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Analysis of Endogenous Parvoviral Elements Found Within Animal Genomes

Researchers from the US and UK have mapped endogenous parvoviral element, or EPV, diversity within hundreds of animal genomes. Parvoviruses infect a range of animals, including humans, and parts of the viruses have over the years become incorporated into those host genomes. As they report in PLOS Biology, the team uncovered 364 distinct EPVs from five viral genera, representing 200 different incorporation events that they traced to the Cenozoic Era. Based on this, they conclude that parvoviruses circulated widely as vertebrates evolved and that the viruses additionally developed lineage-specific adaptations. Better understanding of these interactions between EPVs and host genomes could further aid investigators developing parvoviruses as gene therapy vectors, according to the researchers. "Parvovirus gene therapy is a cutting-edge biomedical technology," senior author Rob Gifford from MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research says in a statement. "Our findings suggest that studying the natural biology and evolutionary history of parvoviruses can inform the rational design of vectors for safer and more effective gene therapies."

The Scan

Study Links Evolution of Longevity, Social Organization in Mammals

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Tumor Microenvironment Immune Score Provides Immunotherapy Response, Prognostic Insights

Using multiple in situ analyses and RNA sequence data, researchers in eBioMedicine have developed a score associated with immunotherapy response or survival.

CRISPR-Based Method for Finding Cancer-Associated Exosomal MicroRNAs in Blood

A team from China presents in ACS Sensors a liposome-mediated membrane fusion strategy for detecting miRNAs carried in exosomes in the blood with a CRISPR-mediated reporter system.

Drug Response Variants May Be Distinct in Somatic, Germline Samples

Based on variants from across 21 drug response genes, researchers in The Pharmacogenomics Journal suspect that tumor-only DNA sequences may miss drug response clues found in the germline.