By Víctor Parra Avellaneda
Recombinant Virology Journal Vol. 6 No. 2 year 9.
COEVOLUTION OF ENDOGENOUS VIRUSES IN DIVERSE GROUPS OF MAMMALS
Rafael P. Picadilli; Ernesto C. Latimeria; Benedicto R. González; and Ramón Licuado.
Department of Molecular Pathology of the Civil Hospital of Huitzilintlan.
Viruses are supramacromolecular complexes that parasitize living cells, interact with their membrane receptors and then induce a conformational change that will allow depositing of genetic material inside and use of the metabolic machinery of the host to synthesize proteins encoded by the invading genome, resulting in the synthesis of components that make up new viruses that in turn are replicated to the point of saturating the inside of the cell, lysing it, and releasing the new viruses to the extracellular environment, where they have the potential to infest new cells and repeat this process.
Some of the most fascinating and terrifying are the Lentiviruses, belonging to the family Retroviridae, which have the peculiarity of possessing RNA as a carrier of their genetic material, which is transformed into DNA thanks to the reverse transcriptase enzyme, and, in turn, is introduced into the cell genome by means of the integrase enzyme, with which the virus infiltrates and remains latent, multiplying with each cell division and expressing itself when conditions are propitious.
Lentiviruses have a number of genes that they share and that have been found in the genomes of different mammals. They have been called endogenous viruses and include those that are no longer expressed but have remained as remnants of infections in the remote past. To understand the magnitude of this, it is enough to know that 10% of the human genome is of viral origin.
After finishing reading the fragment of this scientific article, the psychologist was paralyzed by a sudden revelation that he expressed in light and weak whispers:
—I am 90% human and 10% viral—said the psychologist.
Days later, this man of the science of human behavior, or what biologists could call "half-human ethology," concluded that many of the pathological and violent behaviors of the human species are the work of a psychological entity that he named "endogenous psychological viruses."
Just as there are biological viruses, there could also be psychological viruses that dominate our behavior when conditions are propitious. Some ideas or behaviour of the simplest kind can be highly infectious and harmful to us, such as personal self-destruction, harsh criticism of fellow human beings, envy or hypocrisy; these entities could have viral properties, because they manage to circumvent the mental barriers that protect us from madness; however, when they enter our psyche, these psychological viruses replicate, exploiting sanity, common sense and sensation (which would be the analogues of the cell).
Like herpes, which emerges when the immune system is depressed by stress, mental viruses could remain sleepy until they suddenly emerge from the darkness, expressing themselves and taking control when some situation takes us by surprise or the environment propitiates a dark atmosphere full of a thousand forms of emotional violence or insecurity.
The human instinct is to find a virgin entity, which is invaded, degraded (or parasitized), abandoned and replaced by another virgin entity. Doesn't that happen with wars, with social relations, with power games?
Journal of Experimental Molecular Medicine Vol. 1 No. 7 Year 0
CLINICAL EFFECTS DUE TO VARIOUS TYPES OF STRESS ON MUSCULUS MUSCULUS
Dámaso Nuño A1; Catalina Alcázar P.1; Renata Nuremberg A.2; and Aurora Torres P. 2.
1. Department of Nutritional Studies, National University of Tehuantepec.
2. Department of Epigenetics and Metabolomics, National University of Catalonia.
Four groups of mice were inoculated with Herpes simplex and were then exposed to different stressors. The first group was submitted to concentrated doses of cortisol; the second to oxidative stress via a diet rich in lipids and poor in proteins; the third to an environment of coexistence with a predator; and the fourth was the control group. The results indicate that the three factors causing stress generate an immunodepression that propitiates the overexpression and pathological proliferation of Herpes simplex. This verifies the delicate balance of the immune system in an unhealthy environment and should undoubtedly act as a warning to improve our lifestyle and take measures to limit stressors.
—Your reasoning is not wrong. The other day I read a recently published article about a protein called Arc that is involved in sympathetic plasticity. That is, neuronal connections adapt to different conditions, to new information.
—And what does this protein have to do with it?
—It is of viral origin.
—Yes, and you who study the human mind will know that intelligence depends a lot on how brain connections are established, how information is stored and interpreted, and as I told you, how the brain adapts to new stimuli. Life is matter organized in such a way that it can adapt to environmental changes.
