Viruses Can Scatter Their Genes Among Cells and Reassemble – A Spiritual Insight

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Virology is a branch of science that deals with the study of viruses, submicroscopic, parasitic particles of genetic material contained in a protein coat – and virus-like agents. It focuses on the following aspects of viruses: their structure, classification and evolution, their ways to infect and exploit host cells for reproduction, their interaction with host organism physiology and immunity, the diseases they cause, the techniques to isolate and culture them, and their use in research and therapy. Virology is considered to be a sub-field of microbiology or of medicine. A classical tenet of virology is that viruses fully infect individual cells and replicate within them. But recent work [1] shows that some viruses instead scatter their genes among many cells. The cells then make new complete viruses by sharing the products of the genes.

References

  1. Sicard, A.; Pirolles, E.; Gallet, R.; Vernerey, M.-S.; Yvon, M.; Urbino, C.; Peterschmitt, M.; Gutierrez, S.; Michalakis, Y.; Blanc, S., A multicellular way of life for a multipartite virus. eLife 2019, 8, e43599
  2. Jaime Iranzo and Susanna C. Manrubia, Evolutionary dynamics of genome segmentation in multipartite viruses. Proc Biol Sci. 2012 Sep 22; 279(1743): 3812–3819.

Some viruses are divided into multiple segments that infect a host cell separately. Researchers studied how fractured viruses can grow with their genomes scattered across a multitude of host cells. It is postulated the diffusion of molecules among the infected cells enables the mechanism for the viral particles to replicate, self assemble, and continue infecting. This study revealed the segments infect cells independently and accumulate independently in the plant host cells. Researchers state, “It really shows that the virus doesn’t work at a single-cell level, but at a multicellular level.” The idea of a multipartite virus have been known for over 50 years and some of the questions scientists have are “what are the advantages to having segments that are packaged differently?” Molecular modeling of these types of systems, a study from 2012 [2] concluded that the disadvantages are so great, that a virus with more than four segments should be impossible. Yet, multipartite viruses like the faba bean necrotic stunt virus (FBNSV) are known to have as many as eight segments each carried in a different particle. Theoretically this is impossible, so something must be conceptually wrong regarding this viral mechanism. Researchers tested the FBNSV infection by tagging two viral segments at a time with different colored fluorescent probes, and the team could see the viral segments and which segment was absent from the majority of the individual host plant cells they examined. What they discovered a protein required for viral replication was present in cells that did not have the genome segment coding for it. This inferred that the virus particles are sharing gene products as messenger RNA molecules or proteins so that each particle could replicate and package itself into a capsule to spread. The mechanism for how these components are shared is not well understood.

Proof of the strength of this multipartite virus strategy can be found in the influenza virus. The flu genome also has eight segments, although those segments are packaged together in one viral capsule. This allows the flu virus to reap the benefits of segmentation without paying all the costs of multi-partition. The flu virus may be more similar to the FBNSV than first meets the eye. Researchers have discovered that, depending on the strain, only a tiny fraction (1-10 percent) of flu virus particles contain functional copies of all eight genome segments. “The vast majority of flu particles are these incomplete, or what we call semi-infectious, particles that are incapable on their own of initiating productive replication.” researchers explained. This kind of explains why the flu virus is so successful and highly transmissible, because it is largely existing as these particles that cannot replicate on their own.

The Spiritual insights that we receive from this idea of partitioning of dna and the infection pathway which was designed to cause the host cell to not be able to recognize it is being infected. In Paul’s words to Timothy, he writes according to 1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons. (NASB) Paul writes that the Spirit clearly, expressly, explicitly (בְּפֵרוּשׁ) says, in the later days some will change direction (יִסְטוּ) or stray (יָסוּרוּ) or deviate from the moral path (יִתְעוּ) from the faith (הָאֱמוּנָה).

