Retroviruses, including HIV, share three common genes: gag, which gives rise to the inner shell that stores the virus’s genes; env makes knobs on the outer surface of the virus, allowing it to adhere to the cells and invade them; and finally pol. The latter makes an enzyme which introduces the virus’s genes into the host cell’s DNA.
Actually, the human genome contains segments of DNA matching pol, env, and gag. Scientists have found sizeable quantity of retrovirus DNA in our genes, in fact, as stated above, eight percent of the human genome. Both in human and other species, studies of these endogenous retroviruses reveal that they have genetically merged with the human DNA. Retroviruses regularly infected our ancestors, but rarely infected sperm or an egg, but when they did, they managed to permeate an embryo, new cells in the embryo inheriting the retrovirus DNA. When the child grew into an adult and produced offspring, the DNA of the virus was transmitted as well.
Happy Friday! You have viral altered DNA.
The book video for Sinners' Obsession, a Paranormal Romance Guild 5-Star Review: