We live in a dancing matrix of viruses; they dart, rather like bees, from organism to organism, from plant to insect to mammal to me and back again, and into the sea, tugging along pieces of this genome, strings of genes from that, transplanting grafts of DNA, passing around heredity as though at a great party.
We are part virus. This bizarre yet inescapable fact has been revealed over the past 30 years, as scientists have spelunked their way through the human genome and encountered stretches of DNA with the telltale chemical signatures of viruses.
What is needed ... is a new inquiry at international level ... to investigate a reconciliation between the right to health and the right of authors to proper protection for their inventions. At the moment, all the eggs are in the basket of the authors, and it’s not really a proportionate balance.
Some scientists visualize the virus as an ill-defined shape emerging bashfully out of a dense and golden cloud. This is a beautiful and romantic vision. Virology should, however, not be too Turnerian. Nor should it be an abstract art. The portrait of a virus should not produce an aesthetic emotion by means of an organic disturbance.
...classical approaches to classification are not suitable for viruses, as rigid hierarchies cannot be imposed on organisms that appear – evolutionarily speaking – to have been rather promiscuous in sharing their characteristics around.