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Hype: "Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops!"

Hype: "Regulators Discover a Hidden Viral Gene in Commercial GMO Crops!" | Virology News | Scoop.it
by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson How should a regulatory agency announce they have discovered something potentially very important about the safety of products they have been approving for over twenty years?
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I am rather troubled by this article, because although it is obviously well-researched, it erects a house of cards from some rather flimsy initial premises.

The first is that the gene VI 3' fragment, included as part of constructs for the 35S promoter, is in fact expressed in ANY of the transgenic plants it appears in: there is NO proof of this.

The second is that this same fragment encodes a polypeptide which has any/all of the functions associated with the full length protein: again, there is NO proof of this, although a throwaway statement is made that hints that it does.

The third is that the polypeptide fragment, IF expressed at all, would have deleterious effects in animals / humans: again, there is no conclusive proof of this at all, despite extensive toxicity trials.

There are other problems with the piece, including the statements:

"In general, viral genes expressed in plants raise both agronomic and human health concerns (reviewed in Latham and Wilson 2008)."

Sorry, this is not GENERALLY taken to be the case at all!

"This is because many viral genes function to disable their host in order to facilitate pathogen invasion. Often, this is achieved by incapacitating specific anti-pathogen defenses. Incorporating such genes could clearly lead to undesirable and unexpected outcomes in agriculture."

Really? It has been clearly demonstrated that the anti-host function works in very different hosts, meaning this last sentence is true? Where?

"Furthermore, viruses that infect plants are often not that different from viruses that infect humans. For example, sometimes the genes of human and plant viruses are interchangeable, while on other occasions inserting plant viral fragments as transgenes has caused the genetically altered plant to become susceptible to an animal virus (Dasgupta et al. 2001)."

Oooooh...the taurine excreta value is high in this one...while an argument can be made that certain viruses of plants and of animals have a common origin, and are not THAT different in a long-term evolutionary sense, there are NO viruses that have been shown to infect both plants and mammals - NONE.

As for Dasgupta et al., what they showed was that flockhouse virus - an insect virus which replicates in plant cells but does not spread in plants - CAN spread in plants IF these are expressing CERTAIN plant virus-derived movement proteins. Which, I will note, are NOT components of any DNA in released GM plants of which I am aware.

And replication does not = "susceptible": it means the virus CAN replicate and spread, NOT that it causes disease. I note that there are many viruses which replicate in both an insect and a plant, and others that replicate only in a plant but can be spread by an insect, and yet others which replicate in an insect only but can survive in plants as a reservoir. I note further that there are NO examples which can do any of these things in a plant and a mammal.

So - an interesting article, as I said, but one that is unnecessarily alarmist.

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Roles of Humidity and Temperature in Shaping Influenza Seasonality - PMC

Roles of Humidity and Temperature in Shaping Influenza Seasonality - PMC | Virology News | Scoop.it
Experimental studies in guinea pigs demonstrated that influenza virus transmission is strongly modulated by temperature and humidity. A number of epidemiological studies have followed up on these findings and revealed robust associations between influenza ...
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Ischemic stroke risk may be higher after COVID-19 compared to flu or bacterial pneumonia

Ischemic stroke risk may be higher after COVID-19 compared to flu or bacterial pneumonia | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new study examined electronic health records for approximately half the population of Denmark, looking for people with a diagnosis of COVID-19 or hospitalized with community-acquired pneumonia.
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COVID-19 variant boosters won’t need new clinical trials for clearance, FDA says

COVID-19 variant boosters won’t need new clinical trials for clearance, FDA says | Virology News | Scoop.it
The FDA will rely on data from clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine boosters against the BA.1 version of the omicron variant to evaluate boosters against the BA.4 and BA.5 variants.
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Universal Flu Vaccine Enters Clinical Trials in Humans 

The test will inoculate 100 volunteers with a vaccine that protected mice from lethal doses of six different flu strains...
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First case in Belgium of circovirus-like particles in the bursae of racing pigeons

This paper reports the first cases of pigeon circovirus infection in Belgium. Five pigeons were necropsied and specific lesions with inclusions bod...
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Exosomes decorated with a recombinant SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain as an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine

