In a previous article, we discussed where bacteria come from, their life cycle and their purpose in life. Now, I’d like to discuss viruses. While bacteria and viruses are often discussed together, they are as different from each other as an elephant and an ant, which also happens to be their approximate size differential.

Viruses are often described as if they were the most ruthless and cunning things on earth, bent on destroying all life on this planet. But the reality is, viruses are nothing more than short chains of DNA or RNA surrounded by a protein shell, called a capsid. They don’t eat; they have no brain or nervous system and therefore cannot possibly be cunning; and they can’t reproduce without the help of a cell. They’re so tiny they can barely be seen with an electron microscope. They’re actually shorter than a light wave, which makes studying them very difficult! In fact, viruses are not even considered living things.

So, where do viruses come from? The old theory was that a virus attacked a cell and hijacked its machinery in order to make more viruses—part of their evil plot to destroy the world. But recent findings show a completely different picture.
Cells have certain molecules in them called “transposons” that are constantly tweaking our DNA in an effort to improve upon it. Transposons are called into high gear under stressful situations (like cold weather or a toxic environment) where cellular evolution is needed. Once a cell learns how to adapt to the new stressor, it creates many more transposons, packages them up, and sends them on to other cells to teach them the same trick. The receiving cell then has its DNA altered, creates more transposons, and sends the message on to other cells.

Why the biology lesson? Because in all respects, transposons and viruses are indistinguishable from each other and many scientists now consider them the same thing, which is essentially a message in a bottle. That means what we’ve been interpreting as an “attack” and “hijacking” was actually just an efficient means of intercellular communication and a primary method for our evolution as a species.

So do viruses cause disease? Perhaps, but only mild diseases. It’s very unlikely that viruses cause any serious disease. For example, there’s no real evidence that HIV causes AIDS and lots of evidence that it couldn’t. Polio was actually caused by pesticides, not the poliovirus. And as I’ve mentioned before, the deaths in the 1918 Spanish flu were caused by strep bacteria. So please, relax about viruses.

If you like this article, please rate it and Tweet it. Thanks!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Brad Case is the author of "Thugs, Drugs and the War On Bugs," Book I in the Why We're Sick™ healthcare series and co-author of "101 Great Ways To Improve Your Health." He writes a quarterly newsletter, a monthly e-newsletter and is the clinic director of the Holistic Healing Center in Prunedale, California. To learn more or to sign up for his free e-newsletter, visit his You can also follow him on Twitter @drbradcase or become a fan of Holistic Healing Center or Why We're Sick on Facebook.