Most of the time when someone mentions a virus, we think of things like colds or flu or just diseases in general but not all are bad in fact, the human body contains trillions of them. So there must be some good ones, right? Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Washington University are beginning to explore more of the human virome and here is what they have discovered so far…
“In the past decade, scientists have come to appreciate the vast bacterial world inside the human body. They have learned that it plays a role in regulating the energy we take in from food, primes the immune system, and performs a variety of other functions that help maintain our health. Now, researchers are gaining similar respect for the viruses we carry around.”
Surprised? There are viruses that have very important functions which also have a very positive impact on our health! Many of our internal viruses are bacteriophages that invade and kill bacteria. This puts the brakes on bacterial infections. For every one bacterium, there are one hundred viruses, Pennisi wrote. The number of virus species identified in stool samples of healthy adults ranged from 52 to 2773.
People who remain on the same diets, the viral community remains stable over the course of the year unless there is a change in diet then the viromes will change. We are full of all kinds of viruses but we have yet to discover all what they actually do. This is an amazing part of science because learning more about the functions of viruses which have a very important impact on what’s going on in our bodies! It’s not enough to know your bacteria; you have to know the viruses that interact with them.
Viruses are incredibly well designed. Some bacteriophages look like spaceship capsules with legs and all. Scientists have discovered back in 2004, that some of these viruses have shells like hard plastic and in 2007-08 discovered that these viruses also pack their DNA into their capsids with motors generating remarkable force, in an orderly manner. They are also extremely effective in finding their target cells, inserting their DNA, and commandeering the genetic machinery to make copies of themselves!
It is interesting to note, evolutionists are a bit puzzled on what to do with viruses in the scheme of the story because they are not considered transitional forms between molecules and life. The modern intelligent design movement would predict functions from the viruses but would be hard pressed to explain harmful ones. On the other hand, biblical creationism would be able to explain, all the viruses were originally designed good but some became harmful after the fall of Adam!
This research will open doors to answering questions like, were viruses intended to be regulators of bacteria? Perhaps they were designed in order to send information to the body about new environments, and were equipped to copy themselves to spread the word so that the body could be prepared. This has the potential to dramatically change our understanding of nature in a very big way! In the future, one can expect amazing things to be discovered about these tiny, mysterious machines which are starting to look not that bad after all!