Archives for July, 2012

ERVs and Psoriasis

Time to add another disease to the list of problems associated with wayward ERV expression: Protective Effect of Human Endogenous Retrovirus K dUTPase Variants on Psoriasis Susceptibility Repeat after me everyone: ERVs are junk DNA.  We WANT them to be junk DNA.  Yes, very rarely an ERV is domesticated for Good, but almost universally, ERV…

Herd Immunity In Action: HPV Vaccine

Herd immunity– If a lot of people are protected from a pathogen then the people who arent protected, are still protected.  The higher the percentage of ‘protected’ people, the better herd immunity works. Here is a simple animation of how herd immunity works. While we generally think of herd immunity as it relates to the…

GMO Virus for Nicotine Addiction

I used to think gene therapy was an absurd ‘solution’ for HIV/AIDS.  Well, ‘absurd’ is putting it lightly.  I thought gene therapy was a perverted solution– Even if it ‘worked’, it would only be available for the richest people in the richest countries, not the millions and millions and millions of individuals living in poverty…

File this under “Cool, but not the best experimental design and maybe a bad idea in humans (but maybe a good idea under some circumstances)”– Effects of Novel Vaccines on Weight Loss in Diet-Induced-Obese (DIO) Mice, pdf: www.jasbsci.com/content/pdf/2049-1891-3-21.pdf Somatostatin is part of several chemical pathways in your body– one of them is the inhibition of…

Quick update

Hai guise! Because of some complaints that NatGeo is getting about the posts/comment threads at ERV, Im taking them down here and putting them up at an alternate location (lots of you have offered, havent decided where yet, will update yall when its worked out). No big whoop– This is NatGeos property and I dont…

The Dog Particle

I was feeling left out this week– everybody talking about the Higgs Boson– I cant contribute anything except links to Ethans fantastic posts (what the hell does 5-some-greek-symbol mean? whats a Higgs?  wat?). But THIS I understand! The photographer who made that image, Seth Casteel, is AMAZING. AMAZING. If you want to make yourself sick…

The questions I get asked most often are: How many ERVs are there? How many do we have in common with chimpanzees/gorillas/orangutans/etc? Its hard to answer this.  Depends on what your definition of ‘ERV’ is.  Because sometimes scientists mean a complete/nearly complete ERV (LTR-gag, pol, env-LTR), and sometimes they mean either LTR, Gag, Pol, or…

If you are reading this blog, you already know all about how a huge portion of your genome is parasitic junk DNA (~40-45%), a fraction of which is retroviral junk (ERVs, ~9%).  If youre new here… SURPRISE! Sure, we have a gene here, a promoter there (maybe) that was domesticated for human genome use, but…