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Virus-host co-evolution under a modified nuclear genetic code

For what may be the first time, researchers have discovered a virus inside a host with a non-standard nuclear genetic code — one that differs from the standard genetic code that almost all living things use to produce proteins.


“The finding is significant because it shows that these viruses can overcome what appears to be an insurmountable change in the host genome,” said researcher Derek J. Taylor, professor of biological sciences at the University at Buffalo. “So the fact that we haven’t previously seen any viruses in these species with a modified genetic code may not be because the viruses can't adapt to that shift. It may be that we haven't looked hard enough.”

The study, titled “Virus-host co-evolution under a modified nuclear genetic code,” was published on March 5 in PeerJ, a peer-reviewed, open-access journal in which all articles are freely available. The article is available at https://peerj.com/articles/50/.
 
 

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