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Positive effects of viruses?

A.J.Cann nna at nospam.le.ac.uk
Wed Sep 17 06:01:12 EST 2003


In article <p06002002bb8cc63eeae7@[192.168.1.115]>,
 weissm at rockefeller.edu (Martin Weiss) wrote:

>         The public perception is that germs are bad and to be 
> avoided. Most-about 1% of microorganisms-are not pathogenic. Most 
> examples of beneficial or benign microorganisms are bacteria. What 
> about viruses? Are there examples of viruses having a positive 
> effect? Benign might be difficult to document.
> 
> Cheers,
> Martin

http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/3035/Retroviruses.html

~11% of the mammalian genome is composed of retrovirus-like 
retrotransposons..   Compare this with only ~2.5% of the human genome 
which encodes unique (non-repeated)  genes! 

Mi, S. et al.(2000) Syncytin is a captive retroviral envelope protein 
involved  in human placental morphogenesis Nature 403: 785-9.

Virus vectors for gene therapy:
http://www-micro.msb.le.ac.uk/3035/peel/peel1.html

So the answer is, lots!

-- 
Dr Alan J. Cann,  Department of Microbiology & Immunology,
University of Leicester,  P.O. Box 138,  Medical Sciences Building,
University Road,  Leicester LE1 9HN,  UK.



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