Retroviruses are re-writing the koala genome and causing cancer

The koala retrovirus (KoRV) is a virus which, like other retroviruses such as HIV, inserts itself into the DNA of an infected cell. At some point in the past 50,000 years, KoRV has infected the egg or sperm cells of koalas, ...

Viruses play critical role in evolution and survival of the species

As the world scrambles to control the growing COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, new research in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology shows viruses also play a key evolutionary role in mammals' ability to reproduce and survive.

The making of 'Fancy Mouse'

For the past few hundred years, the colorful hair and unique patterns of the so-called "Fancy Mouse" have made them the stars of pet shows in Japan and beyond. Now, scientists have finally revealed the true cause of the genetic ...

New knowledge about retrovirus-host co-evolution

Retroviruses have colonised vertebrate hosts for millions of years by inserting their genes into host genomes, enabling their inheritance through generations as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs). Researchers from Uppsala University ...

Ancient virus defends koalas against new viral attacks

The human genome is riddled with endogenous retroviruses—little pieces of degraded and generally harmless retrovirus DNA passed down through the generations, along with our own genetic information. Because most endogenous ...

Viruses in the genome important for our brain

Over millions of years, retroviruses have been incorporated into human DNA, where they today make up almost 10 per cent of the total genome. A research group at Lund University in Sweden has now discovered a mechanism through ...

Retroviruses 'almost half a billion years old'

Retroviruses - the family of viruses that includes HIV - are almost half a billion years old, according to new research by scientists at Oxford University. That's several hundred million years older than previously thought ...

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