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A chance discovery has opened up a new method of finding unknown viruses.

Herpes virus

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In research published in the journal Virus Evolution, scientists from Oxford University’s Department of Zoology have revealed that Next-Generation Sequencing and its associated online DNA databases could be used in the field of viral discovery. They have developed algorithms that detect DNA from viruses that happen to be in the blood or tissue sample of the species studied. The research focused on fish genomes as an example, but the method could be used to identify viruses in a range of different species.

 

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