One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of a group of RNA viruses which insert a DNA copy of their genome into the host cell in order to replicate, e.g. HIV.
- ‘HIV is an RNA virus (ie, it carries its genetic code in the form of RNA) and falls under the family of retroviruses.’
- ‘All retroviruses are similar, and our genome is full of dormant retroviruses - over 2 percent of the genome is retroviral.’
- ‘Thus far, adenoviruses and retroviruses are the two families of viruses that have been used in the majority of clinical trials.’
- ‘As a vehicle for gene therapy, the retrovirus is modified so that it cannot produce infectious virus after entering the cell.’
- ‘I'm not talking about a vaccine, which most scientists consider a pipe dream against a diverse and constantly mutating retrovirus like HIV.’
1970s: modern Latin, from the initial letters of reverse transcriptase + virus.
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