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Bacteria mutating

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posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:17 PM
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Okay I know this is short, but hey it's to the point. Okay so bacteria mutate on a regular basis, especially when attacked by a bodies immune system. Does this meen they are evolving? And why are viruses not alive? Just because some definition on what it is to be alive says so? That kinda confuses me. Whup-de-do-dah they can't make more of themselves on thier own, I think they are still alive.




posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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No, bacteria aren't evolving. An E. Coli bacterium that mutates is still an E. Coli.

The "virus alive" question is over my head, and apparently the same with the scientific community


Here's a link that has some info. Hope it helps.



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:35 PM
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Well we know so far that bacteria has been in this planet before than human itself. That fact makes bacteria be able to adapt better than us.

Bacteria has the ability to multiply, and change DNA with each other, making possible the mutations. What makes bacteria so difficult to kill is the same ability to reproduce spontaneously and swap DNA, even if many die in the process is so many of them that they just keep multiplying.

Yes they evolve but this no new they has done this since from the beginning.

Now I found this link that is very interesting in which shows that bacteria are evolving into insects.

www.unknowncountry.com...

Now in the case of viruses the reason they are no considered alive is because they do not meet the criteria of one celled organism.

They are lest than a strand of DNA or RNA covered by protein coating. They are thousands of times smaller than bacteria and they have many shapes.

How do they reproduce? Well they attach themselves to healthy cells human or animal and injects their genetic material into it, they force the cell into producing the virus DNA and the virus replicate until the cell burst exposing the infected virus to other healthy cells.

Now is a debate as how to classify them some scientist will said they are none living but other say they are due to their ability to manipulate healthy cells.

www.uq.edu.au...



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
Now I found this link that is very interesting in which shows that bacteria are evolving into insects.

www.unknowncountry.com...


Actually, marg, the link says the bacteria are evolving in insects, not into insects


Even in that context, they are using the word "evolve" to mean a different strain, not a new species. The strain they are talking about changed from one that affected insects to a strain that affects humans.


Dangerous Bacteria Evolving in Insects
29-Oct-2004

Scientists have evidence that bacteria dangerous to humans have begun evolving in insects, for reasons that are not clear.
The October edition of Nature Reviews: Microbiology reports that invertebrates such as worms and insects may have begun enabling a rapid evolution for bacteria normally not harmful to humans. Not only are insects capable of delivering disease through bites and stings, they now may be the breeding ground for strains of infectious bacteria never before seen in humans.

A group of English physicians led by Dr. Nick Waterfield of the University of Bath has already found an unusual new bacterium causing oozing sores on its victims. They believe the new bacterium may have evolved from one which previously only affected insects via the nematode worm. This new strain has infected approximately a dozen Americans and Australians so far.



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 10:46 PM
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Sorry about that it most be my english spelling and grammar as usual.

English is not my first language, But still is very interesting to know that they are evolving in insects and many of them can bite and sting humans transfering them.



posted on Jun, 28 2005 @ 11:04 PM
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Mutation is a function of evolution. Evolution within the same species is still evolution. If I evolve another nose, I'm still a human, but I have evolved. Long quote comin' up.



Every bacterium has a set of genes that completely describe the bacterium, and which dictate the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the bacterium. These genes are made of the chemicals DNA and RNA. This set of genes is known as the genotype of the bacterium. Usually, when a parent bacterium splits into two bacteria, the two progeny bacteria are genetically identical, i.e. they have the same genotype.

However, this is not always the case. There are several situations in which the genes(genotype) of a bacterium can change.

Mutation. Mutation happens when there is a genetic "error" in the copying of the genes from parent to progeny bacterium. This results in a progeny bacterium which has a different genotype to that of its parent. Mutation rates vary between different genus and species of bacteria. Statistically, random mutations may occur as often as one in every million multiplications, or as seldom as one in every billion multiplications.

However, since most bacterial populations in the human body number well into the millions, if not billions, the chances are that there will be many mutations with each new generation.

Transduction. Bacteria, like humans, can be attacked by viruses. These bacterial viruses are known as bacteriophages. These bacteriophages invade bacteria, and can change their DNA. They may also carry DNA from one bacterium to another. These actions alter the genotype of the bacterium. This process is known as Transduction.
Conjugation. Sometimes bacteria may join together and exchange DNA. This changes the genotype of the bacteria. This process is known as Conjugation.

Why are the above important? Because they allow the bacteria to adapt to their environment. Changes in the genotype may allow the bacteria to obtain nutrition from sources they were unable to feed from before, they may allow the bacteria to survive in a more hostile environment, and they may allow the bacteria to avoid the action of destructive chemicals (e.g. anti-biotics) or allow them to produce chemicals that protect from attack by organisms that are capable of destroying them.


Zip



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 10:02 AM
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Very interesting! Thank you all!

About the viruses, I think they are alive because they can evolve. Unlike ice or rock, with just stays the same components. Viruses change themselves, so IMO, they are alive. But then again some programming can change itself...



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 03:07 PM
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Originally posted by cownosecat
Okay I know this is short, but hey it's to the point. Okay so bacteria mutate on a regular basis, especially when attacked by a bodies immune system.

I am unaware of any information suggesting that they mutate more when under attack like that. The mutations that are beneficial have a better chance of surviving tho, so the population as a whole changes quickly, perhaps that is what you are thinking of?


Does this meen they are evolving?

Its a population with inheritable variation that is subjected to natural selection and results in adaptations, so yup, thats a classic example of evolution,



And why are viruses not alive? Just because some definition on what it is to be alive says so?

Because they don't reproduce or really do anything that life does. They're just these shells of genetic material that, if it happens to get shoved into a working cell, the matieral can get reproduced.


I think they are still alive.

I think that they're pretty darned close. Prions are misformed proteins, that can induce misforming in 'normal' proteins, thus making more prions, thats pretty darned close too.


eaglewings
No, bacteria aren't evolving. An E. Coli bacterium that mutates is still an E. Coli.

Evolution doesn't require speciation. Also, a bacteria isn't going to evolve into another already existant species of bacteria, and we've certainly witness speciation anyways. But a simple colony of bacteria existing naturally is constantly undergoing evolution.



posted on Jun, 29 2005 @ 03:35 PM
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I would like to add, if I cut off a finger, that finger has a lot of DNA information in it, but it is not necessarily living.

Zip



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