A previously unknown virus that is present in more than half of the human population has been discovered by scientists in America, who claim it could play a vital role in the development of obesity and diabetes.
The newly described virus dubbed crAssphage, after the software that identified it, was uncovered by biologists at San Diego State University when analysing results from previous studies to screen for new viruses.
Their research found that crAssphage infects one of the most common types of gut bacteria thought to be associated with obesity, diabetes and other gut-related diseases. And because it was shown to be so widespread – residing in the guts of more than half of the world’s population – the scientists suggest it is likely to be as old as the human race.
“We’ve basically found it in every population we’ve looked at. As far as we can tell, it’s as old as humans are,” explained bioinformatics professor and co-author of the study, Robert A. Edwards.
“It’s not unusual to go looking for a novel virus and find one. But it’s very unusual to find one that so many people have in common. The fact that it’s flown under the radar for so long is …read more
Source: News from Diabetes.co.uk