Viruses are needed for survival of mammals; Study


As the world is fighting to control the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, new study said that viruses played a key role in the survival of mammals. It said that he viruses were needed for the mammals to reproduce and survive.

The study was done by Scientists in the Cincinnati Children’s Perinatal Institute and Azabu University in Japan. The Nature Structural and Molecular Biology published the two studies.

The researchers revealed two distinct and fundamental processes underlying germline transcriptomes. They also showed that species specific transcriptomes are fine-tuned by endogenous retroviruses in the mammalian germline. Germline transcriptomes have all the messenger RNA in germline cells, which contain either the male or female half of chromosomes. These chromosomes are passed on as inherited genetic material to offspring when they mate.

As such, germline transcriptomes define the unique character of sperm and egg to prepare for the next generation of life. Meanwhile, Satoshi Namekawa, who is the principal investigator on both papers and scientist in the Division of Reproductive Science at Cincinnati Children’s, said the two studies complement one another, The study of Maezawa and Sakashita et al explored super enhancers, which are robust and evolutionally conserved gene regulatory elements in the genome. They led to the regulated burst of essential germline genes as sperm start to form, Namekawa said.

The second paper by Sakashita et al. was related to endogenous retroviruses that act as another type of enhancer. This helps fine tune species specific transcriptomes in mammals. The researchers point out that endogenous retroviruses that are an inherent part of mammalian biology, can influence gene expression. ERVs are molecular remnants of retroviruses that infect the body and over time incorporate into the genome.



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