Exosomes decorated with a recombinant SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain as an inhalable COVID-19 vaccine | Virology News | Scoop.it
An inhalable virus-like-particle consisting of exosomes decorated with a recombinant SARS-CoV-2 receptor-binding domain is stable at room temperature and elicits systemic and mucosal immune responses in small animals.
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Rare thymocyte cells can turn into blood cancer

Rare thymocyte cells can turn into blood cancer | Virology News | Scoop.it
New research clarifies how some people develop T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
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Covid: Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 escape antibodies from vaccination and prior infection, studies suggest

Covid: Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 escape antibodies from vaccination and prior infection, studies suggest | Virology News | Scoop.it
Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 appear to escape antibody responses among both people who had previous Covid-19 infection and those who have been fully vaccinated and boosted, according to new data from researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, of Harvard Medical School.
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Ghana will help make pan-African vaccine manufacturing project a success

Ghana will help make pan-African vaccine manufacturing project a success | Virology News | Scoop.it
As I said in Marburg, the Pan-African Vaccine Manufacturing Project fits perfectly with Ghana’s roadmap for domestic vaccine development and manufacturing. Ghana is ready to play her role, and I reaffirm, once again, her determination to make the project work successfully.
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Polio: Virus found in London prompts misleading vaccine claims

Polio: Virus found in London prompts misleading vaccine claims | Virology News | Scoop.it
What do these cases really tell us about the virus, which hasn't spread in the UK for decades?
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‘You get goosebumps from the data’: hopes rise for new malaria vaccine | Malaria | The Guardian

‘You get goosebumps from the data’: hopes rise for new malaria vaccine | Malaria | The Guardian | Virology News | Scoop.it
The disease is a leading killer of under fives across Africa.But trials for a new vaccine suggest an end to the death toll could be in sight...
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Gene may hold clues to heart attacks in women

Gene may hold clues to heart attacks in women | Virology News | Scoop.it
"For reasons that remain uncertain, women can experience heart disease differently than men." A gene called RAP1GAP2 may clarify why.
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Cross-reactive immunity potentially drives global oscillation and opposed alternation patterns of seasonal influenza A viruses

Cross-reactive immunity potentially drives global oscillation and opposed alternation patterns of seasonal influenza A viruses | Virology News | Scoop.it
Several human pathogens exhibit distinct patterns of seasonality and circulate as pairs. For instance, influenza A virus subtypes oscillate and peak during winter seasons of the world’s temperate climate zones.
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Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and the risk of COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis | medRxiv

Influenza and pneumococcal vaccination and the risk of COVID-19: A systematic review and meta-analysis | medRxiv | Virology News | Scoop.it
medRxiv - The Preprint Server for Health Sciences...
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There Is No ‘Back to Normal’ After Covid. A Q&A With Hitoshi Oshitani - Bloomberg

There Is No ‘Back to Normal’ After Covid. A Q&A With Hitoshi Oshitani - Bloomberg | Virology News | Scoop.it
A Q&A with top Japanese virologist Hitoshi Oshitani about reopening tourism, future strains of Covid and the post-pandemic world.
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Song swap indicates humpback whales trade culture

Song swap indicates humpback whales trade culture | Virology News | Scoop.it
Observations of song learning among humpback whales indicate "a level of 'cultural transmission' beyond any observed non-human species."...
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Reactivation of varicella-zoster virus following mRNA COVID-19 vaccination in a patient with moderately differentiated adenocarcinoma of rectum

Herpes zoster which is the reactivation of varicella-zoster virus, a pathogenic human alpha-herpes virus, following primary infection or chicken pox, is known to occur especially in advanced age an...
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GSK’s new vaccine hire looks beyond COVID in quest for next hit: 'The potential is there to really make a much better flu vaccine'

GSK’s new vaccine hire looks beyond COVID in quest for next hit: 'The potential is there to really make a much better flu vaccine' | Virology News | Scoop.it
GSK Plc is planning to launch a COVID shot that comes almost two years after Pfizer Inc. took the world by storm. For Phil Dormitzer, it’s a reminder of why he was hired at the UK drugmaker: to help return its immunization business to the top after it stumbled during the pandemic.
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Live attenuated Salmonella enterica serovar Choleraesuis vector delivering virus-like particles induces a protective immune response against porcine circovirus type 2 in mice

