A virus in our genes, think about that....

A virus in our genes, think about that....

Summary: Really fascinating news: Virus is passed from parent to child in the DNA. Researchers found that roseola, an infection that everyone apparently gets but only 20 percent of children develop the characteristic rash that gives it its name, is actually in our DNA.

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TOPICS: Security
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Really fascinating news: Virus is passed from parent to child in the DNA. Researchers found that roseola, an infection that everyone apparently gets but only 20 percent of children develop the characteristic rash that gives it its name, is actually in our DNA. It co-evolved into us, which raises some very interesting today in particular.

They found that most babies infected with the HHV-6 virus, which causes roseola, had the virus integrated into their chromosomes. Not only that, but either the father or mother also had the virus in the chromosomes, suggesting it was a so-called germline transmission -- passed on in egg or sperm.

"This is really a unique mechanism for congenital infections," said Dr. Caroline Breese Hall, a pediatrician at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York who led the study published in the journal Pediatrics.

Her team is now investigating what this means for the children.

"If you have a chromosome that has got a virus integrated into it, what does it mean? What does it do? Can it activate again? Can it start spewing out virus and cause problems? Can you get an immune response to it?" she said in a telephone interview.

Okay, so why is this particularly interesting today?

Well, there's a Creationist giving a speech tonight at the Republican Convention. You may have heard of Sarah Palin and her lack of experience with virtually anything having to do with national politics (except her talent in winning pork projects) and foreign relations. But she also doesn't believe in evolution, which means that, in principle, this discovery cannot fit into her world view unless she actually thinks God designed the roseola virus into us rather than this being the product of a process of natural selection.

It is easier to imagine why the virus was absorbed into our DNA, for instance it could be the product of an earlier immune response to another disease, than it is to imagine why God would have put it there. So, applying Occam's Razor to the question, the evolutionary process is the simpler explanation—unless God designed a disease into the human gene, so that it expresses itself in our hair and bones, amongst other parts of the body that have nothing to do with roseola, for no good reason.

If there was no such thing as evolution, there would not be demonstrable examples of evolution in action today, like the new species of dung beetle emerging.

We don't need a vice president or, should Senator McCain be elected and die in office, a president who disavows science. She insists Creationism be taught alongside evolution and opposes many forms of research based on her Biblical interpretations. The impact of a Palin presidency -- or her influence within the administration as vice president -- on U.S. research and development policy would be disastrous.

We should be voting for someone who lives in the 21st Century, not the 19th, when it comes to policy making. That's just one of the many reasons the Founders established a separation of church and state.

Topic: Security

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  • Not bad...

    You were doing good until about halfway through the post, when you might as well have pulled out your Barack Hussein Obama flag and waved it from the rooftops.

    Your gallop off into politics ruined what would otherwise have been a good read.
    Hallowed are the Ori
    • Please...

      The article is filed under "Social and Political." I fail to see why the author is off-topic simply because he has an opinion (obviously) differing from your own. Blogs of this sort are frequently more "editorial." I found it to be an interesting commentary on the separation of church and state.
      DragonCalledK
    • We're making a political decision....

      If you'd like to see the U.S. continue to see advanced
      research into the origins of life and the universe conducted
      overseas rather than here -- such as with the Large
      Hadron Collider in Europe -- then, please, do vote for that.
      I didn't endorse Obama, I raised a question about Palin.
      That is politics, because we are going to VOTE on
      candidates, one of whom espouses the limited horizon of
      opportunity a Creationist agenda imposes on scientific
      research.

      Take your Islam-baiting elsewhere.
      Mitch Ratcliffe
      • Islam-baiting?

        [i]If you'd like to see the U.S. continue to see advanced research into the origins of life and the universe conducted overseas rather than here -- such as with the Large Hadron Collider in Europe -- then, please, do vote for that. [/i]


        I seem to recall it was Congress that killed the one they were building in Texas. How does whomever is President change what Congress decides to do?

        And Islam-baiting? WTF are you talking about?
        Hallowed are the Ori
        • The administration leads....

