Skip to comments.UGA STUDY OF RETROVIRUSES SHOWS HUMAN-SPECIFIC VARIETY DEVELOPED WHEN HUMANS, CHIMPS DIVERGED
Posted on 08/02/2002 11:44:30 AM PDT by forsnax5
ATHENS, Ga. Scientists in the past decade have discovered that remnants of ancient germ line infections called human endogenous retroviruses make up a substantial part of the human genome. Once thought to be merely "junk" DNA and inactive, many of these elements, in fact, perform functions in human cells.
(Excerpt) Read more at uga.edu ...
From a Review: Greg Bear's powerfully written, brilliantly inventive novels combine cutting-edge science and unforgettable characters, illuminating dazzling new technologies--and their dangers. Now, in Darwin's Radio, Bear draws on state-of-the-art biological and anthropological research to give us an ingeniously plotted thriller that questions everything we believe about human origins and destiny--as civilization confronts the next terrifying step in evolution.
A mass grave in Russia that conceals the mummified remains of two women, both with child--and the conspiracy to keep it secret...a major discovery high in the Alps: the preserved bodies of a prehistoric family--the newborn infant possessing disturbing characteristics...a mysterious disease that strikes only pregnant women, resulting in miscarriage. Three disparate facts that will converge into one science-shattering truth.
Molecular biologist Kaye Lang, a specialist in retroviruses, believes that ancient diseases encoded in the DNA of humans can again come to life. But her theory soon becomes chilling reality. For Christopher Dicken--a virus "hunter" at the Epidemic Intelligence Service--has pursued an elusive flu-like disease that strikes down expectant mothers and their offspring. The shocking link: something that has slept in our genes for millions of years is waking up.
Now, as the outbreak of this terrifying disease threatens to become a deadly epidemic, Dicken and Lang, along with anthropologist Mitch Rafelson, must race against time to assemble the pieces of a puzzle only they are equipped to solve. An evolutionary puzzle that will determine the future of the human race...if a future exists at all.
A fiercely intelligent, utterly enthralling novel of adventure and ideas, genetics and evolution, a fast-paced thriller that is grounded in the timeless human themes of struggle, loss, and redemption, Darwin's Radio is sure to become one of the most talked-about books of the year.
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