Navigation Links
Viruses for a healthy pregnancy

Sequences of DNA in the human genome that originated from ancient viral infections have some surprising effects on our bodies and are even essential for a healthy pregnancy, according to an article in the February issue of Microbiology Today.

Retrovirus infections represent the most intimate host-pathogen relationship. The virus inserts a copy of its genome into the DNA of the host cell, resulting in an irreversible, stable and sometimes lifelong infection. If a sperm or egg cell is infected, the virus DNA can be passed down generations, permanently fixed in the germ line. As a result, an endogenous retrovirus (ERV) can exist for millions of years.

Over the course of evolution, retroviruses have invaded the germ-line of our ancestors on numerous occasions. Now, human ERVs (HERVs) make up around 8% of our genome, say Dr David Griffiths from the Moredun Research Institute and Ccile Voisset from the Facult de Mdecine et des Sciences de la Sant in France.

Although there are no viruses similar to these ancient pathogens currently infecting humans, there are some related viruses in animals. For a retrovirus to become part of the host genome it is usually inactivated by mutation or silencing so it does not express any proteins. An epidemic of neoplastic disease in Australian koalas is giving researchers the rare opportunity to study this process.

Recent work has provided some tantalizing evidence supporting the roles of HERVs in normal physiology and also in disease, says Dr Griffiths, they can be seen as bona fide human genes. Some HERVs may be crucial for a healthy pregnancy, whereas others have been linked to diseases like MS and cancer.

It is only recently that the abundance of HERVs has been recognised and we are learning that they can have significant functions, says Dr Griffiths.


Contact: Lucy Goodchild
Society for General Microbiology

Page: 1

Related medicine news :

1. New viruses to treat bacterial diseases -- My enemies enemy is my friend
2. Laser blasts viruses in blood
3. Novel virus detection identifies new viruses in study of respiratory infections and asthma attacks
4. Influenza: Insights into cell specificity of human vs. avian viruses
5. Common human viruses threaten endangered great apes
6. McMaster test detects the most prevalent respiratory viruses
7. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
8. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
9. Air pollution linked to cardiovascular risk indices in healthy young adults
10. Top Tips to Enjoy Healthy Latin Food Without Losing the Taste (Recipe)
11. Finicky Felines Award Four Stars to New Wellness(R) Healthy Indulgence Everyday Entrees
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... In an article ... variables that determine which patients are or are not eligible for bariatric surgery. The ... BMI over 40, are more than 100 pounds overweight, or have a BMI of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... It takes only three to five seconds to ... that the first impression be positive and reflects business values. If a client starts ... or want to return. They will also share their thoughts about a business with ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Cancer patients, survivors, caregivers, family members ... live taping of the next CURE Connections® video series on Saturday, ... Symposium at Georgetown University Hotel & Conference Center in Washington, D.C. , CURE ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... Aided by seed funding from the Ron Foley ... to yield insights into how to detect and treat pancreatic cancer (PC). , ... small, non-coding RNA molecules (ncRNA), genetic material that is present in the blood of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... Sir Grout of Baltimore is proud ... The award recognizes good companies for excellence in service and a commitment to ... hard surface restoration company earned this recognition after a thorough review by the ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 Abaxis, Inc. (NasdaqGS: ABAX ), ... for the medical, research, and veterinary markets worldwide, announced ... will present at the 27 th Annual Piper ... 11:30 a.m. ET. The conference will be held at ... York City . Abaxis, Inc. is ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015  Eyewear brand Revo ... with U2 lead singer and activist Bono as part of ... vision impairment and blindness in more than 5 million people ... Revo will donate $10 from the sale of every pair ... to a total of $10 million to the "Buy Vision, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015   Mast Therapeutics, Inc. ... its molecular adhesion and sealant technology (MAST) platform to ... and stroke, today announced that the Company,s Chief Executive ... the Piper Jaffray 27 th Annual Healthcare Conference ... at the New York Palace hotel in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: