New HIV strain reminds us that innovation is urgent and fundamental

CNN, Updated November 8, 2019

For the first time in 19 years, a team of scientists has detected a new strain of HIV.

The strain is a part of the Group M version of HIV-1, the same family of virus subtypes to blame for the global HIV pandemic. The findings were published Wednesday in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes.
HIV has several different subtypes or strains, and like other viruses, it has the ability to change and mutate over time. This is the first new Group M HIV strain identified since guidelines for classifying subtypes were established in 2000. It is important to know what strains of the virus are circulating to ensure that tests used to detect the disease are effective.

 

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.

Is monogamy unnatural?

 

ABC Science Show, Saturday 28 June 2014 12:05PM

Christopher Ryan reviews the enjoyment of sex, evidence from prehistory, and even the charming behaviour of bonobos, to suggest that conventional monogamy is but a blip in human history, and basically, doesn’t work.

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Born this way? An evolutionary view of ‘gay genes’

The Conversation, 2 June 2014, 2.17pm AEST

The claim that homosexual men share a “gay gene” created a furore in the 1990s. But new research two decades on supports this claim – and adds another candidate gene.

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