Sunday, October 8, 2017
Retroviruses found deep within our DNA
There are so many types of diseases and illnesses that can infect human beings. There is an entire spectrum of illnesses that are curable, or not curable, as viral and none viral. However, it has been found that there were retroviruses deep within our DNA. Retroviruses (the most common known retrovirus is HIV), are virus's that infect host cells after initial exposure, change the DNA found within the cell, and eventually produce proteins with it's own DNA. In a recent study, it has been found that retroviruses infected our ancestors hundreds of generations ago. According the article, scientists have found that since retroviruses infected our ancestors, and it is wondered whether they have infected our genes as well. According to recent studies, this might actually be the case. It has been found that some of our genes have been had retroviruses embedded within them, which can result in those genes to be "switched on" and are responsible for causing cancer tumors to be grown. It has also been considered that the proteins from the retroviruses are the cause of this phenomenon. The proteins would cause for the cells to change shape, which is what happens to someone's cells when a they have cancer. However, despite this, it is possible that retroviruses can be helpful to us, since it is also been found that they have been linked to helping us fight off other viruses. So despite possible mutations that retroviruses can cause to our cells and DNA, it can also be speculated that retroviruses over time have been beneficial to our survival.
Overall I find for it to be extraordinarily fascinating that retroviruses have embedded within our DNA. Like many other aspects of human beings, it is one more thing that we know about that can cause for us to have cancer. This discovery is a huge step in the direction for finding the cures of all different types of cancers, and I find that to be extremely exciting.