Koala retrovirus leads scientists to discover ‘second immune system’

ABC Science, 12/10/2019

The retrovirus spreading through the koala population is bad news. But studies of the koala infection have led scientists to a surprising discovery: a “second immune system” in the species, according to research published on Saturday in the journal Cell.

This system, which the researchers think exists in all mammals, has a role fighting off viruses that are in the same class as deadly human diseases such as HIV. This “second immune system” may illuminate new ways to treat HIV, said Damian Purcell, who heads up virology research at the Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity.

How HIV Possibly Jumped From Monkey To Man

Asian Scientist, April 12, 2018

Scientists in Japan have discovered a protein that may have enabled the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) to be transmitted to humans. Their findings are published in Cell Host & Microbe. The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is believed to have evolved from a SIV that originated in chimpanzees.

How we inherit masculine and feminine behaviours: a new idea about environment and genes

The Conversation, August 18, 2017 3.22pm AEST

What if thousands of years of gendered environments actually reduced the need to develop genetic mechanisms to ensure gender differences? This is the idea we suggest in our new paper.

Advances in evolutionary biology recognise that offspring don’t just inherit genes. They also reliably inherit all kinds of resources: a particular ecology, a nest, parents and peers. And it appears that these stable environmental factors can help ensure the reliable reproduction of a trait across generations.

HIV-Related Virus Has Existed in Primates for Millions of Years

LiveScience, August 27, 2015 03:05pm ET

Viruses related to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have infected Old World monkeys as far back as 16 million years ago, according to a new study. The research provides insight into how monkeys evolved and adapted to the simian version of HIV, and why some viruses can jump from one species to another.

  • Read more here
  • Access study in PLOS Pathogens here