Genetics Health News

What Makes Viruses So Dangerous To Us?

Written by Mahad Qureshi

Disclaimer: This article is based on personal ideas and concepts.

Virus are dangerous. Most of us have heard virus as a cause of certain diseases, such as, common cold (flu), dengue, zika virus and some other diseases. The virulence of diseases are high enough than other infectious diseases caused by other pathogenic agents, such as, bacteria. Furthermore, the existence of symbiotic (beneficial) micro organisms has been reported and are used for the production of foods, medications and other products. However, no such study has reported about any beneficial viruses present in this biosphere. If viruses are dangerous, what makes them dangerous?

Living organisms contain DNA or RNA as genetic material and about 8% constitute viral DNA inside our cells, the least amount of DNA than any other organism. A human contain about 30-98% DNA from different organisms. Viruses are the most genetically different from all other organisms and this difference distinguish the way they live and reproduce themselves, from us.   Furthermore, the differences in genetic material makes viruses an incompatible symbiotic partner for a host. The more the difference between genetic material of virus and humans, the more dangerous the  virus is to human. For instance, RNA viruses are more dangerous for humans than DNA viruses.

Now take the genetic materials of organisms, instead of organisms classes, etc. The results we will have will be something like this

Organisms Structure Degree of Virulence
RNA Virus Genetically Most Different Most Virulent
DNA Virus Less different as compared to

RNA virus

Less Virulent then RNA
Other pathogenic microbes Contains more DNA of human then viruses Less virulent than DNA and RNA virus

 

There might be other examples but don’t know about them yet. Currently, I am searching and trying to find some evidence for this idea. If any of you know about how to compare DNA from different organisms or have any information regarding this topic, please contact me. Also I am looking for a team to help me or join me in this project. Anyone from preferably COMSATS ISB is more than welcome.

I’ll keep updating this article as I find more related information or supporting arguments.

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About the author

Mahad Qureshi

Not a writer nor a scientist or something big. Just a random guy trying to fulfill his curiosities :P