More ancient viruses lurk in our DNA than we thought

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 07:07 AM PDT


Think your DNA is all human? Think again. And a new discovery suggests it's even less human than scientists previously thought. Nineteen new pieces of non-human DNA -- left by viruses that first infected our ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago -- have just been found, lurking between our own genes.

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Here contains a few "Evolution” stories including some on DNA you might like.

Thank you for all your good science posts!

Pity some people think that they only need to read one Book and that they can keep learning from it. It is such a shame that so many people have little or no interest in learning anything new. I hope you find something of interest in the weekly Sunday School.

DNA is just a chemical or building material. It isn't inherently human. Certain combinations of DNA produce human beings. But DNA itself? The same stuff is found in humans, pigs, lobsters, spiders, bacteria, and viruses.

Yeah, DNA is just a molecule. It is not really "alive". That is why we can recover it years later.

When learning basic chemistry, it's made clear that different configurations of atoms form different molecules, even if they have the same ratios of constituents.  (There are different ways, for instance, to assemble six carbon atoms, six oxygen atoms, and twelve hydrogen atoms.)  Something far, far more complex, like DNA, experiences this in spades, there are four nucleotides (abbreviated A, C, G, and T, each with a "mate" attached to the other strand) on a pair of twisted backbone strands.  Technically a strand of your DNA from one chromosome isn't even the same molecule as one from the next chromosome (or even the corresponding chromosome of your best friend) because the sequence of base pairs is different.  But biologists have to think about it differently than a super-strict chemist would.

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