Virus's: Life or non life?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by paddoboy, May 20, 2020.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    https://www.ck12.org/biology/Charac...son/Characteristics-of-Life-Advanced-BIO-ADV/

    The seven characteristics of life include:
    • responsiveness to the environment;
    • growth and change;
    • ability to reproduce;
    • have a metabolism and breathe;
    • maintain homeostasis;
    • being made of cells; and
    • passing traits onto offspring.

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    Life 01.jpg

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    Life 02.jpg

    Not all scientists agree exactly about what makes up life

    Ain't that the truth

    There is not just one distinguishing feature that separates a living thing from a non-living thing.

    I think viruses should be in the alive listings (disclaimer - I am not a Scientist)

    The link at the start is only for reference. There is no obligation to go to the article

    Be aware if you choose to remain ignorant of the article
    • your crops will wither
    • Beelzebub will become your companion
    • herds of black cats will sing to you all night
    • all ladders you encounter will be positioned such that you cannot avoid walking and them
    • salt with remain stubbornly in the shaker and refuse to go over your shoulder
    • all mirrors you encounter will shatter
    • all of the above will be on your bright days
    3:30 in the morning here. Back to sleep for me

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    PS no comments, opinions or replies are required to this post and if any are made they will not be acknowledged
     
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    The above suggests that viruses are technically not fully alive because they are not cellular. Viruses are much smaller than cells and hijack the host's cells to propagate.

    But IMO, a virus' active survival strategy to use the host's cellular mitosis to divide, should qualify it as a parasitic living organism.
     
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  5. Ethernos D Grace Registered Senior Member

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    What happens when virus also carry a gene that helps create atp?
     
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  7. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    This may address the organelle network which transports all the viral "information" from cell to cell and is active in cell mitosis.

    Microtubules in Influenza Virus Entry and Egress

    For more see; "Is consciousness to be found in quantum processes in microtubules" in the Pseudoscience sub-forum. Don't let that prefix "pseudo" fool you. It's serious science.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
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  8. Dicart Registered Senior Member

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    Fungis are alive but their spores altought they come from their living cells are not.
    So are the virus spores, a way to disseminate.
    We name "virus" the spore but in fact the virus is the "infected" host.
    An infected host (cell or bacteria) is not always killed by the infection (the real virus can stay alive), but as soon as he is trying to multiply he is killing himself (like other lifeforms that are dying soon they do their reproduction).

    So yes this is not the mainstran point of view, but this is the point of view that Patrick Forterre (a french virus specialist) was explaining his students 25 years ago.

    Here the same explaination :
    https://www.virology.ws/2010/07/22/the-virus-and-the-virion/
     
  9. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    I don't know, what happens? Does any virus carry a gene that helps create ATP?
     
  10. KUMAR5 Valued Senior Member

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    We need to understand it if many cerified non living things are also able to grow, expand, shrink , upgrade or degrade due to their exposure to other chemicals or environment? Even water coming in contact with water or other things can expand, with environment it can change into steam or snow. It does not mean it is live being.

    Further question will be of use: shall non living things also follow few nature or normal rules which live being follow? Eg, natural selection, survival of fittest, energy conservation, might is right, homeostasis independent or with nature balance etc. It is very understand esp if we anticipate virus is non live thing.

    If we anticipate it as a non live entity, question will be, how it is able to take entry into cells. I mean how cells allow and accept it to enter and hujeck their home at the first place unless it is live being and has sufficient power to infect a cell? But I think many liquids , physical acts and chemicals can also achieve it. So both way it is bit confusing.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  11. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I take your point. But we are not talking about a passive rider, these organisms are active participants in their parasitic behavior., i.e. they seek hosts and invade its DNA in order to propagate. It requires a very specific behavior pattern to accomplish that, which is one of the required behavior of living things.
    Ok. IMO, viruses have found a successful niche existence for which they are perfectly adapted. I have read that viruses may even have devolved from bacteria and by sheer luck found a new way of avoiding natural selection.

    However even viruses have the own enemies which prey on them, the virophage which is a very small parasite viral organism that feeds on larger virus and is selective in its targets. I am just fascinated by the jungle that exist at microscale biology.

