Changing our perception of diseases

Below is laid out in details the revolutionary new theory of diseases, pathogens of all kinds (viruses, fungi, bacteria and parasites) and their relation to diseases, replacing the germ theory of diseases.

We called this the exogenetic command theory, in which each layer of complexity in the realm of life, are under the genetic and molecular command of the layer above. We do not fight pathogens, we do not cohabit with them in a symbiotic relationships like equals in a partnership. Our genetics commands them, using them to improve the molecular order of our organisms: clean us and as well as share information in our stead.

Viruses, bacteria and multicellular parasites, at least those we meet in our natural environment (with a wide margin over “natural”) serve the need of animal and vegetal species, keeping them fit and genetically strong and partaking in the horizontal transfer of genetic material throughout the whole ecosystem, as recognized today.

In this framework, the definition of life needs to be amended, as it stands to reason that the classical criteria (reproduction, metabolism - difference between the outisde and inside compartiment - and a response to external stimulus) do not matter in this context, as teleology (expected purpose within a system) information and effect.

For practical purpose life should be considered as an enclosed system of information, ultimately only complete taking the whole ecosystem, air land and ocean, into account, hence the link to Gaïa theory.

There also entails profund repercussions as the theory of evolution, hinting at kinds of selective pressures acting on species or groups of them, not out of isolated elements of the natural environment but of the planet:
Since the latter could be considered as alive even by modern standards (tweaking them just a little) without even considering the spiritual aspect it may as well possess a will, expressed as the mathematical integral of all individual interactions, processed through what could be a global neural network. The purpose of this system would be (obviously) to stay alive, hence maintains global conditions conducive to life through its own means and the agency of its constitutive parts, both biotic and abiotic.

While high-end, these speculative ideas aren’t that strange nor new, and with the discovery of a reproductible source of reliable extrasensory phenomena, do come across as fairly natural, intuitive.
What is the new though, is the appplication of the virus theory as the most ancient and prevalent means to transfer information in the form of genetic material, across individuals and ultimately widely across the species barrier. Such a tool, existing since the dawn of life while not itself living (lacking the characteristic of a metabolism), would be the preferred means of communication inside the system, and its means to influence its components on an evolutionary scale, much like hormones.

Such dynamics are readily apparent in our body as we known now it conveys orders to all the living cells it contains including its bacterial population (of the same order of magnitude, 39 vs 30 trillions), through viruses: Human Endogenous (retro)viruses, exosomes and bacteriophages (which target viruses), helping to control microbial populations, not only by stopping their propagatation but redirect, favor or extinguish species or whole genera. What if such processes were also happening in a vastly different scale, by the Earth on its denizen species ?

On a smaller scale, parasitism - and sometimes epidemics - is an undeniable fact of nature, even in wild animals (though not as much as for domesticated species, cattle etc). All reasonings have limits, don’t they.
Epidemics indeed can be seen in the animal world, animals do fall prey to parasites, to various levels. While others don’t… but still carry the pathogens ? The scientific world doesn’t understand those variations of sensibility and blame genetics whenever it is convenient, to force reality into their prey-predator modelgeneralized to all microbes, parasites, viruses, etc, like forcing a square peg into round holes.
Parasites are extremely varied and numerous, indicating either extremely successful competitors in the battle of life… or an extremely that they fill an extremely important role in ecological equilibriums.
Parasites are a powerful agent of natural selection on a molecular or physiological leve, perhaps greatest that all others factors like predation. That is what biologists now think. This much we do not deny.

If the role of parasites and viruses is to weed out the weak and diseased, the degenerates. Keeping the population fit. The question is, how many weak individuals is a natural population - in a pristine natural setting - supposed to carry, what should be its mean parasitic load ? At what level is the balance attained ?

The answer depends on two things:

  • What species are we talking about ?
  • Are the parasites out for themselves and fighting against us, or do we actually control them well for our own profit, as long as we fit within the genetic and physiologic norms for a given species ?

we discovered that for mammals parasites (such as tenias) are always regulated. A few days of disciplined instincto suffices to expell in mass any and all resident worms, big or small, through fesces, in animals (pets) and humans alike. Instinctos have sojourned in African countries ridden with malaria-infected mosquitoes, none caught the disease except one - Guy-Claude himself - who thought smart to blend food out of momentary frustration.
None of his twenty others fellows did.

It appeared clear that humans could survive uniquely long with a terribly poor cooked diet. Our resilience and ability to maintain a semblance of health - something of an inner balance - seemed to have evolved further than for any other animals, including chimpanzees, who simply die with cooked fruits, in a short time.

