Navigation Links
Viral marker of human migration suspect

A benign virus previously used as a marker in tracing human migration may be unreliable, according to researchers at Penn State. Results of this study also suggest that some viruses might be undergoing much higher rates of evolution than previously thought.

"The most genetically divergent human populations are in Africa," said Laura Shackelton, a postdoctoral researcher at Penn State's Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics. "But, in the case of this virus, strains from European communities appear to be the most divergent."

The human polyomavirus, or JCV, is a small double-stranded DNA virus that is thought to be primarily transmitted from parents to their children. Infection is usually asymptomatic unless a person has a weak immune system, in which case the virus can cause neurological disease.

There are more than 14 subtypes of the virus, each primarily associated with different human populations such as African, Japanese, South Asian, and European. Population geneticists have assumed that the virus has been with humans since their emergence from Africa.

"Because of this presumed codivergence with human populations, JCV has been widely used as a genetic marker for human evolution and migration," explained Shackelton, whose findings appear this month (October) in the Journal of Virology.

The researchers note that while previous studies of genetic variation have observed some differences between the distribution of JCV and human populations, the extent of the differences in their evolutionary histories has never been fully tested.

Shackelton and her colleagues analyzed 333 genetic sequences of the virus and reconstructed their evolutionary history. They then compared this history to the reconstructed history of human populations, based on mitochondrial DNA.

"If the virus had been with humans since we were a single population, and we have almost strictly transmitted it to our children, you may exp ect that as populations became isolated, the virus lineages diverged as well," Shackelton noted.

However, though both sets of data indicate a period of relatively constant population size followed by a rapid increase, a closer look reveals that while human populations started to expand considerably about 50,000 years back, the viral population expanded only in the last few hundred years.

"Besides, there are several instances of one population group harboring a subtype typically associated with another group," she said. "For example one finds viruses from the Japanese and Korean subtype in the European subtype group--another incongruency."

If the virus had been strictly passed down from parent to child and had kept step with human migration, one would expect the various subtypes to group together geographically, she explains.

Shackelton added that if the co-evolution of the virus and human populations were as strict as previously thought one would not find so many differences in the family trees of the virus and humans.

Researchers also said that this study and others by the group suggest that DNA viruses may not have a slow rate of evolution as previously thought, and that the viruses like JCV might in fact be evolving twice as fast.
'"/>

Source:Penn State


Related biology news :

1. Viral DNA sequence a possible trigger for breast cancer
2. NYU Study Reveals How Brains Immune System Fights Viral Encephalitis
3. Viral protein influences key cell-signaling pathway
4. Viral protein helps infected T cells stick to uninfected cells
5. Viral fitness explains different resistance patterns to aids drugs
6. Viral genetic differences are possible key to HIV dementia
7. Viral hitchhiker inhibits Wolbachia bacterias ability to proliferate
8. Viral protein is an effective preventative against infection
9. Biomarkers isolated from saliva successfully predict oral and breast cancer
10. UCLA cancer researchers shake loose hidden biomarker
11. Measurement Challenges In Detecting Cancer Biomarkers

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/21/2016)... -- Unique technology combines v ...   Xura, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... communications services, today announced it is working alongside SpeechPro ... particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ability ... a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, traditional ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... -- Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew ... Hebrew University, announced today the formation of Neteera ... human biological indicators. Neteera Technologies has completed its first ... ... emissions from sweat ducts, enables reliable and speedy biometric ...
(Date:3/11/2016)... -- --> --> ... Market by Technology (Pattern Recognition), by Component (Hardware, Software, ... (On-Premises and Cloud), by Industry Vertical and by Region ... global market is expected to grow from USD 12.49 ... at a CAGR of 19.1%. , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... ... May 25, 2016 , ... Scientists at the University of Athens ... for mesothelioma may be hampering the research that could lead to one good one. ... to read it now. , The team evaluated 98 mesothelioma patients ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... Connecticut (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted the company’s orphan drug ... the company’s second orphan drug designation granted by the FDA. , Spinocerebellar ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... La Jolla, CA (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... and financial planning for corporate executives and entrepreneurs, held The Future of San Diego ... leaders in the San Diego life science community attended the event with speakers Dr. ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... PrecisionAg® Media has ... 2017 and Beyond. The paper outlines the key trends that are creating both ... “We’ve witnessed a lot of highs and lows as the precision agriculture market ...
Breaking Biology Technology: