Genomic hitchhikers in birds shed light on evolution of viruses
The genomes of birds are riddled with DNA sequences from viruses, according to a study to be published on October 16 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Analysis of these viral sequences, known as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), can provide insights into how both hosts and viruses have evolved over the eons.
"We examined the evolution of avian retroviruses on the basis of their fossil remnants in the three avian genomes that have been completely sequenced," write the authors from Johns Hopkins University and Uppsala University, Sweden. The authors go on to say their analyses of ERVs in chicken, turkey, and zebra finch genomes reveal that birds were a hotbed of viral evolution early in their history.
..."This paper is filling a big gap in our understanding of these viruses," says Goff. "This is something that needed to be done, and advancing sequencing technology made it easy to do."
Chipmunk tests positive for plague
|Signs warn visitors of plague at Taylor Creek Visitor |
Center on Thursday. Axie Navas / Tahoe Daily Tribune
The rodent was rolled up in a ball, shaking and struggling to breathe when it was discovered by a U.S. Forest Service employee, Forest Service spokeswoman Cheva Heck said.
Vector control officials were contacted and captured the animal, which tested presumptive positive for the bacteria that causes plague, Yersinia pestis, Heck said.
OTHER WILD HEALTH RELATED NEWS
- Whales buried after East Cape stranding [Whangapoua Beach, New Zealand Map It ]
- Distemper found in animals in Wildwood and Chesterfield [View cases reported in the news on the Global Wildlife Disease News Map ]
- Too much of a good thing can be bad for corals
- Epizootic Hemorrhagic Disease: Near but not yet here in Ontario [CCWHC healthywildlife.ca Blog]
- Suspected cat predation of a northern flicker [CCWHC healthywildlife.ca Blog]
- The Armageddon virus: Why experts fear a disease that leaps from animals to humans could devastate mankind in the next five years
- Spotlight on Powassan Encephalitis: Another Tick Illness to Make Your Skin Crawl [HealthMap The Disease Daily]
- CWD to change local deer hunting [Pennsylvania, USA]
- Deer Disease Discovered in Washtenaw County [Michigan, USA]
- NH warns hunters about diseased deer [Importing ban on deer carcasses from Pennsylvania to prevent spread of chronic wasting disease][New Hampshire, USA]
- Discover Magazine: Jumping DNA rides aboard a virus, which targets a giant virus, which infects an amoeba, which infected a woman’s eye [Transpovirons]