    There is an entire living world completely beyond our ability to observe, except when raiders of that world invades our, human a and animal macro world and create pandemics, that may last centuries. Fact is that most animals carry remnants of viruses in their DNA and even humans carry left-over remnants and active bits of viruses which have just integrated into the human biome and do no harm, but may be responsible for some evolutionary DNA arrangements.

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    Mimivirus-dependent virus Sputnik

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sputnik_virophage


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    Mimivirus with two satellite Sputnik virophages

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mimivirus

    Moreover, viruses have been observed to "communicate " with each other, via chemical language , similar to bacteria. While this language consists of chemical words (codes), the viruses have ability to understand and respond in very specific ways dependent on the words used.

    To me, if nature can create semi-living bio-chemical organisms that are able to communicate and take concerted action, should we ask where life begins or where communication begins? Kind of a chicken/egg question.
     
  12. KUMAR5 Valued Senior Member

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    1,221
    Thanks for explaining it to me. In short I feel we need to compare chemical vs biochemical behaviour for it. Botanical vs zoologucal. Many chemicals and even water also get adsorbed or absorbed like this virus get. Many chemicals can also change their structure, exoand, spread, change form, show motions, show temp, different coloures etc etc. Many botanical entities show paracytic or divisible capacity can grow by cuttings, tissue culture, budding etc.
    However, my concern here, is if it is non living how it can practice natural selection, energy cónservation etc. If can not then mutants variants may need to be looked again.
     
  13. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 72 years oldl Valued Senior Member

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    Well, we know they’re not dead.

    From this interesting article

    https://www.khanacademy.org/test-pr...s say no.,androids than real living organisms.

    My 2 cents worth

    If not dead - consider alive

    Further clarification - they have an unusual resting period and a unusually reproduction system

    Further further clarification, because I know you are out there - a rock is not dead because a rock was not alive and the criteria for being dead is to really to be alive first

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  14. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I think you may be looking at natural selection in the wrong way. Organisms do not practice natural selection, they practice "survival" against natural selection, that implacable mathematical mechanism that places natural burdens on an organisms struggle for survival. These natural burdens can be a natural event, or anything that challenges the survival ability of the organism, anything , even accidents.

    If the organism survives to procreate it has passed the test of natural selection, and its offspring lives for another life-cycle until nature challenges it also, etc. It has been proven that very small evolutionary changes (like a gray mouse sitting on a gray rock, escaping the eagles eye) can often aid in the survival probability of a few individuals and with each succeeding generation the accumulated evolutionary changes add up to a perfect adaption of the organism to its environment. This adaption of biological organisms apparently has no limits whatsoever, as is demonstrable by the number and ever increasing variety of fossils and the number and varieties of extant organism both in flora and fauna, even as 95% of all living things have gone extinct, not just dead but extinct as a species. They failed the test of natural selection.
    There are several crowning achievement of evolution by natural selection, humans are on of them in sophistication. But viruses are some of the oldest semi-alive organisms on earth and have survived relatively unchanged for hundreds of millions. if not billions of years, no doubt due to their simplicity and ability to live inside other organisms. The are the ultimate parasites on earth, I admire them but do not like them.
    I like the symbiotic relationships such as between flowers and pollinating insects, the herder ant herding and protecting aphids in return for sweet nectar.

    ANTS – THE OLDEST FARMERS ON EARTH!
    by Nancy | Aug 4, 2016 | General | 0 comments

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    https://www.corkyspest.com/ants-the-oldest-farmers-on-earth/

    The symbiotic relationship between humans and beneficial bacteria which actually keep us alive.

    We are only 10% human. What? Microbes outnumber human cells by 10 to 1 and are essential to our health.

    ShareThis

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    https://www.patientadvocates.com/co...human-cells-10-1-and-are-essential-our-health

    The clownfish which lives among the poisonous tentacles of sea anemones, which keeps them safe in return for the fish providing nutrients and protection possible adversary organisms.

    Symbiosis: The Art of Living Together

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    clownfish and anemone
    https://www.nationalgeographic.org/article/symbiosis-art-living-together/#

    These relationships were not chosen by the organisms. They developed over time and grew stronger and more interdependent over time as the relationships proved beneficial to each organism's survival.

