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Opinion

Viruses take center stage in cellular evolution

Jean-Michel Claverie

Author Affiliations

Structural and Genomic Information Laboratory, CNRS-UPR2589, IBSM, Parc Scientifique de Luminy, 163 Avenue de Luminy, case 934, Marseille 13288, cedex 9, France

Genome Biology 2006, 7:110  doi:10.1186/gb-2006-7-6-110

Published: 16 June 2006

Abstract

The origins of viruses are shrouded in mystery, but advances in genomics and the discovery of highly complex giant DNA viruses have stimulated new hypotheses that DNA viruses were involved in the emergence of the eukaryotic cell nucleus, and that they are worthy of being considered as living organisms.