Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

HIV Found in Old Tissue Sample

A tissue sample dating back to the 1960s harbors a near-complete sample of HIV, IFLScience reports, noting that this appears to be the oldest known nearly full-length sample of the virus.

The University of Arizona's Michael Worobey and his colleagues sifted through 1,645 formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue specimens that were collected in Central Africa between 1958 and 1966. As they report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, their RT-PCR assay detected HIV-1 within a sample that was collected in Kinshasa in 1966. LiveScience notes that while this is the oldest near-complete HIV genome, there are older, but less complete HIV genomes from 1959 and 1960.

Previously, scientists estimated that HIV arose in the early 1900s in Central Africa, and when Worobey and his colleagues added their new sample into a molecular clock analysis, it further confirmed that HIV likely emerged between 1881 and 1918.

"This is nice to know, because it means that our evolutionary models that we are always applying to our virus sequence work well," first author Sophie Gryseels from the Catholic University of Leuven tells LiveScience. "We didn't have big surprises."

The Scan

Genetic Ancestry of South America's Indigenous Mapuche Traced

Researchers in Current Biology analyzed genome-wide data from more than five dozen Mapuche individuals to better understand their genetic history.

Study Finds Variants Linked to Diverticular Disease, Presents Polygenic Score

A new study in Cell Genomics reports on more than 150 genetic variants associated with risk of diverticular disease.

Mild, Severe Psoriasis Marked by Different Molecular Features, Spatial Transcriptomic Analysis Finds

A spatial transcriptomics paper in Science Immunology finds differences in cell and signaling pathway activity between mild and severe psoriasis.

ChatGPT Does As Well As Humans Answering Genetics Questions, Study Finds

Researchers in the European Journal of Human Genetics had ChatGPT answer genetics-related questions, finding it was about 68 percent accurate, but sometimes gave different answers to the same question.