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What Percent Virus Are You?

Hannah Moots FiveThirtyEight
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.

Public Statement on Zika Virus in Puerto Rico

Drs. Garriga-López, Lerman, Mulligan, Dietrich, et al 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.

Virus Genes in Human DNA May, Surprisingly, Help Us Fight Infections

Brian Handwerk
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.
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