Re: virus: Maxims

Tim Rhodes (
Wed, 12 May 1999 20:43:37 -0700

Dave wrote:

>Got any references to the blurred distinction between viruses and genes? I
>thought viruses were kind of the phenotype and genes the replicator,

Actually viruses are more like little chunks of DNA with a squid head on one end. They grab onto a cell's nucleus (with the little squid-head-thingy) and inject their own genetic material right into it, so that the cell ends up doing all the hard replication work for them, thinking it's its own DNA, and the virus never really needs any of that hardware or much of a phenotype at all other than that little squid-head-thingy attachment. (Oh, I just love those technical terms!)

-Prof. Tim