makes no sense, we don’t know how it happens,” he says. This phenomenon is nothing like the relatively orderly process of gene shuffling that gives the flu virus a new edge every year. This is more like genome butchery, with random bits of DNA from one virus being pasted into another’s genome.

Thanks, @steelcitysci

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Posted on May 8, 2012, in evolution and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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