    This the proof of the inherent inter relationships between all living things, and that these relationships need to be respected, preserved and if possible encouraged.
     
  15. KUMAR5 Valued Senior Member

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    Yes but for all of it, first condition is any entity should be a live being. If it is a non live entity nothing above can be hoped. About survival since million years, many chemical and things other than live entities are also survived. About inharent relationship, it may also be possible in non living things eg cloud and water. We here need to compare properties of chemicals and non liviving things with long presence with virus. If formers can also perform same or dimilar functions as virus can do, thamen it can also be taken as non living being but simply a sophsticated chemical messanger. How it take entry in cells, adsorption n absorption also happen chemically. Probably cell take it as a nutrient apparently. Then variants will be due to natural or man made environmental insults.
     
  16. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    I still believe you are missing the point. It all started as chemicals and if you want to go back to the very beginning, it started with three subatomic quantum particles and their various patterns from which everything in the universe emrged and evolved.
    Absolutely, just look at crystals, this mineral can grow like any biological plant.

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    Check out the website for the most remarkable growth patterns by this remarkable mineral.

    I believe Max Tegmark is really on to something with his proposition of a mathematical universe, which would fundamentally guide all physical pattern formation and that all resulting properties may have emergent abilities over and above the sum of their parts, such as the formation of the table of elements where each element has its own signature character, to the formation of biochemical molecules from the table of elements, to the emergence of dynamic biochemicals, able to process EM data and thereby affect other compound biochemicals, and eventually the emergence of viruses which are intermediate organisms, no longer inanimate , yet not quite yet biologically alive, but able to communicate chemically, and finally the emergence of bacteria which are true cellular organisms, alive, mobile, with cellular memory, and ability to create its own energy for sustenance. A true early form of single celled organisms.

    The rest is pure evolutionary processes very slow but with each successful step a little more complex with more sophisticated survival abilites,. 4 billion years is a long , long time, if you consider that on human farms we practice evolution where in a few generations we can produce the most exotic chickens , cattle that give an endless supply of milk, fruits and vegetables that are many time the size of their wild cousins.
    Both. Nature because it just works mathematically without motive, humans because we work mathematically with motive but often in a stupid short sighted way. And we are paying the price for our wanton use of polluting fossil fuels.

    The original natural variants were via slow natural evolutionary processes , but the ant learned farming and growing underground gardens. And it was an insect that invented flying , not a dinosaur or a bird or a humans , they basically copied from nature everything we see and do today. Man was able to copy many natural survival techniques, because we can see how they work and we have learned from all these natural processes and improved on some of them a learned how to used them for our purposes.

    Natura Artis Magistra (Nature is the Teacher of Arts) , i.e, Science.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
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  17. KUMAR5 Valued Senior Member

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    You are good teacher. What do you mean be " viruses which are intermediate organisms, no longer inanimate , yet not quite yet biologically alive, but able to communicate chemically"

    What does make them? Alive, dead, things or half live? Let us assume that they are some how alive partly. Then, coming on point, should we not expect, whatever nature do to them or whaever we do to them, it can change them. Say by vaccination(unless we anticipate we make them fully dead or inactive obiosly if they were live previously) or by medication esp those which can disturb their structure or their behaviour?
    You rightly said, nature is the teacher of ...science because our bodies will also understand better and pre formed to those which remain natural to us sincevlong or to which we have inharent sensevof right and wrong. Same with all live beinge. If we or nature will change natural make up of virus, it will be new or unnatural to us and we have to bear its insults till it become natural to us.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  18. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    Thank you, you are most gracious.
    One of the great points of contention in the theory of Abiogenesis is the apparent fossil absence of "intermediate forms" where biochemical patterns displayed some of the signatures of living things , such as communication, or ability to use the environment for survival, but is not yet fully equipped to survive on its own and therefore is not yet self-sufficiently alive. The virus actually seems to meet that criteria, it's dynamic , it can replicate but needs assistance from it's host mitotic abilities and apparently it can communicate via quorum sensing (the name of bacterial and even robotic communication abilities).
    If you are not familiar with Bonnie Bassler, you really should see her delightful lecture on bacterial communication.
    She shows you the bacterial dictionary for each bacterial species. It's remarkable once you see it.


