echolocation calls of long constant frequency. MolBiolEvol. evolution. They found evidences of genetic adaptations in the 34:20–34. great leaf-nosed bats that are associated with high altitudes, and overall, provided a useful powerful new resource for the research on the evolution of bats. ,1 Joseph Caspermeyer* MBE Press Ofﬁce Reference *Corresponding author: E-mail: MBEpress@gmail.com. Dong D, LeiM,Hua P, PanY-H,MuS,Zheng G, Pang E, LinK, doi:10.1093/molbev/msw257 Zhang S. 2016. The genomes of two bat species with With recent studies proving that almost everyone has a little largest in East-Asia, and why the HPV16A variant is virtually bit of Neanderthal DNA in them—up to 5% of the human absent in Sub-Saharan Africa while it is by far the most genome—it has become clear that our ancestors not only common one in the rest world. had some serious hominid “hanky panky” going on, but with “Oncogenic viruses are very ancient,” said Ignacio Bravo. “The history of humans is also the history of the viruses we it, a potential downside: the spread of sexually transmitted carry and we inherit. Our work suggests that some aggressive infections, or STIs. oncogenic viruses were transmitted by sexual contact from For wherever life goes, germs are soon to follow. archaic to modern humans.” In the case of the most common STI, human papillomavi- They propose that interactions between the host and ruses (HPVs), almost everyone hosts a number of infections, with viral genomes may explain why most humans are exposed strain HPV16 responsible for most cervical and oral cancers. to HPVs and cure the infection, while in a few unfortunate By reconstructing the ancestry and timing of the family cases the infection persists and can lead to cancer. The tree of HPV16 in greater detail than ever before, and by different degree of archaic ancestry in our genomes could comparing the evolutionary histories of viruses and humans, be partly responsible for differential susceptibility to cancer. a new pattern has emerged. Now, researchers have generated Since HPVs do not infect bones, current Neanderthal and compelling evidence that HPV16 co-diverged with archaic Denisovan genomes do not contain HPVs. As a next step, and modern humans—only to be repopulated at a much the authors hope to trace HPVs sequences in ancient later date through their contact by Neanderthals, challenging human skin remains as a more direct test of their the assumption that HPV16 co-evolved with modern hypothesis. humans. The study, by Pimenoff et al. (2016)atthe Catalan Institute of Oncology and Ignacio Bravo at the French National Center for Scientific Research was published in the Reference advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution. Pimenoff VN, de Oliveira CM, Bravo IG. 2016. Origin of the human During the evolution of HPV16, variants A and B/C/D co- papillomavirus 16: interspecies transmission between ancestral diverged with archaic and modern humans, respectively. When and modern humans. Mol Biol Evol. 34:4–19. populations of modern humans left Africa and had sexual inter- course with Neanderthals and Denisovans, they were infected ,1 Joseph Caspermeyer* by the viral variant that had evolved with archaic humans, and MBE Press Ofﬁce this virus thrived and expanded among modern humans. *Corresponding author: E-mail: MBEpress@gmail.com. This scenario finally explains unsolved questions: why human diversity is largest in Africa, while HPV16 diversity is doi:10.1093/molbev/msw255
Molecular Biology and Evolution – Oxford University Press
Published: Jan 1, 2017
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