Samstag, 31. Juli 2010

Genome Gone Viral

Scientific American reports: Genes from Ebola Virus Family Found in Human Genome

Genetic code from retroviruses has been found to compose some 8 percent of
the human genome, having been copied in during replication and left to be
inherited by us and our progeny. But non-retroviral RNA viruses do not use their
host's DNA to replicate—and some do not even enter the host cell's nucleus.
Nevertheless, new research has turned up surprising evidence that some of these
viruses are enmeshed in the genomes of vertebrates—including humans and other

One of these new studies, published online July 29 in PLoS Pathogens, has
uncovered some 80 examples of viral genetic data circulating in the genomes of
vertebrate species for the past 40 million years.

Course the issue is that virus do not fossilize well. So understanding how they evolve is tricky.

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