The coronavirus vaccine is not the only competition

As the world power, the United States has in recent years wantonly suppressed countries that it considers to be a threat to it, including Russia, which has been one of the targets of the Western camp. In addition, China’s rapid economic growth in recent years has made the United States and other Western countries envious. And this has become one of the main reasons for the United States to suppress China.

01
China presents itself as a great power
During the epidemic period, China was the first country to recover from the epidemic. At the same time, it continued to assist other countries in the epidemic prevention and control, which can be said to be a good demonstration of China’s great power style and, to a certain extent, further deepen China’s influence in the world.

The United States wants to further consolidate its position by suppressing China. In fact, this move itself is wrong. Until now, the United States still pursues hegemonism and tries to continue to follow this hegemonism path in this multi-polar world. However, many countries have expressed their anger towards the United States, and the hegemonism of the United States is no longer appropriate.

02
US executives are alarmed
During the epidemic period, after China successfully developed the new coronavirus, it not only met its own needs, but also made relevant donations to other countries without vaccine production capacity, in order to make contributions to the world’s anti-epidemic achievements. In addition, China’s production of epidemic prevention equipment can be said to have seen an explosive growth, in which masks, as the main protective equipment, are produced in large quantities in China, and have been recognized by the people of the world. Chinese masks are of high quality and low price, and American people are very fond of Chinese masks.

In the United States, by contrast, after the vaccine was developed, donations were meagre, even meagre. On top of that, face masks made by American face mask suppliers cost 10 times more than those made in China. Meanwhile, Premium-PPE, a mask maker in the US, saw its workforce plummet when no masks were being sold. No one wants to buy its expensive masks, and its executives say they will never sell them for less than a cent, a sign of their desperation.

Biden did not think that the new coronavirus vaccine is not the only one, and the senior executives of the US companies were anxious before the Chinese side made the offer. In addition, they want the U.S. government to purchase their stockpiled stock to ease the current plight of U.S. mask suppliers. But in fact, whether it’s vaccines or face masks, China is already doing a pretty good job.

3,532 mutant viruses found in India!WHO: The outbreak is spreading to neighboring countries…

The WHO recently released a report showing signs that the outbreak in India is spreading to neighboring countries:
① In Nepal, there was a 137% increase in cases last week;
(2) Confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Laos increased by more than 200 times in one month;
③ Hospitals in Pakistan and Bangladesh are at or near full intensive-care units;
(4) About 98% of new cases in Thailand are from mutated viruses.
And the virus continues to spread further afield.
Two cases of novel coronavirus were detected in the Indian delegation to the G7 foreign ministers’ meeting in the UK on May 5.
Rapid worsening of epidemic in Nepal:
An additional 9,196 cases have been confirmed
A total of 377,603 cases have been confirmed
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said in a statement Wednesday that the number of cases diagnosed in Nepal has soared, with the positive detection rate of novel coronavirus reaching 44%.
Officials with the Nepal Red Cross have warned that if the epidemic is not stopped, what happened in India will happen again in Nepal.
The COVID-19 has worsened rapidly in Nepal recently. Some analysts believe that frequent personnel exchanges with India are one of the reasons for the recent worsening of the COVID-19 in Nepal.
The two countries share a long land border and have close people-to-people exchanges.
As the epidemic in India worsened, many Indians entered Nepal.
Nepal has recorded 9,196 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours, including 9,023 positive cases of nasopharyngeal swab nucleic acid test and 173 positive cases of novel coronavirus antigen test, according to statistics released by the Ministry of Health and Population on Monday afternoon.
In addition, Nepal has recorded 50 new deaths in the past 24 hours.
As of 15:00 May 7 local time, Nepal has had 377,603 confirmed cases and 3,579 deaths.
Government of India:
There are 3,532 variants of the virus
A third wave is inevitable
A worrying 3,532 strains of the new coronavirus have been detected in 27 states, the Indian government announced on Wednesday, adding that a third wave of the virus was inevitable given the surge in cases.
Vijay Raghavan, chief scientific adviser to the Indian government, said: “Phase 3 is inevitable given the large number of viruses circulating, but it is not yet clear when phase 3 will occur. Hopefully it will happen gradually.
“Previous infections and vaccines can put adaptive pressure on the virus to make the kind of new mutations it’s trying to escape, and we have to be scientifically prepared to deal with that.”
The outbreak continues in India
The positive test rate in Goa was 41%
India yesterday reported more than 414,000 new confirmed cases in a single day, another record high.
What is the current situation of the epidemic across India?
Have the measures taken by the Indian government to prevent and control the epidemic had some effect?
More than 414,000 new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in India in the past 24 hours, again the highest number in a single day since the outbreak began in India and globally.
It is also the third time since May that India has recorded more than 400,000 new cases in a single day.
India’s epidemic continues to grow, with a nationwide positive rate of 21% in the past two weeks, according to a survey, meaning that one in five people tested for novel coronavirus has been diagnosed.
In the southern Indian state of Goa, the figure was 41 percent, meaning that for every five people tested there, two were diagnosed.
The surge in cases has also left the local health system operating under pressure.
In some hospitals in Uttar Pradesh, local media have described nurses as doctors, nurses as nurses and family members as caregivers.
In addition, due to the new outbreak of respiratory difficulties and the increase in the proportion of serious illness, local people have also caused panic, in order to “nip in the wind”, many people have started to buy home oxygen generators.
Some wealthy people have even built intensive care units in their homes.
At present, the price of related medical supplies is rising, and it is very difficult to buy them.
At present, more and more places in India join the “curfew” ranks.
In Mumbai, restrictions have been implemented since the end of March and have shown initial results. According to statistics, the number of new cases per day in Mumbai has dropped from more than 10,000 in early April to more than 3,000 at present.
It is hoped that the epidemic in India will turn to a turning point as soon as possible following the widespread adoption of restrictive measures.

