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Jan 26, 2019

The viral content of human genomes is more variable than we thought

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

Parts of human DNA are of viral origin: many of them were inserted into the primordial genetic material of our ancestors many millions of years ago and have been inherited by successive generations ever since. Thus, they are not thought to vary much in the genomes of modern humans. Human endogenous retroviruses (HERV) are by far the most common virus-derived sequences in our genome. New research published in Mobile DNA shows a mechanism that has introduced more inter-individual variation in HERV content between humans than previously appreciated.

Jainy Thomas & Cédric Feschotte 25 Jan 2019.

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