Bible Society of Israel
הָרוּחַ אוֹמֶרֶת בְּפֵרוּשׁ, שֶׁבִּרְבוֹת הַיָּמִים יִסְטוּ אֲנָשִׁים מִן הָאֱמוּנָה וְיִפְנוּ לְרוּחוֹת מַטְעוֹת וּלְתוֹרוֹת שֶׁל שֵׁדִים

Delitzsch HNT
וְהָרוּחַ מַגִּיד בְּפֵרוּשׁ כִּי בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים יָסוּרוּ מִן־הָאֱמוּנָה לִפְנוֹת אֶל־הָרוּחוֹת הַמַּתְעוֹת וְאֶל־תּוֹרׂת הַשֵּׁדִים

Salkinson-Ginsburg HNT
וְהָרוּחַ יַגִּיד דֵּי־בָאֵר כִּי בְאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים יִתְעוּ אֲנָשִׁים מֵאָרְחוֹת אֱמוּנָה וְיִזְנוּ אַחֲרֵי רוּחוֹת מְתַעְתְּעִים וְתוֹרֹת הַשֵּׁדִים

Peshitta
רוחא דין פשיקאית אמרא דבזבנא אחריא נפרקון אנש אנש מן הימנותא ונאזלון בתר רוחא טעיתא ובתר יולפנא דשאדא

The faith that is spoken of here is that the mercy of God is meant to lead us to repentance and the knowledge of the truth. (Titus 2:11-12) Our faith is not meant to be a license to seek our own way and cast off restraint, it actually is the opposite, to hold fast to God’s word in both thought and action. Paul goes on to say these men fall away to the instructions (וּלְתוֹרוֹת) of demons (שֵׁדִים). Deceitful spirits lie in wait in order to deflect God’s people from the path of God. Yeshua said on the Mount of Olives according to Matthew 24 that deception would be the primary cultural sign of the last days. Even some of God’s “elect” might be deceived by false doctrines and theologies. He says in those days, “Good would be called evil and evil good” (Isaiah 5:20). Men would substitute light for darkness and darkness for light calling their sinful deeds “of God” (or created by God or righteous). There is much deception in this world today. The deceitful spirits who lie in wait aim to deflect God’s people from the right path (from God’s Ways) taking us away from seeking the Lord God Almighty according to His Word. Their instructions are deceptive, manipulative, seductive, and alluring. Demons lure people from a position of stability into a place of instability in an attempt to capture them. In Israel’s history, we read one of the oldest forms of idolatry practiced by the ancient peoples was that of looking to the stars. Astrology is the belief that the positions of the stars and planets somehow shape our personality and even influence the events of our lives and hold them in written form to determine our destiny. Every newspaper has a “horoscope” section which is divided into 12 sections representing the 12 different signs of the zodiac. What the God of Israel says about astrology may be found in Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:19, יט וּפֶן-תִּשָּׂא עֵינֶיךָ הַשָּׁמַיְמָה וְרָאִיתָ אֶת-הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ וְאֶת-הַיָּרֵחַ וְאֶת-הַכּוֹכָבִים כֹּל צְבָא הַשָּׁמַיִם וְנִדַּחְתָּ וְהִשְׁתַּחֲוִיתָ לָהֶם וַעֲבַדְתָּם אֲשֶׁר חָלַק יְהוָֹה אֱלֹהֶיךָ אֹתָם לְכֹל הָעַמִּים תַּחַת כָּל-הַשָּׁמָיִם: 4:19 ‘And beware not to lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven. (NASB) The religion of the Egyptians was known to have consisted preeminently of sun worship. Moshe sternly warned the Israelites against worshiping the sun, the moon, and the stars, and all of the host of heaven according to Devarim / Deuteronomy 4:19. The prohibition against making and worshiping an image that is in heaven above (Shemot / Exodus 20:4, Devarim / Deuteronomy 5:8) implies also the celestial bodies, the stars. The Israelites fell into this kind of idolatry, and as early as the time of Amos they had the images of Siccuth and Chiun, “the stars of their god” (Amos 5:26).

