Long Now Foundation podcast: What’s time to a virus?
" The number of viruses on Earth is estimated to be 1 followed by 31 zeroes. Small as they are, if you stacked them all up, the stack would reach 100 million light years. They are the planet’s most abundant organism by far. They’re fast. We take decades to reproduce. A flu virus can generate billions of itself in us within hours. And they evolve 10,000 times faster than us, because they’re creatively sloppy about making copies of their genomes, and they readily combine genes among varieties when jointly infecting a cell. Each of us has four trillion viruses on board, in 1,500 all-too-fungible varieties."