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There has been considerable interest in computer viruses since they first appeared in 1981, and especially in the past few years as they have reached epidemic numbers in many personal computer environments. Viruses have been written about as a security problem, as a social problem, and as a possible means of performing useful tasks in a distributed computing environment. However, only recently have some scientists begun to ask if computer viruses are not a form of artificial life -adoi:10.1162/artl.19188.8.131.52 fatcat:gxkp7767ifb4volismqjohfjbe