The kingdom of Israel fell prior to that of Judah (2 Kings 18:16), one of the causes was that of worshiping the host of heaven. The kingdom of Judah later did the same, and Manassah built altars to all the host of heaven in two courts of the house of the Lord. It was the practice of the people to appoint priests who offered sacrifices to the sun, the moon, the planets, and all the hose of heaven. We read that altars were built on the roofs of houses and horses and chariots were dedicated to the worship of the sun. (2 Kings 21:5, 23:4-12) Looking to the stars, this form of worship or divination continued in Judah up until the eighteenth year of Josiah’s reign (621 BCE). It was at this point the king took measures to abolish all kinds of idolatry. Even though the public worship of these things were abolished, privately individuals continued to worship the heavenly bodies and poured out libations to them on the roof of their homes. (See Zephaniah 1:5, Jeremiah 8:2 and 19:13) The reason this is so was most likely because the people considered these things harmless, just as people today look to astrology in their daily newspaper.  Jeremiah describes these things as the worship of the queen of heaven. Ezekiel describes these things (591 BCE) the worship of the sun as practiced in the court of the Temple (Ezekiel 8:16) and in Jeremiah 44:17-19 even after the destruction of the Temple the women insisted on continuing to worship the queen of heaven. In the Torah, we also read Terah, Abraham’s father from Ur of the Caldees, was an idol maker, and Haran (see Bereshit / Genesis 9:31) and settled in a city known from the Assyrians for moon worship. According to the Scriptures, the Lord God of Israel called Abraham out from his family tradition of idolatry. In Arabia, the nomadic peoples worshiped the moon god, and the Babylonians worshiped the Sun. In the Talmud and in post-Talmudic literature there is a lot that is said about Avodah Zarah (Idol Worship). In connection to the stars, it is said in the Mishnah Avodah Zarah 4:7 that the Zekenim (or Council of Elders, the rabbis) were asked if God dislikes idolatry why He did not destroy the idols. The Rabbis answered, “If the heathen worshiped only idols perhaps God would have destroyed the objects of their adoration, but they worship also the sun, the moon, the stars, and all the host of heaven, and God can not destroy the world on account of the heathen.”

Astrology is popular because it claims to predict the future and many people want to know what the future holds in store for them. When people look to Astrology they are seeking to be advised on how to lead their lives from the perspective of the future because people want advice about business deals, financial investments, marriage and family issues. Because Astrology is a way of looking for answers about the future, it is a form of divination, something explicitly spoken against in the Torah. It is claimed the stars hold the answers life and the stars control the forces behind what happens in a person’s life. According to the Bible, this type of divination has been around for thousands of years. It is based upon an occult worldview which claims that the heavenly bodies control what happens on earth. According to that worldview, everything in the universe is one and is connected meaning that not only do the celestial bodies control what happens here, what we do here on earth also controls what happens out there in the heavenly realm. (Note these things were also brought into the kabbalistic way of thinking in relation to the astrological control of things. Zohar Vol 1 The Introduction) Therefore, when people read horoscopes, they are in essence either accepting that worldview or assigning some kind of value to it. This is the act of bringing a spiritual belief into one’s life.  The ancient perspective on the stars was that the movements of the heavenly bodies represented the activities of their gods. As a result, they studied those movements in the hope that they would be able to determine the will of their gods and thereby predict what the future had in store for them (again this is a form of divination). It was the Greeks who, 2,000 years ago, studied the heavenly bodies mathematically and developed the signs of the Zodiac. Therefore, star worship (biblical), astrology is based on the pagan concept that the movements of heavenly bodies controls human lives. This is why in the biblical record the people built altars to the stary host. The reason this type of worship deceived many in ancient times, and is also deceiving many in modern times, is because this way of looking to the stars is designed to predict the fate and future of people based on the positions of the stars and other heavenly bodies assuming that people’s lives are influenced and determined by the positions and movement of the heavenly bodies, this practice is very alluring to know and understand the future. The point to realize is the God of Israel hates these things because there is an occult connection. We are told to seek the Lord God in heaven, the God of Israel, and His Messiah Yeshua, and to study God’s Holy Word for guidance in life. The Mishnah Pirkei Avot 1:10 states “Do not lord it over the people, for “lordship buries its practitioners.”], and do not ingratiate yourself with the authorities (rashut) [in order to assume authority thereby. Or: Do not do so, so that they not turn you from your faith, as happened with Doeg the Edomite. (The authorities are called “rashut” (lit., “permit”), for they are “permitted” to do as they will.)]” The rabbis in the Mishnah Pirkei Avot give us this idea of having a license to do as one wants as it is related to pride (lording over others). As the children of God, we are not given a license to do as we want. Note how the objections to following God’s Word and forsaking astrology is rooted in pride (I know better and you dont, etc). This is the strong deception, because looking to the stars in this way seems harmless and pride is a large part of the practitioners continuing in following astrology. This is the spiritual insight we find in the Scientific research of the viruses spreading their genes around so as the deceive, where the cells do not perceive a threat until it is too late. The practitioner of astrology does not perceive there is a spiritual threat.  This is why we are strongly instructed to live according to God’s Word and seek Him because we are a holy people. Parashat Bekhukotai sates according to Vayikra / Leviticus 26:3-5 saying, ג אִם-בְּחֻקֹּתַי תֵּלֵכוּ וְאֶת-מִצְוֹתַי תִּשְׁמְרוּ וַעֲשִֹיתֶם אֹתָם: ד וְנָתַתִּי גִשְׁמֵיכֶם בְּעִתָּם וְנָתְנָה הָאָרֶץ יְבוּלָהּ וְעֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה יִתֵּן פִּרְיוֹ: ה וְהִשִּׂיג לָכֶם דַּיִשׁ אֶת-בָּצִיר וּבָצִיר יַשִּׂיג אֶת-זָרַע וַאֲכַלְתֶּם לַחְמְכֶם לָשֹֹבַע וִישַׁבְתֶּם לָבֶטַח בְּאַרְצְכֶם: 26:3 ‘If you walk in My statutes and keep My commandments so as to carry them out, 26:4 then I shall give you rains in their season, so that the land will yield its produce and the trees of the field will bear their fruit. 26:5 ‘Indeed, your threshing will last for you until grape gathering, and grape gathering will last until sowing time. You will thus eat your food to the full and live securely in your land. (NASB) What we find here is a great blessing upon one’s life if a person is careful to obey the commandments of God to carry them out and a curse of one is unwilling to do so.  These words of the Torah are as valid to us today as they were when God gave them to Moshe on the Mountain of Sinai. Having faith in Yeshua the Messiah does not do away with the imperative to observe and do what God has commanded. The word תִּשְׁמְרוּ means we are to be anxiously awaiting an opportunity to physically fulfill such commandments. As a result the phrase וַעֲשִֹיתֶם אֹתָם, “so as to carry them out” carries the meaning that you will not only receive the reward for studying God’s Word but for having also put God’s Word into action we will be blessed! This is why the NT holds such a high standard to love and knowing our Father in heaven and His Messiah Yeshua. (1 Corinthians 13:2, 1 John 2:6-10) This is what it means to have faith by being faithful to God’s Word. This draws us back to the idea of submitting ourselves to God’s word requires the daily choice to walk in God’s ways, and doing so requires help from our Father in heaven by His indwelling Spirit. This means those who are called by the Name of God, and by His Messiah Yeshua, daily make the choice to submit themselves to God for the work of His Spirit in their lives allowing the Lord to transform them into the image of His Son Yeshua. We also make the daily choice to avoid the occult practices of the world!  Are you doing this each day as the Scriptures are teaching us to do? These are all Torah centric concepts, which God is calling us to live by.  Our faith in Yeshua does not exempt us from spiritual attack if we are willingly disobeying God’s Word (His commands).

