When researchers started looking into the diseases that are affecting koalas, such as chlamydia and different cancers, it led them to realize that viruses are getting into the koalas’ DNA. These viruses can get into DNA and cause changes in evolution. The scientists in the article are researching a koala retrovirus called KoRV. KoRV is a disease in the same category as H.I.V. It is being passed from generation to generation in the sperm and egg cells. During the research, they found some important details by studying koalas in different regions of the world. Some koalas in the southern region of Australia have a damaged version of the retrovirus, KoRV. These animals are healthier, so scientists want to do an experiment to try to put this damaged virus in the DNA of the retrovirus, KoRV, and see if it will make the sick koalas in the other regions get better.
The KoRV retrovirus seems to be bringing back old viruses from the past that could change the future evolution of these animals. I chose this article because it is interesting that something happening today could affect the development of these animals and possibly lead to a decrease in the koala population. Hopefully by doing experiments with the damaged version of the retrovirus, the scientists will be able to find a way to fight back against the KoRV retrovirus and assist these animals to become healthier and help the population grow.
By Brit 4T