Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Human Development Influenced by Ancient Viral Molecules

Researchers have found that certain viral molecules that have been left over from millions of years of evolution play a huge role in human' development. These left over viral molecules are essential for an embryo to differentiate into all the tissue that is present in a humans body. When they blocked the production of the RNA molecule that was responsible for this differentiation, they observed that all development abruptly stopped. They hypothesize that this viral RNA sequence infected humans long ago. Instead of being detrimental it was incorporated into their genome to serve a useful purpose. 

This new data is very useful to help us understand how we evolved certain traits that differ from some of our closely related species. Using this information can give us a clue about the origins of certain species and also show the role that viruses and bacteria played in the formation of our current genome. 
An artists rendering of a virus.

No comments:

Post a Comment