—That makes me think we owe a lot to viruses.
—Don’t say it. You know something else interesting?
—Mice that were suppressed from the expression of the Arc protein did not remember anything beyond 24 hours of contact with stimuli.
—So, without that gene of viral origin, humans and other animals would forget who we are in a matter of hours. We would be, every day, being born and being born.
—Perhaps the legend of Prometheus is right after all.
—You make me think so. Prometheus, the virus that injects the fire of knowledge into an ancient cell. It has a lot of logic. If we see knowledge as words or information, this virus transferred its fire to us in the form of this gene. If I had been born in the body of one of those researchers, I would have proposed baptizing this endogenous virus as the "Prometheus virus.”
—There is something similar with the placenta.
—What do you mean?
—What I'm saying is that the placenta is a very large syncytium, which I know because I went to a lecture by Antonio Lazcano where he mentioned this. A syncytium is a cell with multiple nuclei. Our cells have a nucleus, but there are cases where there is more than one.
—Muscle cells are also a syncytium, am I wrong?
—No, you're not wrong.
—But why do you mention syncytia?
—Because there are viruses that cause them. For example, the AIDS virus. They act as one of the factors involved in genetic diversification.
—Did you say one?
—Yes, other factors are the transposable genetic elements, or transposons. These are non-functional genes that are detached from their site and inserted into another, randomly. Some could be inserted right in the middle of a functional gene, or not; in any case, this means a mutation. Other factors are exposure to environmental variables. And another factor that we almost always ignore is the replication of our own DNA. Certain DNA polymerases make mistakes when copying genetic material. Inevitably, we are never the same, not even at our genomic level.
—Thanks to the Arc protein, it seems, we abandon the illusion of immortality that implies being reborn every day, and we moralize ourselves by remembering everything, while our genetic essence crumbles with time. If our intelligence was the product of an infection that an ancestral virus carried out, I could say, in my philosophical reflections, that we are a virus that has managed to symbiose with more complex structures, ultimately forming all multicellular species.
—You are agreeing with all those people who say that humanity is like a virus.
—We behave as such. I imagine the human brain as a snail spiral. In the tiny nucleus there is the Prometheus virus, and around it is added all the structures it has acquired through its evolutionary history. Like a snowball that grows and grows.
—But what will be the end of that snowball?
As if we were quoting Kafka's Metamorphosis, the businessman, the desperate woman, the businessman in trouble, the mad doctor, the frustrated writer, the failed artist, the journalist threatened with death, the politician under the gaze of justice, and thousands of people overwhelmed by the modern world woke up as gigantic viruses. The best hypothesis to explain this implausible event was the stress-immunodepression relationship and the subsequent joint expression of all the endogenous viruses present in the human genome at a time characterized by a ridiculously high level of stress.
Nobody knew it at the time, but the ultimate purpose of the viruses was to pass unaltered as chemical fossils; to parasitize more complex life forms, such as eukaryotic cells; to provide qualities such as musculature and intelligence in order to generate more complex organisms; to generate a deceptive symbiosis; and finally to express themselves as a colonial and macroscopic virus.
The specific mechanism of this human-virus transmutation was based in a series of polymorphisms and pleiotropic viral genes that affected different Hox genes in human beings, in which the different extremities were substituted by amplifications of viral structures. For this discovery, Wlatzen Tiyhg, Adanselmo de Esturión and Rigoberto Yetattori received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2048. They were the first viruses to receive this award.
Víctor Parra Avellaneda was born in the city of Tepic, Nayarit, Mexico. He studies biology at the Centro Universitario de Ciencias Biológicas y Agropecuarias (CUCBA) at the Universidad de Guadalajara (U de G). He writes prose, much of it speculative fiction. His writing experiments with decadent realities, where biological aspects predominate as the central axis of almost all the plots, along with the development of the characters. He is the author of the satirical novel El intrigante caso de Locostein. His work has been published in Spanish-speaking countries in digital and printed literary magazines, such as El Narratorio, La sirena varada, MonoDemonio, Oajaca, Sinfín, Espejo Humeante, among others; it has also been published in the United States (Dumas de demain & Spelk) and India (Culture Cult Magazine).