Thursday, 22 May 2008

Neutral Beauty

There seems to be a huge stigma around Human Immunodeficiency Virus(HIV). In the eighties this stigma was largely because the main victims of this virus were either homosexual or drug addicts(not all of the victims, just most). I believe this stigma still exists despite the fact that HIV has widely spread the population regardless of sexual preference, religious beliefs or sobriety. There is also the opinion that the virus itself is 'evil' this annoys me and I intend to prove the virus is as neutral and undiscriminating as death(another concept people deem 'evil').

Most of the cells in your body are programed to create proteins. The DNA in the nucleus is too big to fit through the nuclear pores. However there are objects inside the cell that can translate small strands of DNA into RNA copies which allows it to be passed outside the nucleus. So it sends these copies of code to an assembly structure(Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum) in the main body of the cell. Here the genetic code is translated into its corresponding amino acids. These amino acids chain together to form a protein. The protein is then packaged up and sent out of the cell. This is a normal process and happens countless times a millisecond.

HIV enters the bloodstream and as it should the immune system responds. The virus latches on to the outside of the specific white blood cells sent to destroy it and injects(for lack of a better word) its genetic material in the form of RNA into the cell. This RNA makes it into the nucleus where the second substance the virus dropped off comes unto play. Reverse Transcriptase converts the viral RNA into DNA. This DNA then attaches itself to the host cells DNA. The cell is now programmed to make more HIV. The copy of the HIV code is sent to the assembly structure. the new HIV component is constricted. It is packaged up and sent out of hte cell. Unfortunately this is where the harm is caused. Sending it out of the cell perforates the cell membrane and destroys the cell.

The viral replication is what does damage to the body. It doesnt release toxins, it doesnt overtly devour healthy cells. Like any other object in nature it is blindly driven to replicate. The effects of this virus are unpleasant however I think the way this virus operates is incredible. If I ever wanted to plead a case for 'Intelligent Design' I wouldnt cite the complexity of the human body I would cite the simple yet effective beauty behind the operation of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. Fortunately I think intelligent design is a theory for those with far too much time trying not to contribute to society.

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