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PhiNotPi's avatar

If all viruses instantly vanished, would they ever reappear?

Asked by PhiNotPi (12162 points ) January 24th, 2014

It is thought that viruses have existed since the very beginning, even predating the last universal common ancestor. Since then, most new viruses have simply been modifications of previous viruses. Viruses have mostly been evolving in parallel with the cells that they infect.

If all viruses disappeared, would they ever reappear (for example, cells evolving into completely new viruses)? How long might it take? Or, have cells and viruses diverged so far that nothing could make the evolutionary jump?

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