          Congress responds to budget proposals and policy
          requests made by the president at the beginning of the
          session. A Creationist agenda doesn't emphasize basic
          research into the origins of life and the universe, since
          Creationists assume they know the answer. The Bush
          Administration hamstrung U.S. biological research during
          the last eight years based on similar convictions.

          You know precisely what I mean by Islam-baiting. Take it
          elsewhere.
          Mitch Ratcliffe
          • Hmmm...

            [i]Congress responds to budget proposals and policy
            requests made by the president at the beginning of the
            session. A Creationist agenda doesn't emphasize basic
            research into the origins of life and the universe, since Creationists assume they know the answer. The Bush Administration hamstrung U.S. biological research during the last eight years based on similar convictions.[/i]

            Uh... does "a permanent presence on the moon by 2020" sound familiar? The current administration set that goal for NASA, as well as an expedition to Mars. (Although phasing out the space shuttle and having NO manned space capability for 5 years still seems like pure lunacy to me.)

            As for biological sciences, I can only assume you mean stem cell research? That's a slippery slope my friend.


            [i]You know precisely what I mean by Islam-baiting. Take it elsewhere. [/i]

            The only thing that comes to mind is that I wrote "Barack HUSSEIN Obama". Which [b]IS[/b] his name you know.

            Of course, you have no idea why I wrote it like that, just that I did, so I must be "Islam-baiting".

            But I'll tell you why I write it like that. I write his name like that because his supporters get ticked when anyone says or writes it, as if it's a racist act to to do so.

            Witness you, for example. :)

            But if it will make it better, here: Barack Obama.

            Now, shake and be friends?
            Hallowed are the Ori
          • Phase-outs, not the moon

            You hit the nail on the head: The goal is to phase out all
            that messy expensive space exploration. There would be
            no pause if there was real commitment to space. As for
            biological research, the stem cell moratorium affected far
            more than stem cell research, because it drove funding
            and scientists away. This is a big system, not a bunch of
            isolated nodes, that are negatively impacted by narrow-
            mindedness and budget cutting without regard for the
            wider benefits of pure research.

            I don't believe Obama spells his middle name in caps. So,
            his name isn't spelled the way you put it. I can be friends,
            but I expect my friends to be polite, just as you probably
            do.
            Mitch Ratcliffe
  • RE: A virus in our genes, think about that....

    Intresting,
    Until he brought God into it.
    Evolution - you really belive in it.
    Laughs
    scinetific principle - magnetic field of the earth is weaking in half ever 1500 years, reverse the process and see how many years before the magnetic field of the earth prohibits life from existing on the earth - 64000 aprox years, so evolution states billions of years, how does on explain the difference, give me a good scientific example and we can find the answer, Creationism - those whom talk about it and push it dont know what they believe except God created the heavens and the earth - if you read that part there is nothing about God creating the earth in 7 days,
    Your story was good until you mixed Poltics, religion, and females in to the mix.
    Monosdeja
    • Uh huh....

      I don't recall saying anything about having to read Genesis
      literally in order to embrace Creationism. Let's just stay away
      from making that reading the law of the land.

      As for the magnetic field, that's news to me.

      Also, I didn't bring females into the mix -- that would have
      been God based on what you're saying. We just happen to be
      mixed up in politics, religion and everything else.
      Mitch Ratcliffe
      • create

        ya i know about Genesis but most creationist use that to explain the creaton of the earth - they mis quote
        Monosdeja
    • WTF?

      There are geologic records of previous magnetic reversals. Try again.
      rpmyers1
      • Magnetic reversals

        Yes, there have been magnetic reversals:
        http://www.answersingenesis.org/creation/v13/i3/fossil.asp

        A great creation model explains them: http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/760
        creationguest
        • Listen...

          your desperation is apparent in the sheer number of times you have posted the same links. Sorry but some of us have moved from the 12th century in our way of thinking and we kind of like what we have discovered. Had religion managed to succeed in it's original intention to suppress all forms of science and keep the masses enslaved we wouldn't have the internet let alone any of the other technologies we enjoy.
          Jim Blaine - Bellingham WA.
  • RE: A virus in our genes, think about that....

    oh yea - almost forgot -lets blame God for everthing
    Monosdeja
  • A virus in our genes is God's kill switch.