However pets and cattle was also seen capable of gradually eliminating culinary toxins from its body, having similar though less potent mechanisms of molecular exchange when provided with equivalent natural molecules. In short, with all mammals and birds (having no experience with fish) we fed well (ensuring a varied choice not too dissimilar with what they could find on their own in the wild) ever had any issue with epidemics, parasites, nothing. This reality we can not deny, yet it is not the one specialists encounter in the wild.
How to explain cases like this one:

Ommatokoita elongata is a 30 mm (1.2 in) long pinkish-white parasitic copepod, frequently found permanently attached to the corneas of the Greenland shark and Pacific sleeper shark. The parasites cause severe visual impairment,

Or the world-wide scourge of toxoplasmosis in rabbits and hare, also hurting significantly dolphins in the sea, and cats in our house. And cats’ owners too. In all of these species, at least locally the disease’s prevalence and loss of fitness it incurs are high (a big proportion of the population can be infected and show symptoms). Albeit less intelligent than us cats and rabbits are all highly evolved vertebrates, sharing basically the same immune system. This applies obviously all the more to dolphins, in some regards more evolved than us and having a similar lifespan.
I believe the presence of a complex adaptative immune system is the key to differenciate lower lifeforms which tend to die whenever they are polluted (or genetically unfit) to whatever degree, quickly to be replaced by a fitter population.

Such species would need to breed very fast, in large numbers, and typically live short lives. Bacterias being a good exemple, most plants too. Individuals, in those species, do not matter one bit, and the species happily discards them for the greater good. However it seems that the more complex and adaptative the immune system is, the more a species doesn’t need anymore, to discard individuals, instead their capacity to discard the source of the pollution within themselves - natural metabolic waste or in our case an inordinate amount of heat-denatured molecules - grows.
Ecologically, animals with higher lifespans are more likely to show advanced immune systems as loosing individuals for a species (always of slow-breeders) is actually dramatic, an important blow. A species of long-lived, slow-breeders can only be maintained with rather powerful adaptive immune systems, and the ability to maintain homeostasis for the wide range of environmental conditions which necessarily accompany a long life. The two seem to go hand in hand quite well.

On the other hand, once such a system is developped, returning to a fast-breeder lifestyle like rats or mice, should not cancel the advantage of being a mammal, with basically the same body plan and inner organs as a human.

It ensues, that as far as I am concerned I do not believe any mammal should ever be sensitive to viral diseases, nor parasites, in its natural state with the diet it is meant to eat. Wide-spread pollution could have a disproportionate effect. Animals living in degraded environments with a poor food range - and for some reasons can not go elsewhere - are bound to weaken a lot are bound, to show symptoms of deficiencies, not too different from those we get with eating cooked food, to some respect.

We need to draw a line or rather identify two opposite poles, on one hand “evolved” species whose individuals treat parasites and viruses like mere tools, and primitive ones which rather discard the unfit individuals themselves instead of the waste they carry. While our understanding of mammals has reached perfection in this respect, more experiences and studies need to be done with fish, crustaceans, insects, etc, which seemingly possess a much, much wider breadth of variation than we see within vertebrates. Ergo a “harsh” natural selection makes complete sense for primitive species. Primitives in the sense of the capacity for homeostasis, which while only partially coincide with intelligence or we tend to see as evolution. The same goes for lifespan: Living a century can be achieved for lower lifeforms when their metabolic rate is low. Not much happens inside.

On the contrary maintening life and body integrity during a long but very active life despite the constant breaking down of cells and proteins, requires either/or an efficient physiology limiting the turn-over rate to a minimum or incredibly fine-tuned cellular biology, completely reverting the accumulating damages (internal and external).
This, would demonstrate intrinsic genetic complexity. Progress, regardless of environments.

The only way to verify our theories is to take a whole lot of fish we know are sick of whatever pathogen, put them in a safe place with a rich diet, and see how quickly the parasite load dwindles… or not. Same for all the other cases mentioned in the article above.

A New Theoretical Model of the Viral Phenomeon

A new theoretical model of the viral phenomeon
The above is a booklet published in Mars 1993 by Guy-Claude Burger, introducing a ground-breaking new understanding of the viral phenomena as a purely positive natural mechanism only seldom causing harm because of our unnatural diet.

Exosomes and Viruses

Exosomes and viruses: two sides of the same coin
Here I share an exposé of mine on the similarities of form and function between viruses and exosomes, as the mail system of life since its very inception. More studies and more confirmations of this new theory of virus, and its widespread implication in all of biology, as the essential carrier of exogenetic information for all kingdoms of life, having evolved from similar morphological structures (pilli, nanotubes, exosomes, endosomal vesicles) that developed alongside hence share a lot of similarities, actually existing along a continuum of shapes.
In particular, I highlight the key role of these actors in the cleansing of denatured molecules, their primary role in nature as in our situation issuing hailing from a past of culinary habits.

