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viruses can get viruses??

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gruff5
955953.  Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:44 pm Reply with quote

I saw this snippet associate with a cartoon as I came in thru the QI website just now. Is it true?

I know that bacteria can get viruses - they are called bacteriophages and have potential medical uses.

But for a virus to succeed and breed it needs a host that can replicate its DNA/RNA - another virus is unable to do that. Viruses are basically simple strands of DNA/RNA in a protein container - no biochemical apparatus.

Thoughts?

 
Posital
955957.  Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:54 pm Reply with quote

If a virus had a virus, it would be hard to tell if it's just a new virus, or part of the natural virus transmutation process.

Also, for a virus to have a virus it would need to be considered a viable living entity in the first place - which is questionable.

 
gruff5
956009.  Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:51 am Reply with quote

But a virus with another virus will be inert, nothing will happen as there is no biochemistry (metabolism, nucleic acid duplication etc) going on.

"This, my good man, is a late virus" and in no can be considered living or doing anything other than just being two protein containers attached to each other & drifting around until they fall apart.

Moderator? Can you ask the QI cartoonist what info they used for their cartoon?

 
dr.bob
956032.  Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:38 am Reply with quote

http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2008/08/06/a-virophage-named-sputnik-furt/

 
Posital
956069.  Thu Dec 13, 2012 7:13 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
But a virus with another virus will be inert, nothing will happen as there is no biochemistry (metabolism, nucleic acid duplication etc) going on.
But isn't that also true of a normal virus? All the work is pretty much done by the host cell/organism.

EDIT - BTW interesting article drbob - sputnik looks more like a virus "parasite" to me.


Last edited by Posital on Thu Dec 13, 2012 1:24 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Efros
956094.  Thu Dec 13, 2012 8:16 am Reply with quote

Interesting, but they are mistaken in believing sputnik was an icosahedron.

 
gruff5
956204.  Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:12 am Reply with quote

dr.bob wrote:
http://scienceblogs.com/grrlscientist/2008/08/06/a-virophage-named-sputnik-furt/


Dear me, I hope you don't quote references like that in your day job, Dr Bob!! That was by a blogger called "grrlscientist" in 2008. Do you something a bit more, well, reliable to hand?

 
gruff5
956205.  Fri Dec 14, 2012 2:23 am Reply with quote

Posital wrote:
gruff5 wrote:
But a virus with another virus will be inert, nothing will happen as there is no biochemistry (metabolism, nucleic acid duplication etc) going on.
But isn't that also true of a normal virus? All the work is pretty much done by the host cell/organism.


How can a virus (that is "infected" by another virus) do any work at all? A virus is not a cell or organism, it is simply a protein shell with a strand of RNA/DNA inside, it can perform no biochemistry nor metabolism, it cannot reproduce the "infecting" virus' nucleic acid.

 
Posital
956436.  Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:56 pm Reply with quote

I think we're agreeing here - would be good to have more information, eh?

 
dr.bob
956759.  Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:18 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
Dear me, I hope you don't quote references like that in your day job, Dr Bob!! That was by a blogger called "grrlscientist" in 2008. Do you something a bit more, well, reliable to hand?


I'm sorry that an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology and ecology for the Guardian and who provides a reference to the peer-reviewed paper in Nature in her blog is not a good enough reference for you.

Or perhaps you didn't bother to actually read the link properly, but just decided to start acting in a condescending and dismissive way as soon as you saw the name of the blogger.

 
gruff5
956808.  Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:53 am Reply with quote

anyone can write for the Guardian, Doctorrrr Bob, as you well know. What kind of credential is that. An "ornithologist" - someone who likes birds? Most of us, I hope. Someone who believes in evolution? most of us again, I hope.

Why not provide us with the link to the *actual* peer-reviewed Nature article about virus-virus infections that grrlscientist imagines she saw. If you don't mind.

I think I'm about to be claiming 5 quid.

 
dr.bob
956833.  Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:28 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
anyone can write for the Guardian, Doctorrrr Bob, as you well know.


OK, get back to me when you've had an article printed therein.

 
CB27
956834.  Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:33 am Reply with quote

Just because someone has taken on a pseudonym and is an ornithologist, that's enough to discount what they've written? I was asked by my bosses to assume a pseudonym when I was writing on an industry website because they were nervous that any personal opinions I might put forward would be construed as the opinions of my employers, even though my input was mostly of a technical nature. It's not an uncommon practice.

I have to admit I have no knowledge in the field of microbiology, but it took me less than 30 seconds to find the article in question, based on the information in the blog, but it's not available freely to everyone, so it seems the blog is actuallya good link to give the details.

If you're still unable to find the original entry, it is http://www.nature.com/nrmicro/journal/v6/n10/full/nrmicro2002.html

 
gruff5
957574.  Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:19 am Reply with quote

I probably won't contribute too much more to this thread as I'm already bored of it & I've frankly got better things to do with my time. So, unless someone says something interesting, this will be my last post:

I asked for the original Nature article referred to - ie a peer-reviewed article in Nature magazine that follows the normal procedure of hypothesis-testing, experiment, data etc etc Dr Bob can surely tell us what this should mean.

What you've just linked to there a review, not a piece of original research. It is, essentially, an opinion piece and therefore not subject to scientific scrutiny - much like articles in the Guardian. The magazine in question is "Nature Reviews Microbiology" which is published by the Nature Publishing Group. You might note that News International publishes The Sun, The Times & they used to publish The News of The World.

The opinion piece by Rachel Smallridge (who is she?? not Grrrlscientist, surely?!) refers to:

Quote:
Raoult and co-workers previously challenged the field of virology by identifying a virus that was so large its size questioned the definition of a virus


The word "challenge" is often used by people who don't know what they're talking about to people who do (virologists in this case). The short paragraph I can see from your link (I ain't paying good money for tripe) is not enough for me to tell who the feck Raoult is, but I bet you he never did get his sought after article in the Nature magazine proper.

" a virus that was so large its size questioned the definition of a virus" - it walks like a bacteria, it quacks like a bacteria - it's a f***ing BACTERIA!!!

Now go away!!

PS I've not bothered to try and have articles published in The Guardian, but I have had full feature articles (ie at least 3 pages long) published in a magazine to be found in WH Smiths and other major magazine outlets. The topics have included string theory, cosmology, bacteriophages (virus infections of bacteria), dark matter, homotoxicology, the mathematics of nature

 
CB27
957586.  Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:48 am Reply with quote

Wow, someone really has a chip on their shoulder.

I had a number of links open which I found, I might have linked to the wrong one, but it proved something - you can search for the original yourself.

But noooo, rather than find the original and read it and therefore argue against it, it seems you're far more comfortable attacking people who you know nothing about, that shows real intelligence.

It's also hilarious to see you attack someone's credentials of having articles posted in the Guardian, and boosting your own by mentionening you've been published in magazines in WH Smith, that bastion of scientific resources.

As for who different people are, there is a simple resource at your fingertips.

Whoever, if you prefer, you can continue sticking your fingers in your ears and refusing to hear anyone else in the knowledge you're the big winner.

 

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