Eight out of 10 cases of liver cancer are caused by this virus infection

March 18th is National Liver Day.
How’s your liver?

Liver, assume human body numerous important function, wait like metabolic function, detoxification function and immune function, it work with one mind, even if some common little pressure, also won’t complain (pain), even if had produced canceration, still be cautious and conscientious to work!

This is the main reason why liver cancer, once found, is at an advanced stage.

According to the latest data on the global cancer burden in 2020 released by WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, liver cancer was the second most deadly cancer in China last year.

Source: Analysis of Malignant Tumor Epidemiology in China in 2015

In addition to the well-known bad habits of staying up late and drinking, which damage the liver, virus infection is one of the important causes of liver cancer in patients around the world.

What viral infections cause liver cancer?

In China, it is mainly caused by hepatitis B virus, which accounts for up to 84% of liver cancer in China.

For hepatitis B, vaccination against hepatitis B is the most effective way to prevent hepatitis B virus infection (none).

What person does second liver vaccine recommend vaccinate?

The hepatitis B vaccine is recommended for newborns, infants, unimmunized people under the age of 15, and high-risk groups of all ages.

High-risk population of hepatitis B

Because China belongs to the hepatitis B epidemic area, that is, the carrier or patient base is relatively large, so from the safety point of view, it is suggested that high-risk groups are vaccinated against hepatitis B.

  • It is estimated that 1 in 20 people in China are carriers of the hepatitis B virus and 1 in 50 are patients with chronic hepatitis B.

After all, hepatitis B virus is transmitted by means of mother-to-child, blood (including minor wounds to the skin and mucous membrane) and sexual contact, although it does not pass through the respiratory and digestive tracts.
Such as having sex with an infected partner or accidentally touching an infected person’s wounds or blood.

Of course, only when the blood of patient of infected second liver virus or deep body fluid, when contact with the blood photograph of infected person, second liver virus just spreads likely, everybody need not be overly anxious.

Vaccine against hepatitis B

You might even want to ask these questions!

Finally, for hepatitis B vaccine, you may still have some high-frequency questions, we invited experts to focus on the answer:

Q: Does a single vaccination give you a lifetime benefit?
Is it necessary to vaccinate again?

A: After the entire course of vaccination and the production of effective antibodies, it generally lasts for 30 years.
(The duration of the effect is controversial. Some data show that within 10 to 15 years after inoculation, 20% to 60% of the vaccinated patients have HBV surface antibody < 10 mIU/mL)

The general population is inoculated whole course, can produce higher antibody level, need not inoculate again.

High-risk crowd or the person that immune function has a problem, can check antibody of second liver surface regularly, if hemodialysis patient recommends to check every year, antibody of second liver surface < 10 mIU/mL recommends to vaccinate again.

Ask: vaccinate second liver vaccine, need to detect to have to produce effective antibody?

