The Loom

Unleashing Your Inner Virus

A while back I blogged about the tens of thousands of viruses we carry in our genomes. In today’s New York Times I write about how scientists reconstructed a working ancestral virus from its disabled descendants: Old Viruses Resurrected Through DNA.

Here’s the original paper.


  1. #1 Alan Kellogg
    November 17, 2006

    Check out Mother’s Littlest Helper by Jessica Ruvinsky on p16 of the Dec. 2006 Discover. According to the story an endogenous retrovirus is responsible for a protein that regulates mammalian placentas during pregnancy. When a gene in the endogenous retrovirus enJSRV was blocked in sheep pregnancies tended to end in miscarriage. enJSRV is similar to the primate endogeous retrovirus HERV-W.

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