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Is a virus a software update?

April 12, 2020

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Amichai Oron

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Is a virus a software update?


A few years back I had a mild cold and I was miserable - I asked myself -  why does my body allow a foreign agent to invade. Viruses do not have replication mechanisms but they can use the body’s cells to make copies of themselves. Somehow they have the keys to the house and know how to operate the mechanics of the cells in the body- they are compatible!. This compatibility excited me and I started following the paper trail.


Placing DNA at the center of our universe


As designers, we seek to understand the world in new ways, challenge assumptions, and redefine problems in an attempt to identify alternative strategies and solutions that might not be instantly apparent with our initial level of understanding. We are not afraid to be wrong, as long as it opens new opportunities. 

We, humans, tend to alienate ourselves from nature, we believe that we are divine creatures created at the center of the universe-  this thought is rooted in our beliefs and religions, it’s also rooted in the way we experience the world from a single point of view. 

Only 400 years ago we believed that the sun revolves around us, even the universe itself when one great mathematician and designer - Galileo Galilei helped us understand the world in a different way. 


A Virus is a piece of DNA/RNA

All living creatures are made of the same DNA code, Yes - even plants! You can also think of DNA as a quaternary based coding language this compatibility may be the source of why we can interact with other life forms. We may all be a manifestation of a single bigger organism that adapts to the changing environments, as in programs are built from code and code is adapted to needs.  in that sense DNA would be the source of all living creatures and humans are a variation of its existence.


Is a virus a Software Update?


A virus is either a  RNA or DNA, yet it doesn’t have replication organisms, some scientists do not think that it is a living creature in its own right, it needs its hosts to replicate and it mutates from host to host.

If we allow our self to continue with this analogy to code - DNA would need means to maintain compatibility between its various forms, similar to a software update, or in other words, you can eat a tomato because you are compatible. All living creatures plants, Insects, animals would all need to be kept in check what do we all have in common? What do we transfer from one species to another? Viruses!

Viruses  allow horizontal  gene transfer between species. It is my belief that Viruses are not the enemy they are the compatibility agents for DNA as an organism. I am not a scientist or biologist, I leave the scientific work to them, this is just an observation yet idea’s like viruses spread and mutate, constantly changing the way we view the world, some may fade away while others will spark meaningful work. I want to believe that this idea is worth spreading.

About the author

Amichai Oron

Amichai Oron is Founder of Spark and leads a multidisciplinary team uniting people, culture, and technology to build joyful experiences for the world’s top brands and disruptors alike. Selected clients include Teva, Mysupermarket, Cedato , Mind Kick, Algosec , and many more.