After average person is inoculated second liver vaccine, need not check second liver surface antibody.

Infants born to infected or infected mothers should be tested for HBV surface antibodies 7 to 12 months after birth (1 to 6 months after the third dose).

High-risk crowd, 1 ~ 2 months after inoculation is completed, can detect antibody of second liver surface.
If the surface antibody of hepatitis B is less than 10 mIU/mL, the protective effect is not enough, and immunization should be strengthened.

Ask: already be infected person of second liver virus, can you still make vaccine?
What do you need to pay attention to, and what do you need to remind the people around you?

A: No need to play.

Chronic B virus infection of the population, need to be clear hepatitis B virus DNA situation, if can detect infectious, it is recommended to follow up 3 to 6 months 1 time, liver function, hepatitis B DNA, hepatitis B three system quantitative, a fetoprotein, liver and spleen B ultrasound, blood routine and other examinations, when necessary to improve the liver hardness value.

Image source: Tuworm Creative

If HBV DNA cannot be detected, it is recommended to follow up once from 6 to 12 months, the same item as above.

Close contacts of HBV infected persons are advised to be vaccinated against HBV.

Ask: had not hit vaccine, need not need to check second liver first two half, determine to hit again not hit?

Answer: according to their own situation choice.

There is no need for routine screening prior to HBV vaccination. Even for those who are already infected and have antibodies, vaccination is safe, although not prophylactic, and can be cost-effectively eliminated from screening.

But to individual character, a lot of inoculation person is willing to undertake second liver infection at his own expense before inoculation detect, determine how to inoculate second liver vaccine according to detection result next, it is completely possible.

There is no need to take HBV carriers, chronic hepatitis B, HBV surface antibody ≥ 10 mIU/mL.

Ask: What distinction does chronic second liver virus carrier and chronic hepatitis B have?
Does hepatitis B virus need to be treated?

Answer: the carrier of chronic second liver virus, simple understanding has a virus on the body namely, but this virus and autoimmune system do not have fierce fight, also won’t affect liver function, can serve as a source of infection only.

Chronic hepatitis B is hepatitis, where the virus fights furiously with the body’s immune system, causing an inflammatory response that may require treatment.

Image source: Tuworm Creative

Not all hepatitis B patients need treatment.

In adults with normal immunity, acute hepatitis B mostly resolves itself without treatment.

Chronic hepatitis B virus carriers, when there is no treatment indications, only regular follow-up can be required, treatment after the appearance of treatment indications, through treatment can control the virus and stabilize the state of liver function.

Finally, since 2002, China has officially included the hepatitis B vaccine in the national immunization program for children, which means that the hepatitis B vaccine is free at birth.

But be born before 2002, do not know oneself whether had inoculated the small partner of second liver vaccine, can choose to inoculate directly, it may be to check quantitative second liver two half, judge whether to need inoculation again according to the result!

Japan has reported the first case of the mutant novel coronavirus detected in the Philippines

A 60-year-old man who arrived at Narita Airport from the Philippines in February was infected with the novel coronavirus variant, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Wednesday.
Japanese media say the virus poses the same level of threat as mutated strains found in Britain, South Africa and Brazil.

This is the first reported case of the mutant novel coronavirus found in the Philippines in Japan, the health ministry said.
The man is asymptomatic.

Analysis of antiviral drugs commonly used in pig farms: many of them are useless in fact. Pig breeders should not be cheated again

