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Crowdsourced Microbes Heading to Station

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MicroRNAs and Retroviral Integrity

Jamie Henzy, a postdoctoral researcher at Boston College, has authored a post on Small Things Considered that explores the shady world of the deltaretrovirus genus.

"Among retroviruses, the deltaretrovirus genus is something of a shady bunch, its members lurking in the shadows, causing trouble in the form of persistent infections that result in lymphomas and leukemias. At this time, we know of no endogenous sequences that might be their ancestors—the lone retroviral genus (of seven) for which this is the case, as if they’ve intentionally covered their tracks to elude the authorities. Fittingly, two members of this clan are emerging as particularly resourceful and crafty, exposing novel tricks in the viral arsenal.

These two are bovine leukemia virus (BLV), which infects cattle and causes B-cell tumors, and human T-lymphocytic virus (HTLV)-1, which causes T-cell tumors in its human hosts."

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