When I first think of viruses I think only of the negative things that come with them. I think of the pains of being sick and all the death that viruses have caused humans. But after reading this article certain parts of my thought process regarding viruses changes. Although I still think of all the damage viruses cause, both short and long term, I can now think of their evolutionary effects. Viruses have helped shape organisms into what they are today, and we can even see that in humans. Without viruses it is probable that we would not have a placenta during the gestational period which means that we would mostly likely have egg births which would not allow us to have some of our current characteristics such as our large brains.
Having this newfound knowledge of viruses and their effects on organisms has made me realize the benefits of reviving these “extinct” viruses or endogenous retroviruses. If I did not know the effects that viruses have on organisms I would have thought something similar to Coffin who said the revival of the polio virus was just “proof of principle for bioterrorism nothing more”. But knowing the impact of these viruses has led me to support the revival of these viruses. Since these viruses have such great impacts on organisms if we look at them closely we will be able to discover useful things about humans and other organisms. Not only will the study of these viruses reveal things about organisms but they can also help us discover things about themselves and utilize that information in the fight agains HIV.