Re: trichotomy revisited -- NEW INFO

Phillip Bigelow (
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 01:41:18 GMT (Kathleen Hunt) writes:

>Phillip Bigelow is referring to the FIRST paper, "Evolution of C-type
>viral genes: inheritance of exogenously acquired viral genes", in Nature
>252:456-459. This paper reported on an endogenous primate type C virogene
>(a part of the cellular DNA that used to be a virus) that is found in
>**ALL** Old World monkeys, apes AND HUMANS, and in cats. The point of
>*that* paper was that cats acquired a virogene from primates.
>Interesting, but irrelevant to the discussion here.

>Kathleen Hunt

Actually, it may be very relevant. Of all of the cat species tested for
the virus (and there were many, see the above-quoted article), the common,
everyday housecat had the greatest expression of the gene (homology) of all
of the cat species. The housecat was much moreso than _all_ of the wild
African cat species. Why would a domesticated animal show the greatest
degree of exposure to the baboon -C virus? Could it be that the
domesticated housecat caught it from humans, at a time when humans were more
virulent? And if the common everyday housecat has the stongest expression
of this virus of all the cats, why wouldn't humans be exposed as well?
These are questions that Benveniste and Todaro didn't address nor answer in
their research. I think the "housecat problem" has the potential to sink
the whole geographical isolation-theory. Both Benveniste and Todaro's, as
well as Ms. Morgan's.