Questions before lecture 14 1. What is a virus’ reason for existing? a) kill cells b) make sure its genome survives in evolutionary time c) make as many virus particles as possible d) maintain it’s host’s population size 2. How can a genetic system keep track of the passage of time? 3. Plasmids can be viewed as parasitic “selfish” DNAs. However, many plasmids carry genes that provide selective advantages to their hosts, such as resistance to antibiotics. How does this generosity on the part of the plasmid actually benefit the plasmid? 4. What happens to a population without predators? (You may imagine what happens if you introduce rabbits to an isolated island with abundant resources but no foxes.) We humans are no longer significantly worried by predators such as lions and tigers and bears--but is there any fundamental difference between being killed by a lion and being killed by HIV? Is there any fundamental difference between a “predator” and a “parasite”? 5.
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