In this informative podcast, Luis P. Villarreal of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, provides an overview of theories and thoughts on life, and biological changes that occur.
Villarreal has long been interested in research related to viruses that thrive either in the genomes or epigenomes of their host. Villarreal’s position is that viruses have had a significant influence on the origin of life.
Villarreal discusses his background and outlines his study of negative-strand RNA viruses that resemble rabies and ebola. He talks about regulatory RNA and how it sparked his desire to know more about viruses. Villarreal explains how retroviruses work together to create a placental network and discuss the surprising relationships that must occur for a host to create life, taking in a biological entity and suppressing the immune rejection, to override the system and create change. Viruses, as Villarreal states, are central to many functions in life. Villarreal continues his discussion of cellular DNA and explains how RNA and DNA react with each other and he details their complex network.
Villarreal provides some insight into his thoughts on evolution. He talks in detail about endogenization of the koalas in Australia and provides information on a virus that affected them and became part of them to the extent that their immune systems were changed. And he provides further thoughts on the human species, evolution, and brain function, etc.