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Duane D. Miller received his Ph.D., M.S., and B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from The University of Akron Ohio. He is currently a Chemical Engineering Researcher. Duane’s research expertise has focused upon functional materials development for the control, conversion, and release of process gases in Energy production technologies. His R&D interests include computational chemistry, developing novel technologies for converting biomass to fuels and studying their fundamental interactions during the chemical conversion process. His past experience includes sorbent development for pre- and post-combustion CO2 and SO2 capture, selective absorption of H2S from methane streams, O2 capture for oxy-fuel combustion, photocatalytic reduction of alcohols, NOx reduction catalysis, the development of oxygen carriers to combust fossil fuels (CH4 and coal) for the chemical looping combustion processes, and the extraction of rare earth elements using patent pending sorbents. His research expertise has focused on operando-characterization using Infrared, Raman, and UV-Vis spectroscopy to observe the nature of the catalytic active sites and reaction intermediates under realistic reaction conditions, allowing direct correlation of molecular/electronic structures with catalyst performance during Gas-Solid / Liquid-Solid Adsorption and Photocatalytic Processes with real time online analysis of reaction products using ICP-MS and mass spectrometry. His current work involves a multi-disciplinary approach to developing, understanding, and improving the catalytic gasification of coal and methane, high temperature chemical looping combustion, and the catalytic decomposition and gasification of biomass and coal using novel microwave reactor.​ He has been studying the Hebrew Scriptures and the Torah for 20+ years and sharing what he has learned. The studies developed for MATSATI.COM are freely to be used by everyone, to God be the Glory!