In pig farm, the real difficult to cure pig disease is usually viral disease. Because of the bacterial disease of pigs, antibiotics can be used, but there is no legal western medicine for swine virus disease. However, it can not be said that it is useless to treat swine virus disease with traditional Chinese medicine. However, the effect is how, in fact, the hearts of the farmers should be clear.
The truth is also very simple. Chinese medicine for the treatment of swine virus diseases, such as swine fever, blue ear and even Xiaofei, is the same as the treatment of new crown virus with products such as isatidis root and Shuanghuanglian. The effect may be available, but one is that there is no specific scientific argument; the second is that the effect can not be guaranteed. In addition, pig farm use of traditional Chinese medicine has actually been flooding, too many, drug resistance is also more serious.
At present, in the pig industry, when pigs meet some serious viral diseases, the core of treatment is to use antibiotics to prevent secondary infection, and then use Chinese medicine to kill horses and become a living horse doctor. This can also save some pigs’ lives. Many times manufacturers will boast that this is how powerful their traditional Chinese medicine is so that the casualty rate will be reduced. I don’t know if these Chinese medicines are not used, the results may not be too poor.
I believe in traditional Chinese medicine personally, but TCM is dialectical, that is, each individual is different, need to be different to apply drugs. Therefore, traditional Chinese medicine is actually an empirical study. But in the treatment of pig disease, there is no dialectical condition first. In addition, although pigs and humans are mammals, after all, there are many differences. The effectiveness of the traditional Chinese medicine directly used for pigs can not be promoted. Moreover, some traditional Chinese medicine used by animals may still be the residue left by the Chinese medicine factory, and the efficacy has been greatly reduced.
Western antiviral products are not allowed to be used, and it is illegal to use them. The antiviral effect of traditional Chinese medicine is difficult to guarantee. Pig breeders and veterinary medicine manufacturers are in a hurry: is there any solution? At present, the industry is better used for antiviral alternatives: glucoterpene, glycerin monolaurate, oligosaccharide, etc. First, they are formal and legal, and then they are new products, and there are no problems existing in traditional Chinese medicine. Different manufacturers also launch more products, currently more common in the market: Qingwen Taibao, blue circle not too much protection. Of course, most of these products are complex products that cooperate with traditional Chinese medicine, and the effect is to make up for the advantages and disadvantages. The feedback effect of the farmers in the practical application process is good and the reputation is good.

Vaccines don’t work at all! U.S. mutated virus upgrades

Recently, a new variant virus has been discovered in California, which makes American scientists afraid. According to the report of reference news network, according to the research on the variant strain, this variant strain has more obvious transmissibility than the previously found variant strain. It is worth noting that the U.S. mutant virus has been completely upgraded, and the vaccine may not be used at all for the improvement of vaccine resistance.
Characteristics of new mutation virus in USA
The research shows that the mutant virus appeared very early, but was found very late. It was only found in winter. Because winter makes the transmission of the virus enhanced, the corresponding cases of natural increase in infection, the mutation of the virus caused attention. At the time of initial discovery, there was no clear evidence to prove that the mutant virus might have stronger transmissibility.
However, after several months of development, the danger of the virus is gradually emerging, and its serious infectivity is also gradually reflected. In just one quarter, with the corresponding strengthening of epidemic prevention and control in the United States, the mutant virus has become the main mutant virus in California. This result makes the researchers concerned, through the research and analysis of the mutant virus, the researchers found that the mutant virus has stronger infectivity.
Risk of mutated virus
After comparing with the mutated viruses in Brazil and South Africa, virus experts exclaimed that the devil had come. The stronger adaptability of the mutated virus makes it more effective to evade the vaccine, and the effect of the vaccine will naturally decline or even disappear. In addition, the mutant virus may have a better “binding” function with human cells, in other words, it has a more efficient infection rate. The reason why the mutant virus is called the devil is that if this characteristic of the virus is contacted and fused, it is very likely to form a new virus that is more dangerous than the mutant virus.
Epidemic prevention and control cannot be relaxed
The new mutation virus found in the United States has brought new challenges to the epidemic prevention and control, and whether the vaccine can play a role has aroused concern again. This further reminds people that they should be more active in fighting against the epidemic and should not relax the relevant epidemic prevention measures. This kind of mutant virus also has the risk of infection to people who have been infected with the epidemic situation and produced antibodies. In addition, according to experts, if this kind of virus is widely spread, the effect of the vaccine will be lower and lower, and finally even invalid.
U.S. researchers say the virus may lead the U.S. into another wave of outbreaks. In the current situation that the epidemic situation in the United States is not under control, the virus will bring greater difficulty to the prevention and control of the epidemic situation in the United States. This will also have an impact on Biden’s epidemic prevention and control plan. Whether the United States can control the epidemic in the summer is even more uncertain. Before the end of the epidemic, wear masks, keep personal hygiene clean, still can’t relax.

