[extropy-chat] interplay of genes, viruses, and plankton

Jeff Davis jrd1415 at yahoo.com
Sun Mar 26 05:03:44 UTC 2006

Bacterial life was dominant/exclusive for 3 billion
years.  Apparently "genetic couriers" evolved as an
element of that system, and then diversified. 

Tasty.  Elegant.


"Our image of ocean microbes and their role in
planetary maintenance is changing,"... the microbial
community ... is a collection of genes, some of which
are shared by all microbes and contain the information
that drives their core metabolism, and others that are
more mobile, which can be found in unique combinations
in different microbes." 

The distributors or carriers of new genes, the
scientists suspect, are the massive numbers of viruses
also known to exist in seawater. ...  The ocean
viruses, which carry their own genes as well as
transport others, provide a way of transferring genes
from old cells into new ones. 

"We're beginning to get a picture of gene diversity
and gene flow ..."


Best, Jeff Davis

   "Everything's hard till you know how to do it."
                           Ray Charles

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