January 6, 2016

A disease-producing organism

Disease Selection. The Way Disease Changed the World

Understanding human life is a great undertaking. After all these years the origins of our cells are not so clear. But let me quote a recent book and its suggested approach:

Evolutionary biologists have looked for some time for a suitable prokaryotic cell that when engulfed by another would form the nucleus of the nascent eukaryotic cell, but none has been identified that matches all the required criteria. However, Luis Villarreal, working with viruses, has come to the astounding conclusion that the primitive cell nucleus could have originated from a complex virus. The vaccinia virus, for example, seems to have all the same mechanisms that are required by a eukaryotic cell nucleus. The virus that formed the nucleus brought with it all the basic genes – thought to number about 324 – that are necessary to form the cell.
It requires a little time, and perhaps rereading of what has just been said, to realize that every cell in our bodies has a nucleus that was derived from a virus. We are the result of a very early disease process!

So not only is the nucleus of our cells derived from a virus but the mitochondria are from a parasitic bacterium. There can be no closer link between us and disease-producing organisms.