A Few Recent Confirmations


The latest research cemented the notion of animals - people - literally swimming in a sea of viruses:

  • Deposition rates of viruses and bacteria above the atmospheric boundary layer, Reche, D’Orta, Mladenov, M. Winget and A. Suttle

    Aerosolization of soil-dust and organic aggregates in sea spray facilitates the long-range transport of bacteria, and likely viruses across the free atmosphere. Although long-distance transport occurs, there are many uncertainties associated with their deposition rates. Here, we demonstrate that even in pristine environments, above the atmospheric boundary layer, the downward flux of viruses ranged from 0.26 to >7 billions per squared meter per day. These deposition rates were 9–461 times greater than the rates for bacteria, which ranged from 0.3 × 10^7 to >8 × 10^7 per squared meter per day.
    Virus deposition rates were positively correlated with organic aerosols <0.7 μm, whereas, bacteria were primarily associated with organic aerosols >0.7 μm, implying that viruses could have longer residence times in the atmosphere and, consequently, will be dispersed further.
    These results provide an explanation for enigmatic observations that viruses with very high genetic identity can be found in very distant and different environments.

  • Coastial Wikia relates:

    In a drop (one millilitre) of seawater, one can find 10 million viruses, one million bacteria and about 1,000 small protozoans and algae (called “protists”). In addition to their high abundance, microbes play a crucial role in most biogeochemical processes occurring in the marine environment: they account for almost half of global primary production and form a major part of ecosystem respiration and nutrient recycling.

That makes 10 billions viruses per cubic meter !

So we see viruses circulate throughout the the entire biosphere, from near-space to several kilometers under the sea. As Steele hypothetised, it also makes sense that epidemics could travel this way, through clouds, sharing genetic information everywhere on the planet without a need for migrations.
What consequences this might possibly have on evolution, potential similarities between unrelated groups or animal species without actual hybridization and the validity of our models, can only be guessed.

The total biomass of viruses has been estimated1:

The sum of the biomass across all taxa on Earth is ≈550 Gt C, of which ≈80% are plants, dominated by land plants (embryophytes). The second major biomass component is bacteria, constituting ≈15% of the global biomass. Other groups, in descending order, are fungi, archaea, protists, animals, and viruses, which together account for the remaining <10%.

So 10% of everything, is viral. Perhaps it’s about time we understand it ?

Giant Viruses

Since 2013, a slew of new giant viruses were discovered, who size exceed that of a lot of bacteria and whose genome is actually bigger than a number of single-celled eucaryotic organisms. The biggest giant virus so far, Pithovirus sibericum, is large it can be seen in an optical microscope with its 1.5 micrometres in length. Most viruses measure around 20 nm, while the common E.Coli bacteria is 1 micrometer. That makes this virus 75 times bigger than the average.
More interestingly, the DNA content includes a lot of genes pertaining to metabolism and protein synthesis, one even including the necessary transfer RNA for all 20 ribonucleotides, which makes no sense from the point of view of viruses not being alive: in fact they still don’t use these genes alone, they need to cells to replicate otherwise they’re inert. And most of those genes come from either other viruses or a range of hosts. Some species are packed with ribosomes, whose recipe they include and which they use once within a host cell. Some even carry their own viruses, hijacking their hijacking their future hosts…
Since then the have been found in a variety of places, in all environment, including at our feet. Not yet in humans though, but it shouldn’t take long until they are.

Why they carry this package is unknown. Their most obvious useful to us to however, is the horizontal transfer of enormous amounts of genes among all protozoas and bacterias alike.

Not much can be said as of now, but these discoveries did sparkle a hot debate about the definition of life: these viruses while sharing most viral traits include genes strictly related to metabolism which we ignore how they would profit from in their infectious cycle, which we ignore everything as of yet. But they still do not show internal activity or independence. What if they did though ? What if we did find some intermediary between a bacteria and virus, an obligate intracellular parasite of extremely limited metabolism in a mostly inert shell ? What would that change ?

Not a lot. Without involving the presence of consciousness (whose simpler substrate could well be DNA itself as far as we know !) thus without extrasensory to perceive it, the definition of life is mostly a matter of convention, as stated above. Defining the nature of these new viruses still depends on their observed relationships with the collective of their hosts, as species or individuals.

From the standpoint of superior species (in term of complexity), bigger viruses or using bacteria or whatever vector instead as part of their exogenome, just means bigger and sturdier postcards, eventually with its own dedicated postman.