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Can viruses change the DNA from a host?

Laurens lr1 at xs4all.nl
Mon Feb 9 03:54:31 EST 2004

Hi all!

In recent reports about the chicken viruses in the far east, I heard that 
two viruses in one host cell may mutate into one new type of virus.

Is this only possible if both viruses are already closely related, or could  
mutating / combining also happen between e.g. the virus and it's host? 
Would in such a case the new DNA survive in the host or would that cell die 

I hope this is not a strange question (I'm not a biologist at all, just 
very curious...)

Thanks in advance for any answers,

lr1 at xs4all.nl

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