People of this blood type should be careful! Experts have confirmed: particularly vulnerable to virus infection

As researchers around the world work to identify and address risk factors for individuals with severe new crowns, they have found evidence that certain blood types may be associated with an increased risk of the disease. This study shows that the new coronavirus is particularly attracted by the type a blood antigen found in respiratory cells.
In this study, the researchers evaluated a protein on the surface of the new coronavirus called receptor binding domain, or RBD. RBD is a part of the virus binding with host cells, which makes it an important research target to understand how infection occurs. The team evaluated synthetic blood group antigens on type A, B and O red blood cells and individual respiratory tract cells, and analyzed how the RBD of the new coronavirus interacts with each unique blood group.
They found that RBD had a strong preference for binding type a blood in respiratory cells. This is probably how the virus enters most patients and infects them.
Although we can’t change the blood type, the researchers said. But if we can better understand how the virus interacts with people’s blood groups, we may be able to find new drugs or preventive methods.

The source of the virus was found? American expert: the virus spread from them to the world!

The source of the virus was found?
American expert: the virus spread from them to the world!
?
As of March 3, the world will be coronavirus infection is still very difficult, the United States as the first big outbreak, total 29.37 million cases of confirmed cases, accumulative total deaths of nearly 530000, to make matters worse, at the same time, the mutant viruses also swept by, although for now, the United States in a single new cases has decreased, but health experts say, this does not mean that the United States has successful escape, only strengthening ego to protect consciousness, people will be wearing a mask and keep a safe distance view as a habit, is likely to contain the spread of the virus, in addition, the vaccine promotion is urgent,
After all, the only thing that protects against the virus is the COVID-19 vaccine!

In addition to the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and other countries are also infected, even in Asia, Japan, South Korea is not optimistic about the situation, so where is the virus sweeping the world from?
Pompeo, known as the “public enemy of mankind”, did everything he could to smear China. He even claimed that the Wuhan Virus Laboratory had created and spread the virus. It was not until a WHO expert team came to China to investigate that the truth finally came to light!

Hill shortly before an Indian experts reveal the secrets of fort detrick, biological laboratories, the original will be coronavirus even the laboratory synthetic products, and at that time, the international community, many countries want the who travel to the United States, however, America’s defence secretary, to prevent the who came and openly will large Numbers of troops deployed around the laboratory, harms the cover-up to fort detrick, biological laboratories, experts at a time when the United States a fact make public outcry again…

It is learned that the experts foreign exposes the spread of the virus worldwide truth, had held a conference in Boston in the United States, the meeting is more than 200 experts from around the world, due to the seal, meeting place and the participants did not wear masks, 200 experts after the meeting became spreaders, will will be coronavirus spread to all over the world, that is to say, the meeting in Boston is led to the fall of the world’s other, and the Chinese side has always been wronged.

With the continuous progress of tracing the source, it is obviously impossible for the United States to continue to conceal the facts. However, some American officials who are not dead in their conscience have been selectively blind and insist on pinning the blame on us. This despicable method is disgusting!
In fact, novel coronavirus appeared and spread the truth has been revealed, the next world health must personally come forward to thoroughly investigate the United States, the global public need an explanation, and the United States as the biggest suspect must unconditionally cooperate with the world health investigation, this is beyond doubt!

This virus has to be guarded against

Norovirus gastroenteritis is a high incidence of infectious diseases in schools in spring.
Since vomiting is the most common symptom of norovirus gastroenteritis, it is also known as “winter vomiting sickness”.

Dr. Kang’s Interpretation

How is norovirus acute gastroenteritis transmitted?
What are the clinical manifestations after infection?
And how to prevent it?
Now I’m going to give you some general knowledge about it.

What is norovirus?

Norovirus was originally known as Norwalk virus.
The virus spreads easily from person to person.
Immune protection from norovirus infection in humans is short-lived, so the same person can be reinfected with the same strain or with different norovirus types.
Norovirus infection can occur throughout the year, with peak norovirus season from October to March of the following year.

The main symptoms

The incubation period for norovirus infection is usually 24-48 hours.
The most common symptoms were vomiting and diarrhea, followed by nausea, abdominal pain, headache, fever, chills and muscle aches.
Vomiting was the main disease in children and diarrhea was the main disease in adults.

infection

Norovirus is a highly contagious virus that is mainly transmitted by the faecal-oral route.

How is it treated?

Patients do not need to take antibiotics, but should be hydrated to prevent dehydration.
Taking oral rehydration salts (ORS) can help patients rehydrate and balance electrolytes.
Seek medical attention if symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea are severe.

How to prevent it?

Dr. Kang’s Interpretation

At present, there is no specific antiviral drug and vaccine for norovirus, and the prevention and control of norovirus mainly adopts non-pharmaceutical preventive measures.

