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No. 7662
59 kB, 640 × 560
If a cancerous cell line from a vertebrate becomes established as a venereal or otherwise transmissible disease (eg Devil Facial Tumor Disease, Canine Transmissible Venereal Tumor), does this represent a new life form distinct from the species that cancer developed in originally?
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No. 7663
>transmissible cancer
Well you learn something new every day. And apparently they do not think this is viral either.

>does this represent a new life form distinct from the species that cancer developed in originally?
Generally speaking the description of "life" is based on it having a genetic code. This is partly why viruses are debatable as "life" because they're pretty much just replicating RNA, which even lower in the case of prions is literally just malformed proteins that end up replicating in cellular machinery.

So let me put it this way, would you consider a tumor to be a new form of life? Would you consider a tumor to be independent of you? No? Well there you go then.
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No. 7666
Yes because it survives independently of the original body. To say otherwise would cause problem regarding offspring.

>>7663
>Generally speaking the description of "life" is based on it having a genetic code.

Who told you this? If I chop my own off it still has the human genetic code but you won't see it running any marathons.
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No. 7685
>>7666
*its own
Meaning that your own cells are still verifiably human. If it has some kind of DNA, it's alive. If it has RNA, it's a life form type kind of thing. If it's just malfolded proteins it's not alive but can kind of act like it.

So something such as say cancer is a disease but not normally pathogenic and is not a separate life form.
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No. 7687
I think we're rapidly approaching the realisation that the definition of life is uncomfortably hazy. Kurzgesagt is pretty reddit but they did a good rundown on this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QOCaacO8wus
(they forget XNA though which is artificial DNA made in a lab from synthetics)

But to get to my point, yes I have human dna and so do you along with some other dna. But we’re not the same lifeform. We’re the same species but the definition of species is a group able to exchange genetic information or otherwise breeding which these cancer cells can’t do with hosts (again, hazy definition as cross species breeding occurs and horizontal transfer etc.)

I’d posit the reason viruses and rampaging cancers aren't classed as alive is merely because it wrecks our sorting of the world around us. We’re more comfortable with AI these days but equally it causes us to look at self-replicating code as life that itself opens cans of worms.
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No. 7692
>>7687
The strange thing in my view is that we say viruses aren't alive yet we still sort them into taxonomies as if they were
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No. 7706
229 kB, 452 × 332
>>7692
They're basically a technicality and that's just because they don't have their own actual DNA and require hijacking cellular machinery in order to reproduce, is my understanding. Generally speaking viruses are kind of in that twilight zone just at the outer edge of what we could call "life" and functionally are a bit more like some kind of limited grey goo, resembling a bit more an organic biological machine than "life" in the strictly conventional sense. But of course with the discovery of prions I would indeed say that Brit was spot on in that the whole borderlines of what genuinely constitutes discrete "life" is much more hazy than we Westerners like to believe.

Speaking of which, it really actually is a much more cultural bias, in that Western thought tends to like truncating and categorizing everything. It reminds me of this Dave Chappelle skit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NZJjUU4CyY we really do unintentionally do this and it biases our complete worldview in semi-autism. Some other cultures like far Easterners and Native Americans tend towards a more holistic view, where to a European we see "there is the mountain, and the peaks, and the various tree lines, and the ice, and the river, and the streams, and the ocean" and so on, whereas these cultures tend to just see the interlinking things of the entire water cycle; the trees absorb the rains and respirate and the evaporated water falls as snow which melts which feeds streams and so on. It is also a difference in terms of typical linear thinking, which I suspect I'm processing differently in some non-linear way compared to lots of other people. Not saying there is any inherent "better" or inferiority/superiority to thought in fact that very premise is kind of what I mean about a Eurocentric thinking and perceiving style which is built on comparison and categorization, rather than interconnection and interelatedness which sees the forest for the trees and how each individual part makes up a piece of the whole dynamic system.

For instance, we as organisms are absolutely filled with non-human DNA that we need to function such as gut flora. Certain organisms are entirely dependent upon it for survival like termites, whose gut flora is what breaks down wood. I heard some theory that parts of evolution including our "junk" DNA may actually be the result of viruses interfering in our cellular and genetic machinery. In fact last I heard the one theory about photosynthesis was that somehow some ancient organism absorbed another unicellular organism and assimilated it and that that's what chloroplasts are https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chloroplast#Primary_endosymbiosis

This is another huge problem I have with Western particularly Germanic thinking, which perceives things in an idiotic "nature is red in tooth and claw survival of the fittest means survival of the strongest!" thing, which completely and utterly ignores symbionts at both the cellular, species-group, and interspecies level for survival which has arguably played the overwhelming role in life on earth, the ramifications of which would probably transfer politically if you actually thought about them (for instance favoring something more like mutualism or a form of libertarianism than monarchism or dictatorship).

I would even further posit that if life had any inherent meaning, it is to evolve and spread more life, even if at the most basic thing that means us as a species effectively being a type of planetary infection that can and must consciously slumber its way to mutating new means of transmission so as to become spaceborne and thus infecting the other fomite planetary bodies of distant stars. We can possibly achieve this even by ejecting our material in their general direction and hoping whatever organisms can survive the cold vacuum and radiation of deep space until infecting another body with ourselves.
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No. 7719
>>7706
>they don't have their own actual DNA
>they're pretty much just replicating RNA

Herpesviridae would like a word with you

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNA_virus

>I heard some theory that parts of evolution including our "junk" DNA may actually be the result of viruses interfering in our cellular and genetic machinery.

Indeed, some even appear to be involved in the cellular/molecular physiology underlying certain complex behaviors

https://www.cell.com/cell/pdf/S0092-8674(17)31504-0.pdf
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No. 7760
>>7663
Viruses have no metabolism they are no lifeform and it is not discussable.

Life:
Moves (Any kind of taxis)
Has a metabolism/anabolism
Reproduces (No matter how, genetically speaking)
-Wait, is fire a life form?
Last but not least it needs some kind of enclosed membrane

>>7662
Sure any cell is lifeform. The cell you are refering to would just be a strain of that cell.
HeLa cells also don't have too much to do with Henrietta Lacks genetics, but they're still a strain of her cells (spoiler: she dead :D).
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No. 7766
>>7760
>Sure any cell is lifeform. The cell you are refering to would just be a strain of that cell.

Hm...

Using methods of genomic inference, some researchers have estimated that the cell line which comprises CTVT may be as old as 11,000 years. Is it fair then to characterize the emergence of this transmissible cancer as a speciation event?
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No. 7770
>>7760
>>7760
>Moves (Any kind of taxis)
Non-motile bacteria
Plankton
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No. 7814
Perhaps addition to definition of life - localized decrease in entropy? Compartmentalized information gradients? Trying to think without 'biocentrism', there must be a lot of weird shit out in the universe beyond aminoacid-based replicants.
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No. 7815
>>7706
The entire history of science is categories and compartments being assumed, and then realizing they were wrong. Everything is always more hazy, interconnected, and complicated. The 'Western' view was kind of vital for scientific inquiry though i think, even if it isn't the most accurate way of representing reality.
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No. 7823
>>7814
>Perhaps addition to definition of life - localized decrease in entropy? Compartmentalized information gradients?

Many of the scientists researhing astrobiology/origins of life today think of life in these terms