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Latest Viral evolution Stories

2013-05-23 13:10:00

Radically different viruses share genes and are likely to share ancestry, according to research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Virology Journal this week. The comprehensive phylogenomic analysis compares giant viruses that infect amoeba with tiny viruses known as virophages and to several groups of transposable elements. The complex network of evolutionary relationships the authors describe suggests that viruses evolved from non-viral mobile genetic elements and vice versa,...

Clue To Hepatitis B Virus Genetic Code Provided By 16th-century Korean Mummy
2012-05-29 09:36:02

The discovery of a mummified Korean child with relatively preserved organs enabled an Israeli-South Korean scientific team to conduct a genetic analysis on a liver biopsy which revealed a unique hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype C2 sequence common in Southeast Asia. Additional analysis of the ancient HBV genomes may be used as a model to study the evolution of chronic hepatitis B and help understand the spread of the virus, possibly from Africa to East-Asia. It also may shed further light...

2012-04-19 11:22:11

A study published in BioMed Central's Biology Direct journal reports the existence of a previously undetected group of viruses and, more importantly, a new type of viral genome that could have huge implications for theories of viral emergence and evolution. Viruses are the most abundant organisms on earth, yet little is known about their evolutionary history since they have exceptionally high rates of genetic mutation which are difficult to track. Viral metagenomics, however, is becoming...

2010-09-29 13:32:06

Biologists from The University of Texas at Arlington have uncovered virus fragments from the same family of the modern Hepatitis B virus locked inside the genomes of songbirds such as the modern-day zebra finch. The article, publishing next week in the online, open access journal PLoS Biology, marks the first time that endogenous hepadnaviruses have been found in any organism. An endogenous virus is one that deposits itself or fragments of itself into the chromosome of an organism, allowing...

2010-07-28 14:22:28

Genetic architecture and the evolution of RNA viruses In biology and genetics, the concept of epistasis is what gives rise to the whole being more (or less) than the sum of its parts. The quantitative effect of a given mutation upon the traits of an organism has the potential to depend strongly upon the gene versions present in other parts of the genome, or even other mutations co-occurring in that gene. These genetic interactions, termed epistasis, can impact all aspects of organisms and...

2010-02-25 10:24:23

The team observed viruses as they evolved over hundreds of generations to infect bacteria. They found that when the bacteria could evolve defenses, the viruses evolved at a quicker rate and generated greater diversity, compared to situations where the bacteria were unable to adapt to the viral infection. The study shows, for the first time, that the American evolutionary biologist Leigh Van Valen was correct in his 'Red Queen Hypothesis'. The theory, first put forward in the 1970s, was named...

2010-01-14 15:02:08

Research published in the journal Genetics suggests that mutagenic drugs designed to kill viruses may make them stronger As the flu season continues in full-swing, most people can appreciate the need for drugs that stop viruses after they take hold in the body. Despite this serious need for new drugs, a team of researchers from the University of Texas at Austin raise serious concerns about an emerging strategy for stopping viral infections. According to their research report appearing in the...

2008-11-12 12:00:10

U.S. medical scientists say they've created the most comprehensive mathematical analysis to date of the mechanisms that drive viral and bacterial evolution. The Rice University study is designed to help produce a designer drug that would force a killer virus to mutate itself out of existence. Rather than focusing solely on random genetic mutations, as past analyses have, the researchers said their analysis can predict exactly how evolution is affected by the exchange of entire genes and...

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2008-11-11 10:00:00

Analysis reveals role of gene swaps in evolution of disease It sounds like a science fiction movie: A killer contagion threatens the Earth, but scientists save the day with a designer drug that forces the virus to mutate itself out of existence. The killer disease? Still a fiction. The drug? It could become a reality thanks to a new study by Rice University bioengineers. The study, which is available online and slated for publication in the journal Physical Review E, offers the most...


Word of the Day
baudekin
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.
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