A plant virus that switched to vertebrates

From: A plant virus that switched to vertebrates (Virology Blog)

Viruses can be transmitted to completely new host species that they have not previously infected. Usually host defenses stop the infection before any replication and adaptation can take place. On rare occasions, a novel population of viruses arises in the new host. These interspecies infections can sometimes be deduced by sequence analyses, providing a glimpse of the amazing and unpredictable paths of virus evolution. One example is a plant virus that switched hosts and infected vertebrates.

Circoviruses infect vertebrates and have small, circular, single-stranded DNA genomes. Nanoviruses have the same genome structure, but infect plants. The genes encoding one of the viral proteins – called the Rep protein – appear to be hybrids, and share significant sequence similarity. They also exhibit homology with a protein encoded by caliciviruses, which are RNA viruses that infect many different vertebrates.

Analysis of the viral DNA sequences suggests that two remarkable events occurred during the evolution of circoviruses and nanoviruses. Not long ago, a nanovirus was transmitted from a plant to a vertebrate. This event might have occurred when a vertebrate fed on an infected plant. The virus adapted to vertebrates, and the circovirus family was established. After the host switch from plants to vertebrates, recombination took place between the circovirus and a vertebrate calicivirus. A reverse transcriptase probably converted the circovirus RNA genome to DNA to allow recombination to occur. (…)

The Divine Comedy – Note To Self


The Divine Comedy – Note to Self (live from Portsmouth)

Restate my assumptions
Heaven and hell
Do not exist
Restate my assumptions
If you die you do so
At your own risk
Into the heart of darkness
Beyond the point of no return
Restate my assumptions
Beauty is not
The same thing as youth
Restate my assumptions
Only one thing beautiful
That’s the truth
Into the heart of darkness
Beyond the point of no return
What the fuck is happening?
Where has everybody gone?
What the hell is going on?
There is nothing as frightening as being alone
Restate my assumptions
The writer writes for himself
Not for you
Restate my assumptions
A song is not a song
Until it’s listened to

From the Regeneration album. Anyone seen Π?

Hubble: Window to the Universe


The Hubble Space Telescope is one of the greatest technological achievements in our history, and for two decades has astonished us with dynamic images of our solar system and the world beyond. To celebrate this important twenty-year milestone, NASA looks back at the contributions of this extraordinary scientific tool, and the scientists who created it, in an engrossing documentary entitled “Hubble: Twenty Years of Discovery”.

Richard Prins' collection of pseudorandom perceptions