ERVs

Category archives for ERVs

Ferrets have a super rare ERV!

Ive always wanted a ferret.  When I was little, because of this (1m59s): Now, because of stuff like this: Ferrets arent just super cool pets, they also have a very rare ‘gift’– While all organisms genomes are littered with pirate DNA and endogenous retroviruses, endogenous lentiviruses have only been found in three creatures: Bunnies, lemurs,…

Paleovirology seems to work the opposite of the way the Creationist want.  The more information we have, the further back the timeline shifts, not vice versa. For example, we used to think HIV-1 started in humans ~1930, but after we found more ‘old’ HIV sequences, the clock got pushed back to 1902-1921. We used to…

PERVs in your pork chops

Well this is a new one: This will sound radical to most of you, but the latest information available to us now could improve your health, should you decide to take this seriously. Have you ever considered why Muslims and Jews are forbidden from eating pork?  Both religions consider it unclean.  Dr. Jeff McCombs, author…

Horse ERVs are junk too

Arnie got to meet horses for the first time last week It was an unexpected event (horsies were out at a neighbors when we went on a walkie), so I didnt get it on film– but I can recreate it: Arnie: HOLY SHIT MOM!  MOOOOOM! MOOOOOOOOOOOM! WHAT ARE THOSE MONSTERS??? OH GOD THEYRE WALKING TOWARDS…

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…

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…

Carl Zimmer is, hands down, one of the best science writers out there.  Its no surprise, then, that he is almost as obsessed with viruses as I am.  Viruses are our past and our future, and Zimmer *gets* it. So while I am busy in the lab this week, I will happily point you to…

The human genome is about 3.1 billion nucleotides long. 8-10% of your genome is retroviral-ish. We will be conservative and go with 8%– thats 248,000,000 nucleotides of retrovirus. The average retrovirus is about 10,000 nucleotides long. So we should have ~ 24,800 retroviral elements in our genome. But there must be more than that, because…

ERVs and Multiple Sclerosis, #4

I wasnt super thrilled about the last ERV–>MS paper I wrote about, but I really like this new one: Human endogenous retrovirus type W envelope expression in blood and brain cells provides new insights into multiple sclerosis disease. Those of you who have been following the XMRV fiasco will find this intro paragraph very interesting:…