Novel Technique Allows for Discovery of Unknown Viruses

04:57 EDT 7 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Oxford University researchers report that next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and its associated online DNA databases can be used to discover unknown viruses. They say they developed algorithms that detect DNA from viruses in fish blood or tissue samples and that this approach could be used to identify viruses in a number of different species. The team published its findings (“A novel viral lineage distantly related to herpesviruses discovered within fish genome sequence data”) in Virus Evolution . “In this study, we demonstrate the utility of combining evolutionary approaches with bioinformatics to mine non-viral genome data for viruses, by adapting methods from paleovirology. We report the discovery of a new lineage of dsDNA viruses that are associated with at least fifteen different species of fish,” write the investigators. “The identification of novel viruses from genome data shows that our approach has applications in genomics, virology, and the development ...

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