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two in one…Kavignar Thanigai

thanks to The Hindu,Hindustan times

A western lowland gorilla, cools down by water mist sprayed into its enclosure during a hot summer day at Prague Zoo, Czech Republic

Researchers studied the evolution of on an antiviral gene called TRIM5 in African monkeys.

Viruses closely related to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that may cause AIDS, have infected primates in Africa for as long as 16 million years, says a new study.

“Lentiviruses closely related to modern SIVs (simian immunodeficiency virus) were present in Africa and infecting the ancestors of cercopithecine primates as far back as 16 million years ago,” the study noted.

Interested in the history of lentiviruses – the group of retroviruses to which HIV and its simian (monkey) relatives, the SIVs belong – Welkin Johnson, from Boston College, US, and colleagues studied the evolution of on an antiviral gene called TRIM5 in African monkeys.

TRIM5 is part of a group of antiviral genes called “restriction factors,” which have evolved to protect host cells from infection by viruses. The human version of TRIM5 does not interfere with——and therefore not protect against——HIV, but many monkeys have TRIM5 variants that do render HIV harmless and are therefore immune to HIV/AIDS, the study said.

The findings appeared in the journal PLOS Pathogens.

Keywords: HIVAIDSPrimates

Moms be warned! Breastfeeding may expose babies to chemicals

We have all heard that breast milk is the best source of nutrition for a newborn. But exclusive breastfeeding for a long time may expose infants to a class of industrial chemicals linked with cancer and immune system dysfuntion, finds a new research.

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The chemicals –perfluorinated alkylate substances, or PFASs – appear to build up in infants by 20-30% for each month they are breastfed, the findings show.

“There is no reason to discourage breastfeeding, but we are concerned that these pollutants are transferred to the next generation at a very vulnerable age,” says one of the researchers Philippe Grandjean, adjunct professor of environmental health at Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health in Boston, US.

“We knew that small amounts of PFAS can occur in breast milk, but our serial blood analyses now show a buildup in the infants, the longer they are breastfed,” Grandjean points out.

Read: Want to quit smoking for real, new moms? Try breast-feeding

PFASs are used to make products resistant to water, grease, and stains. These compounds –which tend to bioaccumulate in food chains – are found regularly in the blood of animals and humans worldwide, and have been linked with reproductive toxicity, endocrine disruption, and immune system dysfunction.

For the study, the researchers follow 81 children who were born in the Faroe Islands between 1997-2000, looking at levels of five types of PFASs in their blood at birth and ages 11 months, 18 months, and five years.

In children who are exclusively breastfed, PFAS concentrations in the blood increase by roughly 20-30% each month, with lower increases among children who are partially breastfed.

After breastfeeding is stopped, concentrations of all of five types of PFASs decrease.

The study appeared online in the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

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