(visit the link for the full news article)
...All in all, the virus-like components of the human genome amount to almost half of our DNA. This would once have been dismissed as mere “junk DNA”, but we now know that some of it plays a critical role in our biology. As to the origins and function of the rest, we simply do not know.
The human genome therefore presents us with a paradox. How does this viral DNA come to be there? What role has it played in our evolution, and what is it doing to our physiology? To answer these questions we need to deconstruct the origins of the human genome — a story more fantastic than anything we p
Originally posted by liquidself
reply to post by Muckster
I respectfully disagree that it is a sensationalist topic. It appears to me to be a legitimate, even logical result in hindsight. there is only one genetic system on earth as far as we know. I think a more to point question would be how much our animal friends are also composed of viruses. I do not myself subscribe to the idea that humans are apart from nature per se or intrinsically evil (though there is much to recomend the latter) but the degree and amount to which we may have literally been formed BY viruses is disturbing. Say we had another million years in which to evolve - would we be then 80-90 percent virus?
[edit on 1-2-2010 by liquidself]
Good questions re: what it means to evolution.
The study -- led by Professor Keizo Tomonaga at Osaka University in Japan -- revealed that the genomes of humans and other mammals contain DNA derived from the insertion of bornaviruses, RNA viruses whose replication takes place in the nucleus of cells. It was the first to show sequences derived from a virus other than retroviruses. Researchers have known since 2001 that 8 percent of human genetic material is derived from retroviruses.
Originally posted by Muckster
Excuse my ignorance on this subject but isn’t it just stating the obvious??
Do we not share DNA with ALL life on earth? I heard somewhere that we have 95% the same DNA as pigs and 64% the same as Bananas! Doesn’t mean that we are Bananas.
I openly admit to not being particularly knowledgeable or educated on this subject, but to me this sounds like the sort of sensationalist stuff that gets picked up by the tabloid newspapers when they want to fill a gap!
Obviously it is also something that will be jumped on by the "all humans are evil" brigade, without actually thinking about it!
Sorry... just my uneducated opinion