April 29, 2014

How the koala retrovirus genome evolved

Retroviruses invaded the genome of koalas with strongly pathological effects: the viruses weaken the immune defense and threaten the viability of the already reduced koala population. An international team of scientists from Europe and North America now applied the technique of hybridisation capture to analyse the entire genome of koala retroviruses and used museum samples to monitor its variation across 130 years. The findings were just published in the scientific online-journal PLOS ONE.