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We discussed this before. You and me are conglomeration of helping hands lent to us by mother’s obedient workers. Bacterias, Viruses, Energy footprints, minds.

This ancient legacy is what we received from our ancestors. For which we never thank them 🙂 So selfish.

Fear of viruses and bacteria is like having fear from self. Fear of self-kill?


Research


More ancient viruses lurk in our DNA than we thought

One whole endogenous retrovirus genome — and bits of 17 others — were spotted in a study of 2,500 human genomes

http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201603/more-ancient-viruses-lurk-our-dna-we-thought

Nineteen new pieces of DNA — left by viruses that first infected our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago — have just been found, lurking between our own genes.

And one stretch of newfound DNA, found in about 50 of the 2,500 people studied, contains an intact, full genetic recipe for an entire virus, say the scientists who published their findings today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Whether or not it can replicate, or reproduce, it isn’t yet known. But other studies of ancient virus DNA have shown it can affect the humans who carry it.

In addition to finding these new stretches, the scientists also confirmed 17 other pieces of virus DNA found in human genomes by other scientists in recent years.

The study looked at the entire span of DNA, or genome, from people from around the world, including a large number from Africa — where the ancestors of modern humans originated before migrating around the world. The team used sophisticated techniques to compare key areas of each person’s genome to the “reference” human genome.

Working at Tufts University and the University of Michigan Medical School, the researchers made the findings with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Discovery of unfixed endogenous retrovirus insertions in diverse human populations

 http://www.pnas.org/content/113/16/E2326.abstract
The human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) group HERV-K contains nearly intact and insertionally polymorphic integrations among humans, many of which code for viral proteins. Expression of such HERV-K proviruses occurs in tissues associated with cancers and autoimmune diseases, and in HIV-infected individuals, suggesting possible pathogenic effects. Proper characterization of these elements necessitates the discrimination of individual HERV-K loci; such studies are hampered by our incomplete catalog of HERV-K insertions, motivating the identification of additional HERV-K copies in humans. By examining >2,500 sequenced genomes, we have discovered 19 previously unidentified HERV-K insertions, including an intact provirus without apparent substitutions that would alter viral function, only the second such provirus described. Our results provide a basis for future studies of HERV evolution and implication for disease.

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