How to make a fool of yourself on the internet

STEP 1: Profess your undying love for a revolutionary person in your field of study, on your blog.

STEP 2: ???


Dear ERV

As I notice that you are interested in the origin of virus and role in evolution. I send you a recent chapters that I wrote on the subject

Best regards
Your virus boyfriend



Oh well, my embarrassment is your alls gain! Forterre sent me a chapter he recently wrote for the Encyclopedia of Virology on the origin of viruses, and Im gonna review it for you all! Omg, its so dreamy you guys :D He expands upon how he would connect viruses with the Tree of Life with the metaphor of 'the universal tree immersed in a viral ocean.'



Until I get to it, check out an article Carl Zimmer wrote about Forterre for Science a couple of years ago! Carl managed to highlight exactly why Im so nuts for Forterre hehehehehehehe!!!


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By daniela lemus (not verified) on 19 May 2010 #permalink


I hope it's the real McCoyForterre and not just one of your many many silly admirers.

So ... does this now make you Mme. Forterre in spe?

Oh it was him. Pasteur Institute email account. Yup.

*head to keyboard*


Not being fortunate enough to be a red-neck, you've completely mangled "y'all". It's a contraction of "you all", not "your alls".

Sorry about that. I'm not a spelling/grammer nutjob, but this is the first (and probably only) chance I'll have to correct you about something. LOL

BTW, what the heck is going on? Evolved&Rational had a real loonytoon this weekend, you've had one, and I had a bizarre e-mail exchange with a biblical literist myself. Did they have a party and OD on kool-aid or something?

"Your alls" is an ERV-ism :) I get crap for it all the time hehe!

To clarify that...
*sigh* re-read BEFORE posting, not after.
I'm wondering why I'm seeing such unexpected things, not that virologist are in way to be comparted to flat-earthers. (y'all are kinda out there in a world all your own, but that's simply because the rest of us can't keep up with half of what you doing.)

Awww, you have a crush. It's awesome that he emailed you.

I am wondering about RNA. If RNA created DNA, which I believe it did, whose to say DNA didn't rebel, so to speak, and cause RNA to start copying with many errors? How do we know RNA has always been a sloppy copier? Perhaps in it's early forms it wasn't and the early forms of DNA altered it as it was fighting for survival. If RNA created DNA it passed on it's survival of the fittest trait, it's trait of manipulation whose to say DNA didn't fight back and affect RNA in negative ways?

THE WAR OF THE NA'S. Maybe we're in the middle of it as we speak.

Kind of like how we are creating computers and artificial intelligence that will eventually figure out we're assholes and kill us off. hehehe I know, I know, not the same, but it sounds cool.

By Rayven Alandria (not verified) on 22 Jul 2008 #permalink

Oh dear. Does he know that DaveScot's got a crush on you too? Perhaps he's jealous.

Milk it for all it's worth. Tell Dave your other suitor has been sending gifts, and see what he sends you.

Haha, gotta love virologists with a sense of humor.

Wait a minute, that sounds a bit scary doesn't it?

He expands upon how he would connect viruses with the Tree of Life with the metaphor of 'the universal tree immersed in a viral ocean.'

This is always the way I've thought viruses must be, since I considered the question at all. That is, it seemed hopelessly inane that anybody considered viruses to be "escaped bits of DNA". Why on Earth would anybody think that? All of that metabolic machinery that is used to define life by the more traditional definition had to evolve at some point, after all. And before that metabolic machinery evolved, what would you have? A virus!

I've suspected for a long time now that we only think of viruses as fundamentally parasitic because it is only those forms that have survived since the archaea and bacteria covered the globe. I don't know, maybe this is wrong. I'm not a biologist, but it always seemed really, really strange to me that the idea that viruses are escaped bits of DNA was ever popular.

By Jason Dick (not verified) on 22 Jul 2008 #permalink

Abbie, have you ever read about the old 'Core Wars' computer games that were some of the earliest simulations of life that developed?

It never took long for virus like code to develop in those situations, given a certain minimum amount of already relatively stable reproducing code. It seems that something similar would and could have easily happened with the primitive replicators on earth.

Though I'm loath to link to IIDB anymore, there is a good article in their library about it. Oh, and of course RBH is the expert there. =)

Abie's got a cruush. ;-P

Hi Abbie,

Here's yet another nudge from moi for you to write succinct summaries on the Rockefeller University evolution symposium talks. There were a number of intriguing talks on viral systematics which I am certain were of great interest to you. So when are you going to give your own unique spin on them?

Your former paleobiologist ami,

(aka "Jekyll and Hyde of Paleobiology" courtesy of Uncommon Dissent IDiot Borg drone DaveScot Springer)

By John Kwok (not verified) on 23 Jul 2008 #permalink

You can have Patrick.
Carl Woose is my (obscenely too old) archaea boyfriend. From what I remember (and indeed, his quote in the Carl Zimmer article seems to support this), he can buy the "viruses invented DNA" part, but not so much "three independent creations of protocell". But he may have a slightly vested interest on the "archaea are not bacteria!" angle.
But all this pre-Darwinian threshold stuff is really speculative. Can we even prove DNA was more stable in proto-life ooze conditions?
Though this stuff is really, really, ridiculously cool.

The great men of history have written poetry, composed symphonies and sonatas, sculpted marble and clay, or painted masterpieces filled with the pain of unrequited love. Ordinary men bring gifts of candy and flowers in hopes of winning some small smile and a glimmer of hope that their love will be returned. David sent Uriah on a suicide mission so he could pursue Bathsheba. John Hinckley shot Ronald Reagan in an ill fated attempt to win the affections of Jodie Foster

and now, now we find out that the way to a woman's heart is to attempt to redefine the role of viruses in the tree of life. Does Hallmark make a card for that?

I'm jealous. My boyfriend died in 1962. But I'm developing a huge crush on Carlo Rovelli. I think I'm going to have him sign my boobs with tensor products.

Abbie - that's fantastic!

I'm eager to read your review of it! it's adorable that he has a sense of humor about it all =)

You two seem perfect for each other. You both have a, ummm, unique take in your usage of the English language.

I fear we won't understand your children at all...

Abbie, While I agree with you that viruses should be on the phylogenetic tree-- it's a slippery slope from there.

What then? Binomial names for retrotransposons? Citizenship for cytoplasmic determinants? Amnesty for prions ?? Driver's licenses for allosteric operons?!?!

Men marrying goats!!

I tell you this: bacterial conjugation is not natural and it's an abomination before god!!!
I quote from the book of Scooter 14:12

And on the 2nd day god created the protista and the archea and everything that haveth associated proteins and yea it was good

Heh, great comment by Aplexus. :-)

This is interesting stuff. I don't know much about viruses myself, so I can only follow a portion of this blog, but what I can follow is quite interesting. :-)

Hi Amplexus,

Thanks for your fine post, and I might add that it gets quite a bit complicated. How viruses should be listed in a phylogeny of life is one thorny issue indeed, based on those speaking on it and bacterial phylogeny at the Rockefeller University evolution symposium held in the beginning of May (Since this isn't something I know much about, I'm going to defer my comments to Abbie and anyone else posting here who is working on this issue.).



By John Kwok (not verified) on 27 Jul 2008 #permalink