The virus-like particles (VLPs) of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) is an attractive vaccine candidate that retains the natural conformation of the virion but lacks the viral genome to replicate, thus balancing safety and immunogenicity.
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Whole genome, transcriptome, smallRNAome and methylome profiling during tomato-geminivirus interaction

Preguntas frecuentesManual de usoDerechos de autorContacto/Sugerencias Whole genome, transcriptome, smallRNAome and methylome profiling during tomato-geminivirus interaction Autor Romero-Rodríguez, Beatriz; Kriznik, Maja; Morilla, Ian; Petek, Marko; Jiao, Chen; [et al.] Fecha 2022 Palabras clave Virus fitopatógenos; Tomates - Enfermedades y plagas Resumen Geminiviruses constitute the largest family of plant-infecting viruses with small, single- stranded DNA genomes that replicate through double-stranded DNA intermediates. Because of their limited coding capacity, geminiviruses use plant nuclear machinery to amplify their genomes, which are packaged into nucleosomes forming chromatin as multiple circular minichromosomes. Thus, viral minichromosomes must encounter the nuclear pathways that regulate host gene expression and chromatin states. DNA methylation and post-transcriptional gene silencing play critical roles in controlling infection of geminiviruses and this pathogen can counteract these host defense mechanisms and promote its infectivity. Tomato Yellow Leaf Curl Virus (TYLCV) belongs to the Begomovirus genus and is transmitted by the whitefly Bemisia tabaci. With only seven viral proteins, TYLCV must create a proper environment for viral replication, transcription, and propagation. Behind the apparent simplicity of geminiviruses lies a complex network of molecular interactions with their host and their natural vector, which induces a wide variety of transcriptional, post-transcriptional and chromatin changes in the host. To better understand this virus-host interaction at a genetic and epigenetic level we carried out a global approach of the TYLCV-tomato interaction to generate integrated single-base resolution maps by Next-Generation Sequencing of the transcriptome, smallRNAome and methylome of the pathogen and the host. Total RNA and DNA was extracted from tomato–infected plants (three biological replicates) and analysed at 2, 7, 14 and 21-day post-infection (dpi). Analysis of the changes in host transcription during the infection and its correlation with changes in sRNA profiles (microRNA and phasiRNA) and DNA methylation patterns will be presented and discussed. URI https://hdl.handle.net/10630/24432 Compartir Mostrar el registro completo del ítem Ficheros abs_libro_omics.pdf (37.69Kb) Colecciones BCGF - Contribuciones a congresos científicos Estadísticas Ver Estadísticas de uso Buscar en Dimension
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All the -omes!! This should make That Person Who Hates -Omes happy??
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Listeria-based booster improves vaccine's protection against recurring colon cancer

Listeria-based booster improves vaccine's protection against recurring colon cancer | Virology News | Scoop.it
Colorectal, pancreatic, esophageal and stomach cancers—some of the deadliest kinds of cancer—have high recurrence rates where the cancer comes back even after successful surgery or radiation treatment.
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How many lives have been saved by covid-19 vaccines?

How many lives have been saved by covid-19 vaccines? | Virology News | Scoop.it
A new study estimates that the number is greater than the population of Chile | Graphic detail...
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Flu Vaccination Linked to 40% Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study finds that flu vaccination was associated with a 40% reduced risk for Alzheimer’s disease over a four-year period.Over the course of four...
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Endline: COVID-19 Perception Survey - South Africa

Endline: COVID-19 Perception Survey - South Africa | Virology News | Scoop.it
Web survey powered by SurveyMonkey.com. Create your own online survey now with SurveyMonkey's expert certified FREE templates.
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Phylodynamic analysis of current Porcine circovirus 4 sequences: does the porcine circoviruses evolutionary history repeat itself?

Four porcine circoviruses (PCVs) have been discovered over time and seem to share a common history, particularly for PCV-2 and -3.Despite being reported as apparently new viruses, rapidly emerging as a threat for the worldwide swine industry, they were then proven to have been circulating and coexi...
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