“Introduction to Virus Origins…” by Domingo

This article is devoted to researching the genesis of viruses on planet Earth, the characteristics of modern viruses, and the significance of these microorganisms to the biosphere. Domingo (2020) notes that the most notable traits of creatures are replication, evolvability, metabolism, and compartmentalization. As for the origin of viruses, they can be either descendant of primitive replicons or structured cells. The main features of most modern viruses are the inheritance of primitive replicons, their propagation through membrane structures, and the tendency to integrate and transfer the genome. Although new technology was not used in this study, the author considered this topic in a very detailed and comprehensive manner. Simultaneously, many issues are open for discussion and are likely to remain relevant for long due to the volatile nature of viruses.

A new species of viruses were also not discovered since the author’s task was to systematize knowledge about the features of known viruses. Nevertheless, the author demonstrates a lot of new facts about already found types of viruses. According to Domingo (2020), two hereditary cases of positive selection presumably contributed to the evolution of viruses: the choice of replicating polymers in contrast with non-replicating polymers and the selection of membrane vesicles prone to cleavage as opposed to those not inclined to split.

In the study, the author himself did not use any specific technique since this study is theoretical. Nevertheless, the author describes such a method as next-generation sequencing, which is a technique for determining the nucleotide sequence of DNA and RNA to obtain a formal description of its primary structure. According to Domingo (2020), this technology, elaborated at the beginning of the 21st century, makes it probable to “read” several genome regions at once, which is the main difference from earlier sequencing methods.

Reference

Domingo, E. (2020). Introduction to virus origins and their role in biological evolution. Virus as Populations, 1–33.

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