    I have posted this before but it seems very much pertinent to the conversation of communication between very early life forms.

    The moment I saw this lecture, lights went on in my brain and I learned to look at microbiology from a completely different perspective. Organism need not be conscious to be sentient and respond to external pressures and influences of all sorts, light (insects and flowers), touch (paramecium, venus flytrap), smell, [insect pheromones) . these abilities seems to become a factor in survval mechanisms very early on during the evolution from the inanimate biochemistry into the animate biology, with semi- or proto-sentient abilities and behaviors.

    Once that process is acceptable science, the next step of sentient consciousness is just a matter of sensory orientation, refinement and ultimate fine-tuning into self-awareness, i.e. conscious intelligence.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2021
  19. KUMAR5 Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks for great post and Video. It is about quotum sensing. I remember, Previously also someone told me about it. But one thing is there. Even in quantum sensing, sensing is needed. I think this sensing power virus should not be having. So it may just be happening chemically. In some sense, we can also take chemical or environmental impacts as half alive. But these do not justify to be really biologically alive in today sense. In one faith they count all such chemicals, earth, fire, water, air etc as one sense live beings.
     
  20. KUMAR5 Valued Senior Member

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  21. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    You may want reexamine that position. I believe it has become a matter of from what POV you examine these phenomena.

    IMO, when a reaction to an action is consistent and mathematically measurable, it may not be alive or conscious, but it may be called semi- or quasi-intelligent, basically no different than if it were consciously intelligent and acted in the same manners. It is a matter of perspective.

    Humans tend to see things from a human perspective, but if their consciously intelligent observations and symbolic measurements correspond to the natural behavior, how can we ignore the existence of natural "constants", the mathematical rules by which physical interactions happen in nature, and indeed throughout the universe. Hence the expression "Natura Artis Magistra".

    IOW, the essence of Universal dynamics and regularities lies in the semi-intelligent recurring mathematical patterns, which we have recognized as appearing everywhere we look. It is what Chaos theory is based on and what caused Plato to symbolize these natural regularities with his Platonic Solids. And what prompted David Bohm, a brilliant theoretical physicist to propose a universal "Hierarchy of Orders" (mathematical patterns)

    And in my opinion, is what caused Max Tegmark to write his hypothesis of "A mathematical Universe", where he proposes that certain mathematical patterns are causal to the emergence of intelligence. The emergence of sentient awareness (observation) is a matter of degree and as demonstrated, occurs in extremely primitive patterns such as viruses, bacteria, plants, and large brainless organisms such as the slime mold.

    In the end it may be impossible to tell exactly where mathematical self-referential regularities crosses over into sentient self-aware consciousness. This is why we have invented the language of "Evolution by Natural Selection", where we recognize that ina general sense certain patterns are more efficient in their environmentthan other patterns, and survive to form new patterns based on the parent pattern, in biology that's called "mitosis".

    Once you believe in evolution via inherent values (potentials) and mathematical processes (functions), it begins to make sense and bring clarity to all the original mysteries of creation and reproduction.

    Perhaps very advanced AI may be able to explain if, why, and how conscious intelligence emerges from certain patterns, by examining itself, i.e self-referential interoception, the crucial step toward self-awareness.....
     
  22. KUMAR5 Valued Senior Member

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    I think, it means all things and beings got modified from simple to complex due to some chemical changes in some mathematical order? Then, what do you think, whether natursl selection also happen in non biologicalky live substances? Yes one can say a big and vast mountain will stay longer and will face n tolerate more environmental stresses than a small mountain which may wash away soon....so naturslly selected.
     
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  23. Write4U Valued Senior Member

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    There are two interpretations of evolution;

    1) Universal evolution , which is defined as follows;
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_evolution#

    2) Darwinian Evolution by natural selection, which is defined as follows;
    Natural selection
    Darwin's concept of natural selection was based on several key observations:
    ,,,,,more @ https://www.khanacademy.org/science...tion-ap/a/darwin-evolution-natural-selection#
     

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