Researchers identify DNA of algae virus in humans; was found to affect cognitive abilities

Biotechin.Asia

An alga species infected with a chlorovirus similar to the one UNL and Johns Hopkins researchers have newly identified in the throat cavity of humans. (Credit: Kit Lee and Angie Fox, UNL) An alga species infected with a chlorovirus similar to the one UNL and Johns Hopkins researchers have identified in the throat cavity of humans. (Credit: Kit Lee and Angie Fox, UNL)

Evidence that an algae-infecting virus can invade and potentially replicate within mammalian cells has been found by researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in a collaborative study with John Hopkins University.

Chloroviruses (Phycodnaviridae family) are large DNA containing viruses known to infect certain eukaryotic green algae. They were believed to not infect humans, until now.

“Chloroviruses are worldwide,” said senior author James Van Etten, William Allington Distinguished Professor of Plant Pathology and a co-director of the Nebraska Center for Virology at UNL, who helped discover their existence in green algae more than 30 years ago. “They’re very common among inland bodies of fresh water such as lakes and ponds.

“But I don’t know of many examples of…

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