The genome of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) was first sequenced over 20 years ago, but researchers have now discovered that the common pathogen has a surprisingly complex protein-coding capacity as well.
The virus only causes birth defects in newborn infants and disease in adults with compromised immune systems, but it infects most humans on the planet. The new findings, published in the 23 November issue of Science, could help explain why HCMV is such a widespread and successful virus.
New whole-genome sequencing technology can diagnose genetic disorders in newborn babies in intensive care units in just a few days, according a new study appearing in the 3 October issue of the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The technique’s main revolutionary feature is speed—a 50-hour turnaround time for genetic results compared to the few weeks needed using current methods. The genetic test could potentially shorten the time it takes to get a diagnosis, jumpstart any available treatments, and lessen the time to genetic counseling for anxious parents.