As for the new coronavirus, some experts have said that it may coexist with human beings for a long time in the future, just like the influenza virus. Now it seems that this is not alarmist.
According to foreign media reports, a new study published by MIT in PNAS pointed out that,Strong evidence has been found that the new coronavirus has the ability to insert and integrate into human genes, which may be why the virus test is still positive in patients who have recovered.
The researchers say the new coronavirus is not a retrovirus, which means it does not need to be retroviral to replicate. However, non retroviral RNA (RNA) virus sequences have been detected in the genomes of many vertebrates, including humans.
However, the new coronavirus itself does not have the ability to insert and integrate itself into the human gene bank, which means that it needs an indirect method to help it complete the integration task.
To ensure the effectiveness of the test, the researchers used three different DNA sequencing techniques. In each test, it was found that the genetic material fragment of the new coronavirus was inserted into the gene bank of the infected cells.
Further examination revealed that the new coronavirus seems to integrate genes through a transposon (jumping gene).Jumping gene is a DNA sequence that can be copied or broken from the original site, cyclized and inserted into another site, and then regulate the subsequent genes.
One of them, called Line1 retrotransposons, accounts for 17% of our genome, the researchers said.Although most of them have lost the ability of replication and integration, some of them are still very active, which help the new coronavirus to achieve gene integration.
However, the study was done in infected cell cultures in the laboratory, so it is not clear whether the same effect can be achieved in human hosts. Of course, with the deepening of research, it is only a matter of time to solve this mystery.
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