    Wait until it mutates. Maybe this is why species died in the past for no reason.
    osreinstall
  • RE: A virus in our genes, think about that....

    It is interesting that you paint Creationists as not believing in Natural Selection. From that information I could find on a respected Creation/Christian website (www.answersingenesis.org), Creationists welcome Natural Selection (see: http://answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/selection.asp).

    True Creationists believe that God made "Created Kinds" (See: http://answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/kinds.asp) that can undergo mutations and speciation. (see: http://answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/mutations.asp and http://answersingenesis.org/home/area/faq/speciation.asp. There is much evidence of Natural Selection (for example, Darwin's finches, dog breeds, virus in human genes, animals developing resistance to poison), but this is evidence of Natural Selection, not molecules to man evolution. There is very little, if any, evidence of organisms undergoing change from one 'kind' of animal to another 'kind' (for example, Darwin's finches are still birds, not people)

    Molecules-to-man evolution is NOT science. (it is not observable, repeatable, and verifiable) It is a speculation about the past. (history) Nor is creation observational science, it to is history. True, they both have a theory about what happened in the past, and we can use observational science to test which theory lines up with the evidence better, but neither should be called observational science (the science that puts man on the moon, says H2O boils at 100 degrees C at sea level, and all science that is observable, repeatable, and verifiable).

    Gov. Palin's views about creation can be read here: http://answersingenesis.org/articles/2008/08/30/really-a-creationist

    Finally, I would add that most of the great scientists of that past were Creationists. (see: http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/Area/bios/default.asp scroll down to the bottom of the page to see past scientists)
    creationguest
    • Great reply

      Good reply; great site too, Answers In Genesis. They have an amazing museum in Northern Kentucky, right outside of Cincinnati. I would recommend that to anyone.
      MC1171611
    • The origins of life and the universe are observable

      Please, read some physics, some biology and get back to me
      when you are serious about the question of "organisms
      undergoing change from one 'kind' to another," as there is
      ample evidence in DNA that all species share common
      ancestors. Additionally, the origins of the universe are
      observable in experiments conducted every day. The fact that
      we don't yet know everything about the beginning of life or
      the universe doesn't disprove the whole system.
      Mitch Ratcliffe
      • Re: The origins of life and the universe are observable

        As far as the common DNA, read:http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/3271/
        Common DNA is what we would expect to find from a common Designer. Just like in computer programming, where programmers reuse code, a common Designer would reuse the DNA from animal to animal with slight modifications as needed.

        What experiment are being conducted "every day" that observe the origins of the universe?
        Most likely you are talking about the CMB and the Big Bang. All we are observing is data, that data must be interpenetrated to form a theory. If you assume that the universe has no center, then you get the BigBang of the the data, if you assume that there is a center of the universe, then you get a totally different theory. Read: http://creationontheweb.com/content/view/718, http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v16/i2/galaxy.asp, and http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v17/i2/cosmology.asp
        creationguest
        • LOL....

          "Common DNA is what we would expect to find from a
          common designer." Actually, no. If you look at designs in
          other forms of intentional design, the absence of common
          pieces is what distinguishes species of products, like cars,
          buildings, etc. from one another. Different building blocks
          for different applications.

          There is no reason to think that an omnipotent designer
          would start with a small set of simple parts.

          As for the Big Bang, the difference between faith and
          science is the ability to posit theories and test them. The
          increasingly complex but calculable view of nature
          established by physics demonstrates that, not only can we
          create models, but we can prove them in practice.

          Center of the universe? How does that conform with deep
          sky observation? You can say "if you assume there is no
          center of the universe," but you can't show evidence of that
          based on empirical data. Saying it doesn't make it so, so to
          speak.
          Mitch Ratcliffe