1

Maintaining good hand hygiene is the most important and effective measure to prevent norovirus infection and control the spread of norovirus.

2

If a family member is infected with norovirus, they should try not to come into close contact with other healthy family members, especially not to cook or care for the elderly or infants.

3

Wash fruits and vegetables carefully and cook food properly, especially if you eat shellfish and seafood that are at high risk of getting norovirus.

4

It is best for patients with norovirus gastroenteritis to be actively isolated at home until 2 days after the complete disappearance of symptoms (because there is still a small amount of detoxification after the complete disappearance of symptoms).

5

When norovirus gastroenteritis aggregates or outbreaks occur, comprehensive disinfection should be done, focusing on the disinfection of environmental surfaces, articles for daily use, food processing tools and drinking water contaminated by pollutants such as vomit and feces of patients. Chlorine-containing disinfectants are the most commonly used.

How does patient vomit, feces disinfect?

Use gauze, cloth and other disposable absorbent materials stained with chlorine-containing disinfectant (effective chlorine concentration is 5000mg/L ~ 10000mg/L) to completely cover the contaminants and carefully remove them.
The cleaned pollutants are disposed of as medical waste, or soaked in disinfectant containing 5000mg/L effective chlorine for 30min before treatment.
A sufficient amount of chlorine-containing disinfectant can be poured into the toilet (effective chlorine concentration is 5000mg/L ~ 10000mg/L) for more than 30min.
Mops, rags and other tools used in cleaning as well as containers containing pollutants must be soaked with disinfectant containing 5000mg/L effective chlorine for 30min and thoroughly washed before being used again.
Collective units to clean the toilet and toilet mops should be dedicated.

Without the virus, there would be no human beings today

The following is an excerpt from the article “How Viruses Shaped Our World,” published in the February issue of National Geographic:

Imagine what Earth would be like without viruses.

The results are not as straightforward as you might think.
In fact, we live in a world of viruses, and there are countless kinds of viruses.
In addition to its huge numbers, the virus has a significant impact.
Far from being harmless, many viruses offer an evolutionary advantage to life on Earth, including humans.

We can’t survive without a virus;
Without a virus, we can’t get out of the original morass.
For example, two segments of DNA derived from viruses are now ensnared in the genomes of primates such as humans.
Surprisingly, without these two pieces of DNA, there would be no pregnancy.
Even more surprising, another type of viral DNA helps to package and store memories.
There are other genes from viruses that promote embryonic development, regulate the immune system or ward off cancer, whose significance is only now becoming clear.

Viruses, it turns out, have also played a key role in triggering significant evolution.
If all viruses were removed, the biodiversity of the planet would collapse, as if all the nails had suddenly been removed from a beautiful wooden house.

“What is a virus” hard to define

To understand the ever-changing nature of viruses, one must first address the basic question of what a virus is and what it is not.
It’s relatively easy to figure out what viruses aren’t, they’re not living cells.
Cells contain multiple sophisticated mechanisms, including the synthesis of proteins and the performance of specific functions depending on the cell type.
Bacteria are also cells, with similar characteristics, but with a much simpler structure.
Viruses are different from any of them.

Viruses are easier to describe than to define.
Each virion contains a piece of genetic instruction written by either DNA or another information-carrying molecule called RNA, encased in a protein shell called a capsid.
Some viruses have a capsule around their capsid that protects the virus and helps it attach to cells.
Once inside a cell, the virus commandeers the cell’s “stereophotographic” machinery, which turns genetic information into proteins, so that it can replicate itself.

If the host cell is unlucky, many new virions are produced.
New viruses spew out, and cells are reduced to debris.
Novel coronavirus caused such damage to human respiratory epithelial cells, and partly explains how viruses become pathogens.

But if the host cell is lucky, the virus may simply stay in its safe home, either going dormant or reverse-coding its tiny genome into the host’s, and biding its time.
The latter could have multiple implications for genomic mixing, evolution, and even our sense of identity as humans.

Cells and viruses love to kill each other

Viruses bring innovation, but cells respond with innovations in their own defenses, so it’s an arms race that’s getting more complex.
Many scientists have postulated that viruses evolve significantly by “viral pickpocketing,” that is, scooping up a piece of DNA here and there from the organisms they infect, and then applying the stolen genetic pieces to their own genome.

