Re: virus: Memetic sex
Sun, 13 Apr 1997 14:20:48 -0500 (CDT)

On Wed, 26 Feb 1997, Dave Pape wrote:

> At 13:33 25/02/97 CT, Corey wrote:
> >David Pape said:
> >>Every cell in our body has more than one type of DNA, because mitochondrial
> >> DNA's different to nuclear DNA.
> >
> >Please explain this sentence. (No, not that sentence. The one I quoted.)


> 2 I should've said, "Every cell that has mitochondria in it".
> 3 Mitochondria (little organelles that... do aerobic respiration, I
> think) apparently have DNA of their own, ie they reproduce themselves,
> rather than the nucleus's DNA providing chemical instructions for their
> manufacture in the cell. ....

This technicality has annoying consequences. I believe it has wiped at
least one antiviral drug [for Hepatitis C, I think.]. Technical names
escape me, but this one was a nucleotide analog. The drug *worked*: it
actually attained total cure. Unfortunately, it blasted the
mitochondrial DNA as well [without affecting cellular DNA], resulting in
the death of at least 50% of the patients in the alpha-test.

This also has been used to reconstruct maternal lines of descent for the
human race. [early 1980's?] The principles look similar to those for
reconstructing language families.

I have been forced to call the second application, the greatest failure
of modern biology to debunk Genesis. [If only the reconstructed tree had
a different shape, we'd have a wonderful tool to rip the pseudoscientific
Creationists' framework out from under them.]

/ Towards the conversion of data into information....
/ Kenneth Boyd