With advances in genome sequencing and computational tools to analyze genomic information, researchers are able to estimate that about 8 percent of the human genome is made of sequences that originated as invasive retroviruses. To put that number in perspective, genes make up about 1 percent to 1.5 percent of your genome.
Savage Minds - Notes and Queries in Anthropology
Call to action was written by Adriana Garriga-López, Ph.D. (Kalamazoo College), and Shir Lerman, M.A., M.P.H., PhD Candidate (University of Connecticut), with Jessica Mulligan, Ph.D. (Providence College), Alexa Dietrich, Ph.D., M.P.H. (Wagner College), Carlos E. Rodríguez-Díaz, PhD, MPHE, MCHES (University of Puerto Rico), and Ricardo Vargas-Molina, M.A. (University of Puerto Rico). The authors are members of the Society for Medical Anthropology's Zika Interest Group.
When ancient retroviruses infected our ancestors, they occasionally infiltrated a human sperm or egg cell. If those cells went on to fertilize an embryo, any viral genes incorporated into them had a ticket to ride from one generation to the next. Evidence suggests that during human evolution we've co-opted leftover genetic material from some of these "fossil viruses" to turn the tables and help our immune system fight diseases.
Subscribe to virus