But Patrick Fortel, of the Pasteur Institute in Paris, suggests that perhaps more common is reverse theft, in which cells acquire genes from viruses.
Scientists like Fortel also take a more radical view: that viruses are the pacesetters for genetic diversity.

Over the past few billion years, the argument goes, viruses have enriched cellular organisms’ evolutionary options by inserting new genetic material into their genomes.
This peculiar process is something called horizontal gene transfer.
Horizontal gene transfer refers to the lateral flow of genes between different gene sequences, while vertical gene transfer is the more common way of passing genes from parent to offspring.

Fortel et al. suggest that viral genes have been flowing “overwhelmingly” into cell genomes, which could help explain some of the most important parts of evolution, such as the origin of DNA, the origin of the nucleus in complex organisms, the origin of cell walls, and perhaps even the differentiation of the tree of life.

Among viruses is a retrovirus whose RNA genome works in the opposite way.
The conventional way is to use DNA to make RNA, which then acts as a messenger and instructs the “stereo printer” to make proteins.
But retroviruses make DNA from their own RNA, which they then incorporate into the genome of an infected cell.

Some retroviruses infect germ cells, thus embedding their DNA into the host’s heritable genome-and thus leading to significant evolution.
These embedded gene segments are called “endogenous” retroviruses, and when they bind to the human genome, they become “human endogenous retroviruses” (HERVs).

Eight percent of human genes come from viruses

Eight percent of the human genome is made up of this virus’s DNA, which retroviruses inserted into our genetic code during evolution.
Each of us carries about one in 12 HERVs, and one of the more far-reaching genes is syncytosin-2.

A gene that initially helps a virus fuse with a host cell has since found its way into the genomes of ancient animals.
The gene is then transformed to produce a similar protein that helps cells fuse to form a special structure that eventually evolves into the placenta, opening up a new possibility for some animals: pregnancy in vivo.
It was an evolutionary innovation that allowed females to carry their young wherever they went, rather than leaving their developing offspring vulnerable and helpless, as insects and birds do when they leave their eggs in their nests.

The gene was originally derived from endogenous retroviruses and eventually replaced by other similar genes better suited for this role.
Over time, the placenta evolves as new reproductive patterns evolve.
One such gene obtained from the virus is syncytosin-2.
Two types of syncytin help human cells fuse to form the placental layer near the uterus.
This unique structure is responsible for connecting the mother and fetus, absorbing nutrients and oxygen, removing waste and carbon dioxide, and possibly protecting the fetus from the mother’s immune system.
Evolution’s ability to insert viral elements into humans is a near miracle of effective design.

Other studies have found evidence that a viral fragment produced by another endogenous human retrovirus, HERV-K, is present in the earliest human embryos and plays a positive role in protecting embryos from viral infection, helping control fetal development, or both.

If 8 per cent of your genome and mine is retroviral DNA, then the notion of human uniqueness, let alone supremacy, may not be as clear-cut as we think.

Are viruses a blessing or a curse

There is, of course, a downside to this evolutionary flexibility: a virus can sometimes switch hosts, jumping from one organism to another and becoming a pathogen of an unfamiliar new host, a process called spillover.
The transmission of viruses from animal hosts to humans is the source of most human infections.

In their original hosts, the virus would have waited for thousands of years, with limited numbers and impact.
Viruses may have reached an evolutionary compromise with their natural hosts, staying out of trouble in return for their own safety.
But in a new host, such as a human, the virus does not necessarily follow the old protocol.
An outbreak occurs if the virus can not only replicate, but also spread from person to person, in groups of dozens of people;
If it sweeps across a community or country, it’s an epidemic.
If it ravages the world, it will lead to a pandemic.
Novel Coronavirus does.

So viruses take and they give.
Viruses have trouble relocating on the tree of life, perhaps because their life histories are not entirely tree-shaped.
The tree is just the traditional way we interpret evolution, because Darwin was the golden rule.
But even as great as Darwin, he knew nothing about horizontal gene transfer.
In fact, he knew nothing about genes, nothing about viruses.

Now we realize that everything in the world is pretty complicated.
Even a virus that seems so simple at first glance is so complex.
If seeing the complexity of viruses makes us more aware of the intricacies of nature, and if the thought of viral genes in our bodies partly dispels our sense of aloofness, then I invite you to judge whether viruses are a blessing or a curse.