By CARL ZIMMER
Excerpt: “Pardis C. Sabeti, a geneticist at Harvard, and her colleagues have analyzed the genomes of Ebola viruses isolated from patients in Sierra Leone to reconstruct the history of the current outbreak. Their research indicates it was the result of a single infection, probably last December.
Since then, the viruses have acquired new mutations as they have spread from person to person. Scary though that may sound, it does not surprise researchers.”
My comment: It surprises me that researchers do not seem to understand that the viruses have ecologically adapted. It scares me to think that they think the viruses are acquiring new mutations.
By NICHOLAS WADE Published: February 14, 2013
Excerpt: “Dr. Sabeti said the extra sweat glands could have been the feature favored by natural selection, with all the other effects being dragged along in its train.
“We’re the only mammals to have changed their entire hair pattern. So the changes in teeth, hair and breasts — it’s very possible they are the passengers and thermoregulation is the key,” she said, referring to the role of sweat glands in cooling the body.”
My comment: Again, Harvard researchers do not appear to understand the fact that amino acid substitutions differentiate cell types in viruses and humans. Their lack of understanding is not reassuring in the context of fears about the Ebola viruses. For example: Pardis C. Sabeti is the senior author of the following two reports.
Modeling Recent Human Evolution in Mice by Expression of a Selected EDAR Variant
Identifying Recent Adaptations in Large-Scale Genomic Data
Results are reported in the context of mutations, natural selection, and the evolution of biodiversity at the same time other researchers have discovered that biodiversity arises in the context of RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated events that link nutrient-dependent amino acid substitutions to ecological adaptations in species from bacteria to primates. See the video: 2 Cell Studies Reveal Genetic Variation Driving Human Evolution
“…seasonal flu typically escapes immunity from vaccines with as little as a single amino acid substitution.”
Attributing the escape to mutations instead of to amino acid substitutions, especially in the Ebola viruses, may lead to the death of everyone who cannot ecologically adapt as quickly as the Ebola viruses adapt via the conserved molecular mechanisms that link cell type differentiation to amino acid substitutions in species from microbes to man.