8 Percent of the Human Genome is Old Virus Genes
Posted on September 2, 2008 Comments (2)
The thousands of human endogenous retroviruses, or HERVs, sketch a history of rough times during the 550 million years of vertebrate evolution. The best-preserved one, HERV-K113, probably arrived less than 200,000 years ago, long after human beings and chimpanzees diverged from a common ancestor.
But these retroviruses are more than just curiosities. They are some of the most important enemies we ever had. They helped mold the immune system that is one of the evolutionary marvels of life on Earth.
I must say there is tons of amazing stuff I learn about but I still find retroviruses amazing.