ScienceDaily (2010-09-13) -- Scientists have discovered that viruses that "invaded" the human genome millions of years ago have changed the way genes get turned on and off in human embryonic stem cells.
Galih Kunarso, Na-Yu Chia, Justin Jeyakani, Catalina Hwang, Xinyi Lu, Yun-Shen Chan, Huck-Hui Ng, Guillaume Bourque. Transposable elements have rewired the core regulatory network of human embryonic stem cells.Nature Genetics, 2010; 42 (7): 631 DOI: 10.1038/ng.600
2. Unexpected viral 'fossils' found in vertebrate genomes
ScienceDaily (2010-07-30) -- Over millions of years, retroviruses, which insert their genetic material into the host genome as part of their replication, have left behind bits of their genetic material in vertebrate genomes. In a recent study, a team of researchers found that human and other vertebrate genomes also contain many ancient sequences from Ebola/Marburgviruses and Bornaviruses -- two deadly virus families.
Belyi VA, Levine AJ, Skalka AM. Unexpected Inheritance: Multiple Integrations of Ancient Bornavirus and Ebolavirus/Marburgvirus Sequences in Vertebrate Genomes. PLoS Pathogens, 2010; 6 (7): e1001030 DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1001030
3. Human Immunity To 'Viral Fossil' May Help Explain Our Vulnerability To HIV
ScienceDaily (2007-06-22) -- Human resistance to a retrovirus that infected chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates four million years ago ironically may be at least partially responsible for the susceptibility of humans to HIV infection today.
4. Ancient Retrovirus Is Resurrected
ScienceDaily (2007-03-01) -- Retroviruses have been around longer than humanity itself. In fact, the best-known family member, HIV, is a relative youngster, with its first known human infections occurring sometime in the mid-20th century. But although many retroviruses went extinct hundreds of thousands or millions of years ago, researchers studying the pathogens don't use the traditional tools of paleontologists: They need look only as far as our own DNA.
Evolutionary surprise: Eight percent of human genetic material comes from a virus
ScienceDaily (2010-01-08) -- About eight percent of human genetic material comes from a virus and not from our ancestors, according to a new study. The research shows that the genomes of humans and other mammals contain DNA derived from the insertion of bornaviruses, RNA viruses whose replication and transcription takes place in the nucleus.
- Masayuki Horie, Tomoyuki Honda, Yoshiyuki Suzuki, Yuki Kobayashi, Takuji Daito, Tatsuo Oshida, Kazuyoshi Ikuta, Patric Jern, Takashi Gojobori, John M. Coffin & Keizo Tomonaga. Endogenous non-retroviral RNA virus elements in mammalian genomes. Nature, 2010; 463 (7277): 84 DOI: 10.1038/nature08695
- Cédric Feschotte. Virology: Bornavirus enters the genome. Nature, 2010; 463 (7277): 39 DOI:10.1038/463039a