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Researchers have found what appears to be the "missing link" connecting the ancient world of viruslike RNAs and other primitive entities to retroviruses and the modern world of DNA-based creatures.
The discovery provides new information about the origin of retroviruses that cause diseases such as AIDS and cancer.
"We've found a very primitive version of present-day retroviruses, which may be related to the first genetic elements to replicate using DNA," said Alan Lambowitz, a professor of molecular genetics, biochemistry and medical biochemistry at Ohio State University, Columbus. He is also associated with Ohio State's Biotechnology Center and is an …