The classification of organisms at the edge of life, or problems with virus systematics. South Afr J Sci

South African Journal of Science 01/1990; 86:182-186.
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Available from: Ed Rybicki, Sep 26, 2015
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    • " Viruses have been described as " organisms at the edge of life " in reference to their marginal composition consisting of a simple genome within a protective shell and their inability to complete their life cycle without the molecular resources of a host cell [1] [2]. This apparent simplicity comes in sharp contrast with the significant impact on human health caused by some of these organisms such as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), Ebola, Influenza, Hepatitis, West Nile or Yellow fever viruses to cite only a few. "
    Journal of Molecular Biology 12/2013; 426(5):995-1000. DOI:10.1016/j.jmb.2013.12.012 · 4.33 Impact Factor
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    • "As an " organism on the edge of life " (Rybicki, 1990) viruses parasites all branches on the tree of life but due to the lack of ancient viral RNA or DNA, and a lack of common marker genes, their unknown and possibly polyphyletic origin must at best be an educated guess (Bandea, 1983)(Forterre, 2003)(Hendrix et al., 2000). Bacteriophages are selective in the sense that they only infect bacteria but, like all viruses, they are a taxonomist's nightmare (Ward, 1993). "
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