According to Keizo Tomonaga of Osaka University in Japan,Â "Human DNA carries the artifact of an infection so ancient that it predates humanity itself. The brain-attacking disease, known as bornavirus, infected proto-hominids forty million years ago. It may provide evidence of how our evolutionary ancestors dealt with infection."
He also suggests, "...bornavirus may have evolutionary implications for humans. The wave of infection that struck our protohominid ancestors forty million years ago may have led to either genetic mutation or adaptive innovation"
And,Â "As per usual in evolutionary biology, there are countless more questions than answers, but this serves as a useful reminder that humanity's evolutionary history depends on far more species than just our own."
Viruses that not only force our cells to replicate THEM, but actually BECOME PART of the DNA?!?Â I wonder how often this sort of "natural genetic engineering" has happened in our evolutionary history.Â Obviously, it began FAR earlier than the primate branch known as hominids began to bud.Â Therefore, perhaps we will find it in Chimps, Bonobos or Gorillas... just one more thread in the warp and woof of the fabric of our evolutionary journey.